Oldest Clipper to Australia

CITY OF ADELAIDE on her barge being pushed downstream on the River Irvine. Photo by Peter Roberts (CSCOAL).

CITY OF ADELAIDE on her barge being pushed downstream on the River Irvine. Photo by Peter Roberts (CSCOAL).

The clipper ship City of Adelaide has left Scotland for the first time in 90 years. The vessel departed the Scottish Maritime Museum September 20 atop a sea-going barge and is being tugged by Dutch Pioneer to London. From there it will be lifted into the hold of a cargo ship and transported to Australia. This was the third attempt to depart the Scottish harbor after the first two attempts were abandoned due to weather conditions.

The City of Adelaide, which was built in 1864, has been under the care of the Scottish Maritime Museum since 1992 after sinking in the River Clyde. Ultimately, the museum determined that it could not raise funds sufficient to restore the vessel and had applied to deconstruct it and preserve selected artifacts in its collection.

CITY OF ADELAIDE

The clipper ship CITY OF ADELAIDE in May 2009.

But a group from South Australia, Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ltd., offered to relocate the ship in one piece to form the centerpiece of a new maritime park. The Scottish government has accepted the recommendation that the ship should be relocated to South Australia.

The City of Adelaide, or Carrick as it was also known, was one of the fast clipper ships engaged in carrying immigrants and other passengers to Australia and bringing goods back. Her subsequent careers saw her participating in the North Atlantic lumber trade, a stint as a hospital ship, a sail training ship, and as an entertainment venue in Glasgow.

The ship is due to arrive in Australia by spring 2014.