Enterprize at Melbourne Tall Ship Festival in September

Enterprize pierside at Williamstown - Melbourne Tall Ship Festival
Rod Thomas
From Friday 6 September to Saturday 14 September Melbourne will host the colour and excitement of the 2013 Melbourne International Tall Ship Festival, with Melbourne's tall ship Enterprize one of the featured tall sailing ships.

The feature vessels at the Melbourne Tall Ship festival are five International and four Australian traditionally rigged tall ships which are converging on Melbourne for the event. The tall ships will arrive in Williamstown from 6th to 9th September and depart for Hobart on Saturday 14th. They will be docked at piers in Melbourne's western bayside suburb of Williamstown.

For the festival period Melbourne's topsail schooner Enterprize will be based at Gem Pier, Williamstown and will have short public sails onto Port Phillip each day from Friday sixth. Some of these sails early in the festival will welcome the arriving tall ships in Hobsons Bay off Williamstown. Enterprize will also have longer half day trips our with the tall ship fleet on the northern end of Port Phillip for the Admiral's in port sailing day on 12 September, and the Tall Ships Farewell on the morning of 14 September. Enterprize is an authentically rigged and sailed wooden topsail schooner which provides crew and passengers with an experience of life on board an 1830's trading ship. She is a full scale replica of the original Enterprize owned by John Pascoe Faulkner which brought the first permanent settlers to Melbourne in 1835.

Enterprize sailing off Williamstown - Melbourne Tall Ship Festival
Rod Thomas

The Festival provides a rare opportunity to view traditional Tall Ships on the expanses of Port Phillip adjoining Melbourne's bayside suburbs as they arrive and depart, and to view them close-up dockside on the piers at Williamstown. This can be combined with a sail on the northern part of Port Phillip on Melbourne's authentic wooden tall ship Enterprize. Enterprize trips are suitable for people of all ages, with options for group charters. The festival organisers will have exhibits and public festival celebrations centred on the Marine Precinct in Nelson Place, Williamstown, in particular on the weekend of 7 and 8 September, and Friday 13 September when there will be a Farewell Party and Fireworks.

Five International tall ships will visit Melbourne for the Tall Ships festival. They have left their home bases and will spend up to 3 months in Australasian waters from early August with a series of voyages between major cities and participation in State tall ship festivals. There are three tall ships from Holland; the Jubilee Trust's Lord Nelson from the United Kingdom, and the Indonesian Navy's tall ship 'Dewaruci'. Australian tall ships converging in Melbourne include the Royal Australian Navy's Young Endeavour, the Windeward Bound from Hobart and the Soren Larsen from Sydney.

It is fitting that the fleet of Tall Ships and their crews will arrive and depart from Hobson's Bay and be berthed at Williamstown. Williamstown and the adjoining Hobson's Bay are important in Victoria's history and Australia's maritime history. The first ships to bring settlers and the subsequent immigrants to the Melbourne were sailing ships which anchored in Hobsons Bay and disembarked their passengers at Williamstown or Port Melbourne. Williamstown was also the first commercial port for Melbourne and its busiest till the late 19th century. Victoria's shipbuilding industry developed at Williamstown from the mid nineteenth century. Williamstown is 14 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD by road using the West Gate Freeway, with regular trains on the Williamstown line from city rail stations.

The Melbourne Tall Ship Festival kicks off the 2013/14 sailing season for Melbourne's Tall Ship Enterprize. Enterprize will have a season of sailings on Port Phillip for the public, school groups and charters, with an ocean voyage to Port Welshpool in November.

For information on Enterprize and bookings go to www.enterprize.org.au or email sailing@enterprize.org.au

For information on the Melbourne International Tall Ship Festival 2013, click here