Admiral’s Barge

Admiral's Barge
Type Ceremonial and VIP transport
Other Vessels
Launched 1993
Builder Norman R Wright & Sons, Bulimba, Queensland
  • 5.68 tonnes (light)
  • 6.25 tonnes (loaded)
Length 12.07 metres
Beam 3.9 metres
Draught 0.932 metres
Main Machinery
  • 2 x M240 TI Perkins
  • 1 x 102-4 Perkins (APU)
Speed 16 knots
Company 3 crew + 8 passengers

The Admiral’s Barge is one of two vessels belonging to the VIP Boat Squadron.

Built by Norman R Wright & Sons in Brisbane and commissioned in 1993, the Admiral’s Barge is the third vessel to carry the name since the conception of the Squadron more than 30 years ago.

Normally the Barge would see service in the escort of senior Australian officials and foreign dignitaries on ceremonial occasions such as Fleet Reviews and Australia Day commemorations, generally in and around Sydney Harbour. The 2011 Royal visit was an historic occasion for the VIP Boat Squadron and the Royal Australian Navy as the Admiral’s Barge temporarily undertook ‘higher duties’ in service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The history of the Her Majesty’s own Royal Barge is steeped in tradition, when up until the middle of the nineteenth century the Sovereign regularly travelled on the river Thames, either on State occasions or between the royal palaces of Windsor, Westminster, Hampton Court, Greenwich and the Tower of London. The men who rowed the royal barges were known as Royal Watermen. Although there are no royal State barges afloat today, the Queen still retains 24 Royal Watermen under The Queen’s Bargemaster, one of the most ancient appointments in the Royal Household.