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Enterprize - Melbourne's Tall Ship

Home > Melbourne > Family | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor
by Ian Gill (subscribe)
I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published September 22nd 2011
Melbourne's own tall ship, the topsail schooner Enterprize has relocated to Docklands after 14 years based in Williamstown.

The move, completed on 9th September, is aimed at bringing the vessel closer to the city she represents and making a true tall-ships experience more accessible to the people of Melbourne.

Enterprize is a replica of the vessel that brought the first settlers to the fledgling colony of Victoria.

Departing George Town on Tasmania's north coast on 4th August 1835 she entered the Yarra River eleven days later disembarking settlers on the riverbank at about the site of present-day William Street.

The Topsail Schooner Enterprize
Reflecting Victoria's maritime heritage Enterprize is frequently to be seen cruising Port Phillip Bay.


Enterprize continued to operate as a coastal trader until 1847 when she was wrecked with the loss of two lives crossing the bar of the Richmond River in northern New South Wales.

The keel for the 27 metre replica was laid at the Polly Woodside Museum in 1991 and construction completed at Williamstown's Ports and Harbours ship yard before being launched there on 30th August 1997.

A two-masted top-sail schooner Enterprize was constructed using traditional methods and a variety of timbers including Jarrah, Huon Pine, Kauri, Celery Top and Iron Bark. Her Californian Redwood masts are fitted with tarred hemp rigging and sails of hand-sewn flax.

Enterprize under shortened sail
In blustery conditions Enterprize approaches Williamstown under shortened sail.


Enterprize offers a variety of tall-ship experiences ranging from one-hour Bay sails to day trips, point-to-point transits, weekend trips and extended voyages.

A day on the Bay will commence around 10am returning to port at approximately 5pm with the actual route varying according to prevailing winds. Passengers are encouraged to assist the crew in sailing the vessel and a cold, platter style lunch is served.

Cost is $170 for adults, ($150 for concession card holders) and $120 for children.

Sailing dates for season 2011/12 are:-
Sunday 9th October
Sunday 11th December
Sunday 8th January
Sunday 29th January
Sunday 12th February
Wednesday 25th April (ANZAC Day)
Sunday 13th May.

Overnight adventure sails depart on a Friday evening and offer a 24 hour experience sailing and navigating Enterprize. All meals are included and guest-crew are accommodated in bunks in the main saloon.

Cost is $280 per person with sailings planned for 7/8 October 2011, 9/10 December 2011, 6/7 January 2012, 21/22 January 2012, 10/11 February 2012 and 11/12 May 2012.

The seasons extended voyages include Port Welshpool 18th 23rd November 2011 and to Portland 1st 5th March 2012 returning 19th 23rd March.

Enterprize also undertakes an extended voyage to Tasmania in alternate years, the next in 2013.

A sailors life
A crewman works on the maze of ropes that form Enterprize's rigging.


Contact the Enterprize Ship Trust for complete details of Enterprize's sailing schedule, costs and general information on Corporate Programs and Gift Vouchers.

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Why? Because everyone deserves to experience a tall-ship at least once in their life.
When: Check with the operator for sailing schedule.
Where: Enterprize Ship Trust 2 North Wharf Road Docklands
Cost: Varies with length of voyage.
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