Since arriving at the National Oceanography Centre on 31st August 2006, RRS James Cook has undertaken research expeditions focusing on a range of scientific disciplines in some of Earth’s most challenging environments, from tropical oceans to the edge of ice sheets. The RRS James Cook is fitted with cutting edge scientific instruments and hosts a wide array of scientific investigations on-board, making her one of the most advanced research vessels currently in service. The RRS James Cook is the most capable ship in the NERC fleet in terms of over-the-side handling capability with both the stern and mid-ships’ ‘A’ frames built with safe working loads of up to 30T. In addition, the ship has a comprehensive winch suite capable of supporting all current and anticipated future scientific operations. The ship contains a range of laboratory spaces that can be flexibly configured to support multiple scientific activities on each expedition. RRS James Cook has plentiful laboratory spaces sub-divided into ultraclean, clean, normal, and temperature-controlled areas, with sufficient flexibility to be used for multiple needs. There is also the option to configure the lab spaces to ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ labs, depending on the nature of the science being undertaken. Container labs enable scientists to work on samples they have collected in controlled conditions, which may involve the use of radioactive substances or may entail ‘clean chemistry’ procedures. The RRS James Cook has 278m2 of laboratories, as well as positions for up to seven 6 m (20 ft) container laboratories on deck.