cutty sark

Cutty Sark in Greenwich, what to see and tickets

The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship that was built in Britain and is currently preserved as a museum in a dry dock on the riverside of the Thames in Greenwich.

It was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development that came to an end with the arrival of steam technology. The ship was constructed in 1869 on the Leven River in Dumbarton for the Jock Willis Shipping Line.

The Cutty Sark was initially constructed for the purpose of engaging in Chinese trade, and for a period of a few years after its completion, it travelled between the Far East and Great Britain carrying tea.

After the opening of the Canal of Suez in 1869, steamships could now take advantage of a shorter route to China. As a result, the Cutty Sark immediately switched from transporting tea to transporting wool as quickly as possible from Australia.

However, developments in steam technology meant that gradually steamships also dominated the longest route to Australia. In 1895, the ship was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. and renamed Ferreira after it was sold to the company.

It remained in commercial service until 1922, when it was bought by Captain Wilfred Dowman, who stationed it in Falmouth, Cornwall, to serve as a training ship.

Following Dowman’s passing in 1938, the Cutty Sark was moved to Thames Nautical Training College in Greenhithe, where she joined HMS Worcester in serving as an auxiliary training ship for cadets. This took place the same year. In 1954, after it had outlived its usefulness as a cadet ship, it was moved to the Greenwich permanent dry dock in Kent so that it could be displayed for the general public.

The ship has suffered damage on two separate occasions in the recent past, the first of which occurred on May 21, 2007, while it was being repaired. On April 25, 2012, she was given a makeover and reopened to the general public. On October 19, 2014, there was another fire that caused damage to the building.

It is now open to the public again and the tickets can be found here.

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