The 1999-built replica of the 17th century Dutch sailing ship Duyfken – the first European ship to reach Australia – will move to its new homeport of Sydney after having operated out of Fremantle since its completion.
Since its launch, the Duyfken replica has embarked on many voyages within Australia and internationally as part of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation’s campaign to educate others on the significiant Dutch influence on Australia’s maritime history.
Since 2012, the replica has provided residents of Western Australia the opportunity to experience life aboard a sailing ship in the early 1600s through walk-on exhibition programs and sailing adventures on Perth’s Swan River.
The initiative received at least $250,000 in annual funding from the WA Government under an agreement that expired earlier this year.
A separate agreement was later reached between the Duyfken Foundation and the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney wherein the ship would be gifted to the museum, which will then operate the ship in the same manner as it had been employed by its previous owners.
Based on recent assessments of the replica Duyfken‘s physical condition, it is expected that the museum will be able to operate the ship for another 50 years.
Duyfken was loaded aboard a transport ship as deck cargo earlier this month and is expected to arrive in Newcastle around December 12. Upon arrival, Duyfken will be unloaded, the masts will be re-stepped, rigging tensioned, and sails fitted in preparation for a 70-nautical-mile sail down the coast of NSW, to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Wednesday, December 23.
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