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Cutty Sark celebrates 150th anniversary with two millionth visitor

The world's only surving tea-clipper, the Cutty Sark, which is located in the London Borough of Greenwich, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and recently welcomed its two millionth visitor since re-opening in 2012.


The iconic Cutty Sark was the fastest sailing ship of its time and is now an award-winning visitor attraction, forming part of the Royal Museums Greenwich in London.

A year-long programme of events and celebrations has been taking place since 1 February, which marked 150 years since the signing of the contract to build the ship. Other key dates in the history of the vessel include its launch on 22 November 1869 and its maiden voyage on 16 February 1870, which saw the Cutty Sark carry ‘large amounts of wine, spirits and beer’ to China and returning from Shanghai with 1.3 million pounds of tea.

The Cutty Sark has a rich history full of stories and near misses, including surviving storms that ripped off the rudder on two occasions, a dismasting in the First World War, and a fire in 2007. In the year before the fire, the majority of Cutty Sark’s original fabric had been removed. This meant that, while devastating, the fire was not as destructive as it could have been and over 90% of the ship’s hull structure seen today is original to 1896.

In July, the Cutty Sark welcomed its two millionth visitor since re-opening after the horrific fire. Speaking about this milestone, General Manager Arron Hewitt said: “Welcoming our two millionth guest is a huge achievement for our team. I would like to thank every single one of them for their hard work and dedication to making sure all of our visitors have a positive experience when visiting the Cutty Sark.”

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, added: "The Cutty Sark is one of London's best known and most popular visitor attractions, situated as it is on the banks of the River Thames, in the fascinating and historic Borough of Greenwich. In fact, Greenwich is a must-see not only for fans of maritime history, but for anyone planning a heritage tour of Britain."

The Cutty Sark's 150th anniversary celebrations are taking place throughout the year and include concerts, theatre and poetry performances relating to the Cutty Sark’s impressive career, her Victorian maritime heritage and historic connections to the rest of the world.

Situated in Cutty Sark Gardens, the ship is within walking distance of Royal Museum Greenwich’s other attractions, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House, and Royal Observatory Greenwich.

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tailor-made heritage tour to London, discovering the maritime history of the UK and visiting famous attractions such as the Cutty Sark, please do contact our friendly team today.

Tags: London  Greenwich  Cutty Sark  

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