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Jan 1st - okt 31st

in Darwin's wake

Join us on a nature discovery voyage on board the three-masted schooner 'Oosterschelde'! While this unique Rotterdam sailing ship sails on the other side of the world, you can experience its adventures in the installation in our entrance hall.

Rotterdam is the home port of the 'Oosterschelde' and the ship regularly docks in our museum harbour. But this unique sailing ship is currently on a world voyage with young scientists on board, retracing Charles Darwin's voyage from almost 200 years ago. How are the animal species that Darwin studied along the way doing? How do plants and animals adapt to changing conditions?

The young researchers investigate the future of the sea and also use the past. How did we map the world in the past? How does your view of the world change as you sail around it? Follow the journey with and experience the wild nature of the oceans.

On August 4, 2023, the 'Oosterschelde' left Rotterdam for its world voyage. We provided copies of historical maps from our collection. Material that is sometimes five centuries old, in which you can look along with the seafarers of that time.

Around 1600, Rotterdam ships sailed around the world for the first time. They mapped areas that Europeans had never seen before. What is still true about those maps from back then? How useful are they for navigation? We will investigate this in the near future together with the captain and mate on board the 'Oosterschelde'.

During the world voyage of the Oosterschelde, a total of approximately 200 young researchers (the Darwin leaders) will go on board at various stages to study nature. Just like Charles Darwin, who at the age of 22 was allowed to join the world voyage of the HMS 'Beagle'.

The Darwin 200 program aims to give young researchers the same opportunity. The Darwin leaders are a selection of the best 18-25 year old scientists and conservationists from 200 countries and states. They were selected for their passion for conservation and their efforts to date to protect and restore our planet.

They receive intensive training on board the ship to develop the skills they need to tackle the conservation problems of tomorrow. All their findings are shared with us. This also applies to the Dutch Jessica Tax, who went into the rainforest in Brazil.

Jessica is one of the Dutch Darwin leaders.

The ship model of the 'Oosterschelde' in the entrance hall shows all kinds of details so you can learn more about the ship. But we add an extra layer with the 'binoculars': an Augmented Reality tool that allows you to experience what life is like on board.

Will you take a look?

Do you have questions for the crew of the Oosterschelde? A number of children preceded you. Ship's cook Richard answers.

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