Skip to content Skip to footer
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

The Empire Cruise

The photograph in the window of the Photo Shop on Bay St records the visit of the ‘Empire Cruise’ to Melbourne in March 1924. Here is the photograph in the Museum Victoria Collection Reg. No: MM 111120 – but the image is reversed. Which is correct?

From 27 November 1923 to 28 September 1924, a fleet of six warships led by the flagship ‘Hood’ with the Admiral of the Fleet Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Field at the helm participated in the “Cruise of the Special Service Squadron.” This epic journey was known to the public as the “Empire Cruise”. The squadron logged over 38,152 miles and visited numerous foreign countries around the globe.

The fleet arrived in Melbourne on 17th March. Hood, Repulse, Delhi and Danae berthed at Princes Pier at 10.45 am, the Dunedin at Town Pier.  The ships were open to the public for the week they were in Port. Extra train and tram services were put on for the crowds of people wishing to visit. Even evening trains were put on so that people could see the searchlight displays.

Allan C. Green [1878-1954], Green Collection, State Library of Victoria
Amongst the many activities organised during their stay was a boxing match at the Naval Drill Hall in Port Melbourne, where a thousand spectators watched bouts between boxers from the Squadron and the RAN.


The itinerary of the Empire Cruise

Allen, F & Bevand, P The “World Cruise” of the Special Service Squadron viewed 17 June, 2015

Batchelder, A The Mighty Hood and the Melbourne Cricket Club viewed 17 June, 2015

1924 ‘VISITING BRITISH SQUADRON.’, The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 17 March, p. 11, viewed 17 June, 2015,








Leave a comment

PMHPS acknowledges the generous support of the City of Port Phillip.


The content of this site (images and text) must not be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of PMHPS or the copyright holder.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.