Renowned writer, historian and performer
Michael Veitch will tour his one-man show Hell
Ship this February and March, telling the true
story of one of the most dramatic, yet now
forgotten chapters of Australia’s early maritime
Hell Ship is the tale of hardship and heroism,
survival and love following the three-month
voyage of the emigrant clipper Ticonderoga from
Liverpool to Port Phillip Bay in 1852.
By the time the ship reached Australia, with mainly Highland Scots emigrants on board, the
Ticonderoga was a floating catastrophe. Shortly after crossing the equator, typhus erupted throughout
her decks, and within weeks almost 100 voyagers had perished and were buried at sea, with schools
of sharks stalking the Ticonderoga across the ocean.
Forbidden to enter Melbourne, the Ticonderoga was made to offload her desperate human cargo onto
a small beach inside the heads at Port Phillip Bay, where for six weeks a makeshift quarantine hospital
was established, when then endured for more than a century.