Voyage Filters

The Darwin200 mission

ENQUIRE Now Limited Places

Single Berth Per Person



Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sun 18-07-2021, 12:00Portree Sat 14-08-2021, 10:00London Pelican 27 NightsPE/Leg3

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.

The last Leg of Darwin200 UK Voyage 2021 highlights include, the Orkney and Shetland Isles and south to Farne Isles and the Maunsell Forts built to protect the sea entrance to the Thames and London . This is a voyage of discovery, research, and science with expert lecturers and guides on board.

Sailing on Pelican for the UK Darwin200 tour with Classic Sailing
  • Voyage
  • Vessel


The Sponsors have helped reduce your voyage fee!

The UK Voyage is mostly paid for through sponsorship! We ask you to pay only a small contribution to cover your food costs and basic expenses directly incurred by your participation.

Join the UK Voyage at a fraction of the real cost of participation.

This really is a once in a life time opportunity!

Magical Islands

The British archipelago comprises over 6,000 islands.

In 2019, Lonely Planet selected the UK’s outer islands as one of the best destinations in Europe! The Darwin 200 UK Voyage will take you to discover the magic of these isles shimmering in the sea mists.

We invite YOU to take part!

Our 2021 journey will be 13-weeks long, and split into three voyage legs. Come for any of the three voyage legs (in any combination).

We will be bringing on board a contingent of young scientist volunteers, to continue and expand the programme of marine research which began in 2020.

You can get onboard as a –

Darwin200 Sailor – Darwin200 Leader – Darwin200 Mentor

Getting onboard details


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.
Beam Max beam 7.03M
Draft Max 4.00M
Deck Length 32.0M
Overall Length Length Extreme 45.00M
Tonnage GRT 226 Tonnes
Year Built 1948 Reconstructed 2007
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Pelican 2021 VOYAGES – Leg 3

VOYAGE LEG 1: SOUTHAMPTON TO LIVERPOOL Sunday May 16th to Saturday, June 12th  Follow Link

VOYAGE LEG 2: LIVERPOOL to PORTREE Sunday June 13th to Saturday July 17th  Follow Link

VOYAGE LEG 3: PORTREE TO LONDON Sunday July 18th to Saturday August 14th.  See below


Preparing an detailed day-by-day itinerary in advance is not practical for long tall ship voyages, as weather conditions are extremely likely to alter the intended route, the locations that can be visited, and the amount of time that can be spent at each place along the route. Below we have sketched out our ambitious plans but at sea you have to adapt to the changing weather and tides.

sailing on pelican


Darwin200 VOYAGE LEG 3

Join in Portree on the Isle of Skye and heading for the extraordinary Orkney and the Shetland  islands and then via the Farne Isles to London.

Older than the Pyramids, left intact in the age of the Vikings see some of the remarkable history of civilisation in the British Isles. Note the differences in marine life between the boundless Atlantic and shallower North Sea.

Day 1 (Sunday, July 18th): Arrive at Pelican of London in Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland by 12:00 noon (lunchtime) for afternoon safety briefings and sail training sessions. All accommodation and meals included from this point aboard Pelican of London until breakfast on final day of this voyage leg.

Note: Portree is easy to access by road from
mainland Scotland. Trains or buses service nearby Kyle of Lochalsh. We may collectively organise a group coach
(at additional cost – approx £40 per person) to provide transport from Portree to Glasgow to make travel easy!

Day 2 (July 19th): Full day of safety briefings and sail training sessions on Pelican of London in Portree.

Day 3 (July 20th) – Day 5 (July 22nd): Depart Portree and sail to Orkney Islands (gentle start to sailing to ‘learn the ropes’). We pass dramatic coastlines along the north west coast of Scotland.

Day 6 (July 23rd) – Day 8 (July 25th): We arrive at the beautiful Orkney Islands and sail around the archipelago.

We land, where possible, to explore ashore. The Orkney Islands are home to a strong legacy of Norse culture and are rich with wildlife and ancient history, including Skara Brae, Europe’s most complete Neolithic village.

Broch on the She;tands. Darwin200 with Classic Sailing

Day 9 (July 26th) – Day 10 (July 27th): We sail north to the Shetland Islands.

Day 11 (July 28th) – Day 13 (July 30th): Pelican of London arrives off the rugged Shetlands Humans have lived here since the Mesolithic period and the legacy of Viking and Nordic influences runs deep across these most northerly British Isles. Norse words survive in the language and in the place names on the map. We land, where possible. Participants may visit Jarlshof (which has been described as “one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles”), to see the excavated ruins of a Norse longhouse and settlement.

We sail around the Shetland archipelago and visit seabird cliffs home to thousands of gannets. We have a chance to see varied wildlife, including orcas and sea otters (Shetland has the highest density of otters in Europe). On shore, we meet diminutive Shetland and charming, distinct local cultures.

Day 14 (July 31st) – Day 16 (August 2nd): We sail South from the Shetland Islands to Bell Rock, circling the historic lighthouse that marks treacherous waters that even the Viking raiders feared and wrote about in their sagas.

Dolphin Darwin200 with Classic Sailing

Day 17 (August 3rd) – Day 18 (August 4th): We reach Bass Rock a tiny isle in the Firth of Forth that is home to the ruins of a castle and monastery. The entire island is caked with the nests of more than 150,000 northern gannets and is now the world’s largest colony of the species. We circumnavigate the island – the views of the cliffs filled with countless gannets are spectacular. We will apply for permission to land. If weather allows, we will venture ashore for an experience of a lifetime – see 2020 Darwin200 voyage video:

Day 19 (August 5th) – Day 20 (August 6th): We sail South to the Farne Islands.

Day 21 (August 7th) – Day 22 (August 8th): We sail around the Farne Islands and land where weather conditions allow. The Farne Islands have been used as a retreat for over 1,500 years by hermits and monks, as the spectacular ruins of the ancient priory and castle testify.

The tranquillity on these holy islands was abruptly smashed in 793 with a brutal Viking raid that marked the beginning of Europe’s Viking Age. The attack struck terror across the British Isles as the first of three centuries of constant ‘heathen’ Norse plundering. Today, the isles are home to massive seal and bird populations including puffins. Some of Britain’s largest seal haul outs can be seen on the beaches. Snorkelling and drive trips may be possible around the islands.

Day 23 (August 9th) – Day 25 (August 11th): We sail south from the Farne Islands to the Thames Estuary.

Day 26 (August 12th): A whole day is dedicated to circumnavigating the bizarre World War II Maunsell sea forts at Red Sands (see above), built to defend against naval attacks. Each of the six forts in the grouping was armed with high calibre gun batteries. Today, the rusting ruins are an eerie sight, towering above the waves!

Day 27 (August 13th): We sail into London for our grande finale, passing under Tower Bridge – an incredible experience!

Day 28 (Saturday, August 14th): Disembarkation in London by 10 am. END OF VOYAGE LEG.

Note: rest days in key ports will be scheduled over the course of the above Voyage Leg. The above itinerary will change (as a result of the dynamic nature of tall ship voyages). But above is an outline of the intended plan.

Seal on Farne Isles Sailing with Classic Sailing


Getting ready for Darwin 200 – Around the World in 2022

In preparation for the upcoming Darwin200 voyage around the world following Charles Darwin’s journey on HMS Beagle, the Darwin200 Team has chartered the tall ship Pelican of London to undertake a voyage around the UK to test our project systems, undertake promotional activities in major UK cities and ports, and to visit the most spectacular and interesting islands in the British Archipelago!

Join the UK Voyage in 2021

Learn the ropes sailing aboard the spectacular tall ship Pelican and be part of the Darwin200 UK Voyage!

Between 24-hour stops in ports around the UK’s coasts, we will sail to the most interesting and beautiful corners of the British Isles. We will explore breath-taking lochs and pass dramatic castles. We will land (where possible) to see circles of ancient standing stones, the abandoned villages of the mysterious ‘lost’ island of St Kilda, spot whales and seals, and pass immense cliffside seabird colonies!


The Sponsors have helped reduce your voyage fee!

The UK Voyage is mostly paid for through sponsorship! We ask you to pay only a small contribution to cover your food costs and basic expenses directly incurred by your participation.

Join the UK Voyage at a fraction of the real cost of participation.

This really is a once in a life time opportunity!

Magical Islands

The British archipelago comprises over 6,000 islands.

In 2019, Lonely Planet selected the UK’s outer islands as one of the best destinations in Europe! They are often voted amongst the most beautiful islands in the world, yet few outsiders get to experience them in full. The Darwin 200 UK Voyage will take you to discover the magic of these isles shimmering in the sea mists.

Last year, during the summer of 2020, Darwin 200 chartered Pelican of London and undertook a very successful 7 week journey around the UK. Our team of young scientists undertook science projects in UK waters, and observed countless common dolphins, harbour porpoises, many bottle nosed dolphins, great numbers of sunfish, blue fin tuna, a basking shark, several minke whales and immense seabird colonies (including tens of thousands of northern gannets on Bass Rock).

Sail on Tall Ship with Classic Sailing

We also visited the 5,000 year old standing-stone circles of Callenish, a village of traditional blackheath houses, the beautiful white sand beaches of the Scilly Isles and countless other fascinating sites of interest.

Benefiting from the experience of running 2020 voyage, we have planned this 2021 charter to be even better. The 2021 trip is starting earlier in the year (for better weather) and we have scheduled more time at each location that we sail to, in order to provide even greater opportunities to landing ashore, observing wildlife and visiting sites of interest

The incredible sailing experience.

Sailing Pelican of London is an incredible experience. From observing sunsets from the deck, to seeing dolphins in the bow wave, you’ll leave this voyage with memories that you will never forget.

Participants much be aware that this voyage is not a luxury cruise. All voyage crew will be expected to take part in sailing activities, including night watches. Please watch our 2020 voyage videos to make sure this trip is right for you (see page 16). A reasonable level of fitness and willingness to work together are essential.

Sail on Pelican for the Darwin200 with Classic Sailing

No previous sailing experience is required.

We are looking for voyage crew to supplement our professional crew to sail Pelican of London.

The professional crew will offer participants all required training and guidance. Participants will be expected to assist with sailing in 4 hour on / 8 hour off shifts. This is an incredible opportunity to learn how to sail, or to have a unique sailing experience led by professional sailors on a stunning tall ship!


No prior sailing experience is required. All participants need to arrive approx. 36 hours before we set sail for safety briefing and sail training sessions. For example, to join Voyage Leg 1, you are required to arrive at Pelican of London in Southampton Docks by 12 noon on Sunday, May 16th for training sessions on the afternoon of May 17th and all of May 17th, ready to set sail on May 18th.

Sail on Pelican for the Darwin 200 UK tour 2021 with Classic Sailing

VOYAGE DATES: we have carefully scheduled each Voyage Leg to minimise the number of ‘work days’ required by those taking leave from their employment. Each Voyage Leg requires you to arrive on a Sunday by noon (allowing travel beforehand over the previous Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning). All voyage legs end on a Saturday, giving you the weekend to return home and re-adjust to normality before returning to work the following Monday. Only 20 work days leave are needed to join Voyage Leg 1 and Voyage Leg 3, and only 25 work days are needed for Voyage Leg 2.


A rigorous Covid-19 strategy is in place to prevent Covid-19 being contracted by any participants of the UK Voyage. This strategy worked extremely effectively during our 2020 voyage, during which no Covid-19 cases arose whatsoever. All participants will be tested for Covid-19 prior to commencement of the UK Voyage.

Temperatures will be taken on a daily basis for the first 14 days of participation. Protocols will be in place throughout the voyage, to ensure we undertake this journey Covid-19 free, so all participants are safe!


Pelican Darwin200 with Classic Sailing

Start & End Port



London and the Thames

Joining is often near the Waterfront Leisure Centre. Your ship will give you clear instructions.

For Joining Morgenster, use the ship’s tracker to help you meet the ship on the day: Where is Morgenster Now?

For Joining Oosterschelde, use the ship’s tracker to help you meet the ship on the day: Where is Oosterschelde Now?

For Joining Lord Nelson or Tenacious, Canary Wharf is the likely joining location. The ship’s office will contact you directly with exact joining notes once they are known.

Kit List

Pelican Darwin 200 with Classic Sailing


  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day

What is not included

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Towels
  • Wellie boots

Darwin200 Kit List - WHAT TO TAKE
Storage space is limited. Please do not bring more than one large fabric bag (e.g. a sailor bag with straps), plus one small day pack. Do not bring a hard-shell suitcase (which is difficult to stow).

We recommend that you bring what you need from the items listed below. Bring everything you need for the entire duration of your participation on the voyage as you possibly will not have access to any shops from start to finish (e.g. bring all the toothpaste etc. for your personal needs).

You will need to unpack everything into a small locker once you are on board. Stuff bags are a good way of keeping your kit organised. Look for those with waterproof seals – you can put your valuables in them and then in your rucksack for trips ashore.

Please note: washing can be undertaken on Pelican of London, so you will have the opportunity to wash your clothes on a weekly basis. Bring sufficient clothing for your needs between weekly laundry washes.

HEALTH INSURANCE RECORDS: It is your responsibility to purchase appropriate personal health
insurance and provide evidence of this before departure. We recommend that you obtain policies with medical care and evacuation coverage of over £1,000,000. You should also have the emergency number for your provider safely recorded both on paper and on your phone.
IMMUNISATION RECORDS: Please bring your immunisation records with you (see section 5.2).
PASSPORT: we are going to be on a sailing ship; should we need to divert (e.g. in the event of an
emergency) we could find ourselves outside of UK waters; a passport is essential.

Clothing that we recommend you consider bringing include:
1 * pair of suitable shoes for wearing on the deck or climbing the rigging of Pelican of London when
sailing, e.g. sturdy trainers (sneakers)
1 * pair of wellington boots / gum boots (for landing on islands)
1 * pair of walking shoes for exploring islands we visit
2 * light wool sweater / jumper / fleece
1 * warm Jacket (3rd layer)
1 * waterproof jacket – strong and light material that dries quickly. Wind resistant and water repelling
2 * long sleeve shirts
2 * insulative trousers (1st layer)
1 * waterproof trousers (2nd layer) – strong and light material that dries quickly. Wind resistant and
water repelling
1 * waterproof jacket or an anorak with hood – waterproof and breathable material. Options range from waterproof nylon to the more expensive breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex, H2NO, Ultrex or REI Elements
1 * shell trousers – waterproof and breathable material
1 * gloves – wool or synthetic (polypropylene / polyester)
1 * hat and a Balaclava – wool or synthetic
7 * socks (pairs) – wool or synthetic
1 * compact towel (Pelican of London has several showers for washing)
Multiple (as many as you think you may need) * underpants / bra (enough to last you for the duration of the voyage, with extra clean pairs for returning back to civilisation. Should be lightweight) single size sheet, duvet cover and two pillow case (slips) for your bunk.

You may consider bringing the following items for your personal medical needs:
Medication: paracetamol, Ibuprofen, antihistamines, loperamide, and sea sickness medications. Please note, personal medical kits are readily available from many chemists and contain many of the above items. Nomad Travel ( have specially designed expedition medi-kits which are perfect. For legal reasons, any self-medication should be reported to the volunteer medic
Inhalers (if required).
Rehydration sachets: these are recommended should you become sick or develop diarrhoea. Rehydration sachets replenish essential salts and sugars quickly. Dioralyte is a good brand.
Deodorant, shampoo, soap etc.
Hand sanitiser: to avoid health complications, we recommend that you bring your own supply of anti-bacterial hand sanitiser (sufficient for your personal use throughout the UK Voyage).

Apart from the essentials you may want to think about bringing:
Sunglasses – big enough to cover the eyes and with sufficient UV-protection
Sun protection (sun tan cream / lotion) - the sun and wind can be intense (particularly advisable for
those with paler complexions): Should be SPF 25 or more
Lip balm (to protect against intense wind exposure and UV). With at least 15-20 SPF sunscreen
Insect repellent (midges and mosquitos)
Toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs and other personal belongings - bring for the full duration of voyage!
Torch or headlamp - compact and light. Include 1 set of extra batteries
Prescription glasses - carry a spare pair if you’re blind without them. Contact lenses are not easy to deal with, unless you have extended wear lenses that don’t require a lot of maintenance
Camera (strongly recommended!): Should be packed in a waterproof bag. Bring sufficient batteries and memory cards for the duration of the trip
Tampons / sanitary pads: Heavy exertion at high latitudes can cause irregular cycles, so a good supply is recommended.
Bring 3-4 zip-lock bags for proper disposal Plasters / Band-Aids for blisters and grazes (blister kits are especially helpful for when walking. We recommend Compeed)
Antiseptic wipes
Cash for on-board extras and visits ashore. Many of the islands we visit many not have cash machines (ATMs)
Mobile phone charger
Wet wipes.
Small day pack backpack for when you’re ashore.
Musical instruments.
Addresses of friends and family for postcards.
Pen and paper/journal.

PACKING - Top Tips

Once you’ve decided what you want to bring, the next step is packing. Please do not pack your kit in a hard suitcase but use a soft bag which can be easily stored in your cabin as there is very limited space.

Efficient packing isn’t as easy as it seems… so here are some of our top tips to help you along.

  • Pack as many socks and underwear into your shoes as will fit, then put the shoes in the bottom of your bag.
  • On top of your shoes, lay down a layer of heavier rolled items – jeans, sweaters, and so on – packing them in as tightly as they’ll go. This minimises wasted space and prevents the rolls from coming undone during transit.
  • If you have any fragile items, remember to place them in the centre of your bag on top of the heavy-roll layer to protect them from breaking.
  • The next layer should consist of lighter rolled items like t-shirts and undergarments, also tightly packed to prevent unrolling.
  • On top of these layers, place any of your folded items.
  • Put your toiletry bag on top of the folded layer, then simply close the bag and you’re done.

Top Tip

You will need to unpack everything into a small locker once you are on board. Stuff bags are a good way of keeping your kit organised. Look for those with waterproof seals – you can put your valuables in them and then in your rucksack for trips ashore.

Vessel Gallery

Pelican of London is a Main Mast Barquentine which is a three masted vessel with square sails only on the main mast.

Other Voyages


Darwin200 St Kilda, Rockall and Hebrides Leg 2


Sun 13-06-2021



Sat 17-07-2021


Pelican and Classic sailing



Recently Viewed Voyages


Darwin200 UK Tour Leg 3


Sun 18-07-2021



Sat 14-08-2021


Sail on Pelican for the Darwin 200 UK tour 2021 with Classic Sailing