December 9 - The world's oldest clipper ship, which was built in Sunderland in 1864, and carried migrants and cargo to South Australia via 23 passenger voyages between 1864 and 1886, has begun its return journey to Adelaide from Rotterdam, on Combi Lift's


In 1924 the vessel, which is longer and wider than the fuselage of the world's biggest passenger aircraft, was renamed HMS Carrick and converted into a training ship in Irvine, Scotland. In 1991, however, it sank at the Princes Dock in Glasgow and lay on the bottom of the River Clyde for a year before being raised and taken back to Irvine, where it has since lain on a slipway at the Scottish Maritime Museum.

In 2010, after a long battle between Sunderland and Adelaide over which town holds most claim over the vessel, the Australian charity, Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ltd (CSCoAL), won the decision to house the vessel and formally took control of the ship earlier this year.

In October, Dutch provider of heavy cargo transport services, Royal Van der Wees Groep handled the transportation of the vessel from Scotland to Chatham for fumigation, and then further down the Thames to Greenwich, on its barge, Lastdrager 28.  Royal Van der Wees was acting on behalf of the principal transportation contractor, and fellow Dutch company, HEBO Maritiemservice. Some of the highly complex preparation work that HEBO Maritiemservice undertook prior to the clipper ship's move from Scotland can be seen and is explained in the following videos:

City of Adeliade part 1 from Wiebbe Bonsink on Vimeo. - Password: Wiebbe

The Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund
(SCARF), with whom CSCoAL fought for the right to the ship, staged a last-minute demonstration at the ship's renaming ceremony in Greenwich, claiming that there was still time to keep the ship in the UK.

Despite the strong opposition from SCARF, however, the vessel was subsequently shipped by tugs and barge, to the Dutch port of Dordrecht, where it was shrink-wrapped, and moved to Rotterdam for its onward shipment.

In Rotterdam, Combi Lift worked in cooperation with Peters & May Global Boat Transport to load the clipper ship onto its CL-990 multipurpose vessel, Palanpur, using the ship's own heavy lift cranes, for its long journey to Adelaide, via Norfolk, USA and the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

The City of Adelaide is expected to arrive in Adelaide, where it will to be put on display at Largs North, a north-western suburb of the city, by the end of January, 2014.