In 1869 the first party of child migrants boarded the Allan Line steamship 'Hibernian'. The Liverpool shipping company would carry almost half of Canada’s child migrants on its ships. At the height of the emigration trade, the Liverpool to Canada route was also serviced by the Cunard and White Star Lines. From Glasgow, the Anchor Line carried many of the children.

"I shall never forget the sight that greeted us on arrival at Tilbury docks. There tied to the quay was the biggest ship I had ever seen. The hustle and bustle around the ship and up and down the gangways was a sight to see." - Tom Haydon 1938

Until the early 1960s most child migrants to Australia travelled by sea, sailing on vessels of the Aberdeen, Orient and Sitmar Lines. Names such as 'Strathnaver', 'Ormonde', 'Oronsay' and 'Fairsky' still evoke powerful memories for many former child migrants.