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Discover the Clippers

Maritime Museum - The Clippers

Clippers were fast ships built to carry cargoes such as tea, wool and gold. Aberdeen's most famous clipper was Thermopylae. The sailing ship Thermopylae was built in Aberdeen in 1868 by Walter Hood & Co. for George Thompson Junior’s Aberdeen White Star Line. The ship made the fastest tea passage of 1869: 91 days from Foochow.

Despite its fame as a tea clipper, Thermopylae more often sailed to Australia in the wool trade. The ship continued to make these voyages until 1890 when Thermopylae was sold to Canadian owners. In later years, Thermopylae was bought by the Portuguese Navy and renamed Pedro Nunes. The vessel was converted to a coal hulk and finally sunk in 1907. 

"Thermopylae" - Clipper Ship, 1954
This is a model of the sailing ship Thermopylae, built in Aberdeen in 1868 by Walter Hood & Co. Thermopylae was one of a series of vessels built by Hood for the Aberdeen White Star Line. On its maiden voyage, Thermopylae sailed to Melbourne, Shanghai and Foochow, breaking records on each leg of the journey. The Cutty Sark was built to compete with Thermopylae in bringing back the new season's tea from China.