It’s not everyday that you view Melbourne’s magnificent skyline from the deck of a 19th century sailing ship, with the breeze caressing your face and an explosive sense of adventure. Experience the thrill of being a voyager of the seas in the handcrafted timber vessel Enterprize. This classic sailing ship helps you discover how life would have been for the early explorers back in the 19th century.
The current Enterprize is a replica, the original was built in Hobart in 1830, which was used as a trading vessel. Her main cargo was coal, wheat, livestock and building material. In 1835 John Pascoe Fawkner purchased the Enterprize in the hope of finding a place for a new settlement. John and his party eventually settled in the place that we know today as Melbourne.
Traditional materials and methods were used to build the replica as close as possible to the original. Timber for the ship was used from brewing vats, an old railway bridge and places such as the Lady Nelson, Station Pier, and Royal Melbourne Golf Course. The hand sewn sails were imported from Scotland and the rigging is natural fibre hemp from Holland, coated with Stockholm Tar. Construction for the Enterprize took six years to complete and launched on the 30th of August 1997.
The Enterprize is operational from August to June and offers a range of sails from evening sails to overnight sails. These sails depart from various locations such as Docklands, Williamstown, Geelong, Rye and Port Arlington. For those who are looking for a longer voyage, the Enterprize offers sails to Portland, Westernport Bay, Wilson’s Promontory and Tasmania.
It is volunteer staff that keep the ship running smoothly; they are trained in all aspects of handling a 19th century sail ship. The staff are really friendly and are always recruiting people of all ages, so if you think you have what it takes to conquer the seven seas and you’re looking for great adventure, sign up now!
You can help the crew in hoisting the sails and steering the ship. You also have the opportunity to climb the rigging and behold the beauty of the sea from the best seat on the ship; don’t worry about falling as you have a harness to protect you.
To witness this integral part of Melbournian history click the link below, adventure awaits.