The Darwin200 mission and Pelican of London
Darwin200 is a planetary conservation initiative, which aims to change the world. It will create the next 200 pioneers of global science and conservation – Darwin200 Leaders – by giving them a life-changing experience, which will inspire and empower them to change their lives and give them the skills they need to help conserve the world of tomorrow.

In 2021 they have chartered Pelican of London for a voyage around the UK with three legs that you cam join as many legs as you like,

Ship Stats

Length Overall

Length Extreme 45.00M

Length On Deck


Year Built

1948 Reconstructed 2007

Vessel Type / Rig

Main-Mast Barquentine, Xebec or Polacre

Guest Berths

28 in seven four-berth cabins, most of which include an en-suite bathroom with half-bath, shower and vacuum toilet.

Crew Berths

11 Berths


Build and arrest.

Originally named ‘le Pelican’ the ship was built in France in 1948 to work as a fishing trawler in the Artic for 20 years, before being sold to Norway and converted to a coaster and renamed Kadett.​

Arrested for trafficking a whole cargo of Vodka from Finland in 1993, Kadett became an Excise sale, and her owner went to prison.

The ship remained in Norway until 1995, when she was purchased by Retired Commander Graham Neilson for restoration.


The ship was motored to Portland in Dorset where a complete restoration and reconstruction would take place over almost 12 years. This was an amazing effort and reflects the drive and determination of Graham Neilson.


All shiny and new, Pelican of London commenced her maiden voyage in September of 2007 with a full complement of trainee crew bound for the West Indies.

She spend the winter months there, under charter to various groups and colleges, sailing between the islands of the West Indies from Grenada to Antigua before a return crossing with a new group of trainees, arriving back in UK the following June. There followed a few years of difficulty with many people trying really hard to make a success of her.


Since 2011 Pelican has been run by has worked with many hundreds of young people between the ages of 15 and 30, all of whom have grown as individuals and many have gone into further education or a work placement, and are putting their newly acquired skills into practice.


During the voyage, she will be crewed by professional crew along with sailing participants known as voyage crew
(which you can be part of). Additionally, Darwin200 staff and young scientists will also be accommodated to
undertake exciting science projects during the UK Voyage.


pelican deck plans