Exactly 200 years after the launch of HMS Beagle, on 11th May, 2020, the Darwin 200 tall ship will begin a 2 year voyage around the world, re-tracing Charles Darwin’s famous journey.

The ship will stop in every major port where Darwin made landfall, including 50 one-week stays along the voyage route.

This project, called Darwin 200, will:

1. TRAIN the next generation’s top 200 leaders in science and conservation.

The best 18-25 year old scientists and conservationists will be selected from 200 countries and states from across the globe, and will be invited aboard the Darwin 200 ship to receive intensive training to develop the skills they need to tackle tomorrow’s conservation problems.

2. INSPIRE 200 million people worldwide via massive outreach activities.

The Darwin 200 project offers a vast platform of free, interactive resources for students, teachers and the general public to be part of the voyage in real time. Hundreds of millions of people will become involved as the ship re-traces the voyage of HMS Beagle to be inspired by the beauty of the natural world and discover the changes that have occurred since Charles Darwin’s journey.

3. DEMONSTRATE real solutions to save the environment.

Interactive research projects streamed live from the Darwin 200 ship will publicly explore specific environmental problems but also showcase solutions and hope for the future.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to harness the legacy of Charles Darwin. The global and local impacts of this project are hard to overstate, and have been designed to maximise tangible deliverables – not just during the voyage but for generations to come.

Each of the above three key goals are explained in greater detail below, and more extensively in “Supporting Document 1: Project Plan”.

Darwin 200 will be the ‘Olympics for Science and Conservation’, to mobilise passion, enthusiasm and hope to inspire greater care for our natural world.



Darwin 200 will establish a truly global legacy, and one which will change attitudes around the world and guide the next generation to better conserve and care for our planet.

The long-term legacy of the Darwin 200 project will be one that grows without the need for further funding, because the legacy will live through the world’s top 200 young professional leaders who will be empowered to solve future environmental problems, and the hundreds of millions of people that engage in this project and are inspired to reconnect with nature and gain a better understanding for the need for a sustainable future.

This truly matters because: 

In the end we will conserve only what we love,
We will love only what we understand,
We will understand only what we are taught.

Baba Dioum – African Conservationist


For more information:

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A worldwide competition will identify 200 of the most capable young (18–25 year old) scientists, naturalists and conservationists from 200 different countries and states, representing at least 50 different languages and cultures from across the globe.

Once selected, these 200 young “Darwin Ambassadors” will be offered the chance of a lifetime to join the Darwin 200 tall ship in groups of four for a week, based in one of the ports Darwin visited along the HMS Beagle route. During their stay aboard the Darwin 200 ship, each Darwin Ambassador will be accompanied by one Academic Mentor who will act as their guardian and translator.

During their stays on board, each Darwin Ambassador will be immersed in an intensive, life-changing program of science, natural history and conservation training that will be carefully crafted to hone research skills and sustainable-management thinking. Under the guidance of their Academic Mentors, an on-board team of resident conservation experts, active PhD researchers and professional wildlife film-makers, each of the Darwin Ambassadors will engage in their own active research projects, experiments and fieldwork, to explore a subject Darwin himself studied and analyse what changes have occurred since Darwin’s time, and what solutions and conservation strategies are required for sustainable management and survival.

Each Darwin Ambassadors will live stream their research, discoveries and findings using 21st century technology to communicate their experiences to audiences around the globe. Each Darwin Ambassador will have the goal of reaching an audience of at least 1 million people in their home country and globally, enabling the Darwin 200 project to reach a total of at least 200 million people via all 200 Darwin Ambassadors collectively.

Please see “THE AMBASSADORS” page of this website and the Darwin 200 brochure for more information.


Outreach resources and activities will be beamed continually from the Darwin 200 ship, and released on for students, teachers and the general public to use free of charge.

The voyage of HMS Beagle is the richest adventure in the history of science, and new outreach activities and resources will be released every day during the project to keep global audiences engaged, including;

FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER: photos, video clips and announcements will be released on every single day of the voyage via social media. Blogs and podcasts will also provide regular updates.

VIDEO FEEDS: at all times during the voyage, live video feeds will be beamed from the ship, so that followers can join the adventure in real time.
360º IMAGES and 360º CAMERAS: interactive 360° immersion images will be posted frequently on social media feeds, and followers, students and teachers can book 3 minute slots to control 360º cameras and remotely explore exotic locations via the internet in real time.

DARWIN’S FOOTSTEPS FILMS: Stewart McPherson will film and produce 200 “Darwin’s Footsteps” films tracing Darwin’s journey and adventures during his travels on HMS Beagle, visiting every location he visited, explaining his observations, his discoveries, what he got right, what he got wrong, how the world has changed since he visited, and more. A new Darwin’s Footsteps video will be released every 2 to 3 days, providing a continual stream of content for global audiences to follow. As footage is filmed, it will be uploaded live and edited by a team in the UK and released directly online.

LIVE TALKS AND LECTURES: beamed regularly from the ship and released permanently on YouTube.

ONLINE INTERACTIVE STUDY SESSIONS, ESSAYS AND EXERCISES: a new essay question will be set each week, with a talk-through of model answers taking place the following week. Classes that participate in five or more interactive essays will be eligible for the Galapagos Competition.

DARWIN 200 RESOURCES SENT TO SCHOOLS: a specially designed Darwin book, study activities, experiments and lesson plans will be sent to 10,000 schools across the UK in the 2021 Hanson Box (see to engage up to 4 million students. The Darwin 200 team is in advanced stages of talks with partners to similarly send resources to 30,000 schools in the USA and 5,000 in Australia.

Many of DARWIN’S EXPERIMENTS from on board the HMS Beagle will be recreated on the Darwin 200 ship, and beamed live for teachers to use as study examples, or to replicate and repeat in the classroom.

SCHOOL VISITS will be organised in major ports along the voyage itinerary, enabling groups of students to come aboard to discover and imagine Charles Darwin’s world on HMS Beagle!

GALAPAGOS COMPETITION: part way through the Darwin 200 voyage, a project will be set, offering one winning class of up to 35 students and two teachers the opportunity to join the Darwin 200 ship in the Galapagos Islands and follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps!

TV MASS MEDIA PUBLICITY: Huge, self-generating publicity will accompany the Darwin 200 ship as it sails around the world, especially with the arrival of the ship into key major ports (e.g. Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Cape Town). PR events, newspaper/magazine columns, press releases and media visits events will be organised in each port. Interviews with Darwin 200 crew and the Darwin Ambassadors will be encouraged to build global coverage on TV, radio and in magazines and newspapers.

MEDIA PORTAL: The Darwin 200 website will house a dedicated media portal offering updated photographs and video content that media and press can freely download without charge or restriction in support of coverage. This provision of free content will facilitate and encourage TV channels, news crews, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and documentary makers to raise the project’s profile.


In continuation of Charles Darwin’s work aboard HMS Beagle, the Darwin 200 ship will offer a unique platform to support the following research into many of the world’s most critical environmental problems.

HABITAT LOSS STUDY: At key points along the voyage itinerary, comparative studies will be undertaken exploring the impacts of habitat loss by contrasting biodiversity in pristine, partly impacted and completely degraded habitat. Bird counts, transects to enumerate insect and plant species and surveys for mammal and reptile tracks will be undertaken to analyse the rate of biodiversity loss resulting from degradation. Films, photos, reports and interviews will be released online for each study site. Recovery of habitat areas will be analysed, along with new species surveys in which members of the public can name any new taxa discovered.

GLOBAL CORAL SURVEY: When in tropical waters, a survey of coral reefs will take place, covering including coral coverage estimates, species counts and photo-transects. The data gained for the survey will be contrasted with historical records, and where significant change can be identified, the causal factors will be investigated (e.g. bleaching, eutrophication, sedimentation, introduction of non-native species and diseases etc.). Reports of the status of the coral in each study locality will be released online, along with videos on YouTube, and photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Solutions to saving coral will be explored.

OCEAN PLASTIC SURVEY: Darwin trawled for plankton on HMS Beagle. The Darwin 200 team will systematically trawl for plastic particles in ocean waters worldwide. Trawling will be carried out at different depths at 6 hour intervals along the route of the voyage. Each water sample will be filtered and concentrations of micro-plastics then studied, classified and recorded. Data will be streamed live so that everyone can see the extent of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. On completion, a report will be released including a detailed ocean plastic concentration map of the world, showing (in colour densities) data collected along the voyage route.

POLLUTION SOLUTION PhD RESEARCH: Up to three PhD students will be accommodated for periods of up to 3 months along different legs of the Darwin 200 voyage. The PhD projects will specifically explore solutions to pollution-related problems, either in practical application of existing technology, or the development or testing of new ideas, concepts or prototypes. Example projects will include testing Ocean Clean-up Arrays (which collect floating plastic waste, using solar power to filtering and process it for storage for collection) and Pollution-Eating “Row-Bots” (which use microbial fuel cells to consume floating oil waste).

GLOBAL WHALES, DOLPHINS AND PORPOISES SURVEY: A systematic study of cetaceans across the South Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, in sectors that have been little surveyed before. Research will include testing new techniques to provide data on rarer, deep-diving species, such as little-known beaked whales.

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