Peters & May Loads the World’s Oldest Surviving Clipper Vessel ‘City of Adelaide’ Onto a Ship for Her Final Voyage

On Friday the 22nd of November Peters & May’s expert team of Loadmasters oversaw the loading of the world’s oldest surviving clipper vessel ‘City of Adelaide’, onto Combi Lift vessel m/y Palanbur.

The vessel departed from Rotterdam on her long journey south to Adelaide, South Australia, where she will be met in January 2014 by the Peters & May Loadmasters, who will skillfully discharge her to her final mooring place.


The ‘City of Adelaide’ was launched at the yard of William Pile Jr., Sunderland on the 7th of may 1864, as the first composite vessel, of wood on iron frames, in the world. Firstly the vessel served as a passenger and general cargo vessel running between Great Britain and South Australia. In 1887 she was sold and re-rigged as a barque in order to serve in the North Atlantic Timber Trade until 1893.

From 1893 to 1947 the vessel served as an isolation hospital on the River Test, training ship for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and Naval Drill  Ship. In 1947 the ‘City of Adelaide’ ended her active service and became meeting place/club house for the R.N.V.R. Club in Scotland.

After having served the Admiralty for nearly 70 years the ‘City of Adelaide’ was sold to a trust in 1990, but unfortunately the vessel sank 1991 at moorings on Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Later the vessel was taken over by the Scottish National Maritime Museum, refloated and moved to Irvine, Scotland for restoration.

Due to lack of funds the restoration of the vessel was never carried out and the ‘City of Adelaide’ remained at Irvine surviving several attempts of having her demolished. In August 2010 it was ultimately decided that the ‘City of Adelaide’ would not be demolished but instead taken over by the action group Clipper Ship ‘City of Adelaide’ Ltd. (CSCOAL) with the mission to return the vessel to Adelaide in order to be restored and start a new era as a museum ship in Adelaide.
Link to ‘City of Adelaide’s’ website:

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