Cutty Sark

16:37 Mon 24th May 2010 |

Cutty Sark is the world’s last tea clipper. She is the epitome of the great age of sail and has captured the imagination of millions of people, 15 million of whom have come on board to learn the stories she has to tell. The ship has been preserved in Greenwich partly as a memorial to the men of the merchant navy.

On 16th February 1870, Cutty Sark left London bound for Shanghai, via the Cape of Good Hope, on her first voyage. She carried "large amounts of wine, spirits and beer”. This is the first of 8 voyages the ship successfully made to China in pursuit of tea.

With the arrival of steamships and the opening of the Suez Canal the age of the tea clippers was drawing to a close. The Cutty Sark was used to transport all kinds of other goods, from coal to casks of tallow. But her dominance of the wool trade at the end of the nineteenth century was when she rose to fame.

Cutty Sark has travelled across the world, visiting every major port in the world through the course of her working life. In admiration of her beauty and in recognition of her fame, she was preserved for the nation by Captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922.

Cutty Sark has been used as a filming location on many occasions for everything from feature films, through to national television network programmes to international educational documentaries. Her unique appeal as the sole surviving clipper ship makes her an ideal choice for period dramas, documentaries about the era of sail or just as a beautiful setting for filming a variety of programmes for television and cinema.

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Contact details for the Cutty Sark tel: +44 (0) 20 8858 2698, fax: +44 (0) 20 8858 6976, email:


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