Story: The voyage out

Royal Mail line between London and New Zealand

Royal Mail line between London and New Zealand

The first immigrants to arrive in any number by steamship reached New Zealand in the 1870s, although by then steamships had been crossing the Atlantic for 50 years. In the 1880s, when Shaw Savill was one of the shipping lines given a mail contract, steamships finally replaced sailing ships for most voyages to New Zealand. Though the circumstances for steerage passengers initially remained much the same, steam power soon made the voyage shorter and more comfortable.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-SHIP-1901-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'The voyage out - Early steamers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/ephemera/2597/royal-mail-line-between-london-and-new-zealand (accessed 26 September 2020)

Story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005