Understanding the present transformation of the Arctic Ocean in response to climate change and anticipating the potential consequences requires a significant commitment in oceanographic research efforts. As one of the largest Arctic countries and the country with the longest arctic coastline, Canada strives to remain at the leading edge of Arctic research. The retrofit of the CCGS Sir John Franklin into the state-of-the-art research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen was made possible by the International Joint Ventures Fund of the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Coast Guard. Since its inauguration, the CCGS Amundsen has been a major catalyst in the revitalization of Canadian Arctic science by providing Canadian researchers and their international collaborators with the platform and the tools to facilitate unprecedented access to the Arctic Ocean. The CCGS Amundsen is the first research icebreaker in the world to have undertaken two over-wintering expeditions in the Arctic. The ship's facilities and sophisticated equipment make it a versatile research platform not only for oceanographers, but for geologists, terrestrial ecologists and epidemiologists. The CCGS Amundsen is the ideal research platform for addressing the multidisciplinary questions raised by Arctic climate change.