Cutty Sark celebrates its 150th anniversary with a year long celebration

The world’s only surviving tea-clipper; the Cutty Sark celebrates turning 150 this year.  The iconic, historic sailing ship and fastest of its time is now an award-winning visitor attraction in Greenwich, London. The 1st February 2019 marks the start of a year-long programme of events and celebrations that will be taking place at the Cutty Sark, starting from marking the anniversary of the signing of the contact to commence the build on 1st Feb to its launch on 22 November 1869 to the ship’s first official voyage on 16 February 1870. On its first voyage, Cutty Sark carried ‘large amounts of wine, spirits and beer’, and came back from Shanghai loaded with 1.3 million pounds of tea. 

The Cutty Sark is a survivor and has a rich history, full of stories and ‘near misses’ from the beginning of its build in Dumbarton to be here in Greenwich today. Cutty Sark survived storms which ripped its rudder off on two occasions, a dismasting in the First World War and a terrible 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 nowhere near as destructive as it could have been. Over 90% of the ship’s hull structure that you see today is original to 1869.


To celebrate 150 years of the Cutty Sark, there will be a number of special events throughout the year including concerts, theatre and poetry performances relating to her impressive career, her Victorian maritime heritage and historic connections to the rest of the world.


The Cutty Sark is located in Cutty Sark gardens; a short walk away from Cutty Sark DLR and within walking distance of Royal Museums Greenwich’s other sites, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and Royal Observatory Greenwich.


Event Details:


Highlights include:

  • Celebrate Cutty Sark’s 150th anniversary with a special concert by the BBC Singers.
  • Enjoy Family Friendly events on board Cutty Sark  with incredible storytelling for all the family



BBC Singers: Cutty Sark 150 Concert

The BBC Singers return to the ship with a concert to celebrate Cutty Sark's place in trade history and her many connections across the globe. Collaborating with world music fusion band Kabantu, the BBC Singers will celebrate Cutty Sark’s international trade routes with a selection of music that exists beyond boundaries.

Date: 8 March 2019

Times: Doors open 19.00 Show starts 19.45

Admission: £15

Age: 8+


The Pirates of Penzance

To celebrate 150 years since work began on building Cutty Sark, Merry Opera bring an exuberant production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Enjoy an evening of sentimental pirates, blundering policemen, absurd adventures, improbable paradoxes –and realistic women.

Dates: 21, 22 & 23 March 2019

Times: Doors open 19.00, Show starts 19.45

Admission: £28 (includes a welcome drink)

Age: 11+


Cutty Sark Carnival

Dress to impress at Cutty Sark’s Carnival, inspired by the ship’s journeys to Brazil whilst she was sailing under the Portuguese Flag as the Ferreira.

Dates: 2 and 3 March 2019

Times: 11.30-13.30 and 14.00-16.00

Admission: Activity free with admission to the ship

Age: Suitable for ages 4 and over


Cutty Sark tour in British Sign Language (BSL)

Join deaf historian John Wilson for a tour of Cutty Sark and her history in BSL. Explore the 1869 clipper, celebrated for her record-breaking passages around the globe and find out about life on board and the fascinating story of her survival. Assistance dogs welcome.

Date: 23 March2019

Times: 11.00-12.00 | 13.30-14.30

Admission: £13.50 Concessions, members and visitors with disabilities. Price includes admission to the ship. Carers enter free.




Cutty Sark 150 Challenge

2-course meal, drink and an interactive quiz style challenge. Host for the evening is comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw.

Date: April 2nd 2019

Venue: Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark

Times:  18.45

Admission: £65 for an individual ticket or £585 for a table of 10  (only available by calling the Membership office on 020 8312 6678)

Age: 18+ only


Wine tasting

Join an accredited expert on a wine tasting experience under the hull of Cutty Sark

Date: April 9th 2019

Venue: Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark

Times:  19.15

Admission: £35

Age: 18+ only


Gin tasting

Join an accredited expert on a gin tasting experience under the hull of Cutty Sark

Date:  June 4th 2019

Venue: Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark

Times: 19.15

Admission:    £40

Age:                18+ only


Cutty Sark Birthday Weekend

Join the celebrations of the Cutty Sark’s 150th anniversary of her launch

Dates:                 23rd and 24th November  

Venue:           Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark

Times:                10.00-17.00

Admission:    £13.50 Concessions, members and visitors with disabilities. Price includes admission to the ship. Carers enter free. Local residents enter free (proof of address needed)


Tom Allen & Friends

Live comedy at the Cutty Sark

Dates:                 Monthly dates available   

Venue:           Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark

Times:                Doors open at 18.15, start time at 19.15

Admission:    £17.50



Toddler Time

Cutty Sark is dedicating term-time Wednesday mornings to our youngest visitors. Bring your little sailors along for songs, stories and playtime on board.

Dates:                 Wednesdays during term time

Venue:           Sammy Ofer Gallery, Cutty Sark

Times:                10.00-11.30 | 13.20-14.50

Admission:    Under 4s go free and £5 Toddler Time ticket for one accompanying adult, includes admission to the ship

Age:                Suitable for ages 4 and under


Cutty Sark Characters

Come aboard to hear Cutty Sark’s incredible stories brought to life by characters from the ship’s past. Meet Captain Woodget, the ship’s most daring master; Jock Willis, the man who built Cutty Sark; Nannie, the ship’s figurehead; or the ship’s cook, James Robson, who all have an extraordinary story to tell.  

Dates:             Daily

Venue:               Sammy Ofer Gallery and Main Deck, Cutty Sark

Times:            11.00 | 12.00 | 13.00 | 14.30

Times:            Throughout the day

Admission:     Included in Cutty Sark admission price

Age:                     Suitable for ages 3+



Cutty Sark reopened to the public in April 2012, marking a new chapter in the extraordinary life of the last surviving tea clipper and one of the world’s most famous ships. Visitors to Cutty Sark can venture aboard and beneath the beautiful three-masted clipper: walk along the decks in the footsteps of the merchant seamen who sailed her over a century ago; explore the hold where precious cargo was stored on epic voyages; and even walk underneath the 963-tonne ship in the dry berth below to view the elegant lines of her hull. 


Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Queen’s House operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich.


Cutty Sark is open 10.00 – 17.00, Monday – Sunday (subject to change please see website for details


Royal Museums Greenwich members receive free entry to Cutty Sark among their membership benefits.  Admission to Cutty Sark is by ticket, available in advance online, by telephone or in person on the day.  Due to high demand tickets may be unavailable on the day to those who have not purchased their ticket in advance.  Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the bookings line on 020 8312 6608.


Royal Museums Greenwich offers free admission to carers accompanying visitors with disabilities.


Cutty Sark is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.


For details on National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory Greenwich opening hours and admission visit the website




For further information of images please contact:

Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office

Tel: 020 8312 6545/6790