A WIRRAL-built polar research ship honouring broadcasting legend Sir David Attenborough took its first trip across the Mersey as fitting out continued.

Pictures by Globe reader Ian Fairbrother show the RRS Sir David Attenborough sailing to the Liverpool Cruise Terminal to berth for few days before going back over to Cammell Lairds, where it was built.

The ship, unveiled during a ceremony at Laird's Birkenhead yard last year, is scheduled to enter full service in October.

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Picture: Ian Fairbrother

A Cammell Laird spokesperson told the Globe: "The RRS David Attenborough was on its way to berth at the Liverpool cruise terminal for a few days, while Cammell Laird carries out some operational logistics.

"The vessel is then returning to Cammell Laird, where fitting-out and engineering work will continue. It will be formally handed over to the British Antarctic Survey later this year, for trials."

More than 4,000 people watched the last year's unveiling event, celebrating the end of work on RRS Sir David Attenborough at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead last September.

The Duke, Duchess and Sir David attended.

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FLASHBACK: Sir David Attenborough with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during last year's naming ceremony of the polar research ship at Cammell Laird (Picture: Peter Byrne / PA WIRE)

In a speech before the naming ceremony took place, Prince William highlighted the ship's vital work and tribute to the "awe-inspiring" work of Sir David.

He said: "There has never been a more important moment for this ship to get to work and there is no person more fitting for this beacon of scientific research to be named after than you, David.

"You have shown us how awe-inspiring the natural world is, and also how fragile and endangered it is, and you have inspired us all to do as much as we possibly can to protect it."

Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) it is part of a major Government polar infrastructure investment programme designed to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.

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FLASHBACK: The Duke of Cambridge tests the captain's chair on bridge of RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship during private tour with the Duchess, Kate Middleton, during unveiling ceremony last year. Picture: Craig Manning

Sir David said it was the "greatest possible honour" for the ship to carry his name.

Highlighting its importance, the 93-year-old presenter, who accompanied at the ceremony by daughter Susan: "It's no news to any of you that the world is facing great, great problems and the most aware of that are the young people of today, who will inherit this world.

"Great problems require great research and facts in order to solve them.

"That's what this astonishing ship will be here to do, to find out the facts and find the science with which to deal with problems that are facing the world today and will increasingly do so tomorrow.

"There could be no more important function for any ship, anywhere in the world, than those which are going to be dealt with by this remarkable ship, at the cutting edge of science."

The decision to name it RRS Sir David Attenborough was made in 2016, following a public vote staged by NERC beating its nearest rival, Boaty McBoatface.

Laird's chief executive at the time, John Syvret CBE, said: "Naming of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, arguably one of the most complex vessels afloat, underpins our re-emergence to the premier league of the global shipbuilding community.

"This is the 'Pride of Merseyside' and my special thanks go out to our workforce, TU, management and staff, together with our supply chain and all their families for their dedication and commitment to the project and the company."

The British Pobjoy Mint created a commemorative £2 coin featuring the ship and a 50p coin featuring the autonomous submersible Boaty McBoatface, a miniature of which is a feature on the ship's deck.

Professor Dame Jane Francis, director of British Antarctic Survey, said: "This magnificent ship will take UK scientists deep into the heart of the ice-covered polar seas.

"With state-of-the-art technology they will discover how drastically the polar oceans and the ice have been changed by our actions.

"This ship will take us to the ends of the Earth to help us understand our future world."

Sir Mark Walport, chief executive of UK Research and Innovation, said: "It will provide scientists with state-of-the-art facilities to undertake crucial research into the impact of global change on our oceans, marine biodiversity and climate, and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of polar science."