The City of Adelaide, known in Glasgow as the MV Carrick, is due to be transferred from Scotland to Australia on Friday.
A large crowd gathered yesterday to watch the vessel, the world's oldest surviving clipper, leave the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, North Ayrshire.
The ship has been stored there on dry land since 1992, when she was salvaged after sinking in Glasgow's Princes Dock.
The ship was placed onto a barge before a tug pushed it out towards the sea.
Jim Tildesley, project coordinator for the Scottish Maritime Museum, said he was amazed at the amount of people who came to bid farewell to the vessel.
He said: "There were enormous crowds to see her move - around 3000 people.
"We really couldn't believe it - it was just a great atmosphere."
As previously reported in the Evening Times, the vessel was taken out of the hands of the museum because it could not afford to refurbish her.
Her new owner, Clipper Ship City of Adelaide, staged a successful campaign to save and relocate the vessel down under.
They plan to make her part of a new maritime heritage park in the South Australian city.
The Australian group beat a rival bid from campaigners in Sunderland, where the ship was built in 1864 to take migrants from Europe to Australia.
Mr Tildesley said the clipper's journey was on schedule after it was docked near to Glasgow's Millennium Bridge.
He said: "The vessel was moved through the bridge to the outer part of the harbour.
"We expect to move it on Friday's high tide, which is before noon."
A team of experts are now working to raise the sides of the barge to prepare it for the open sea.
It is expected the ship will be taken to Greenwich, in London, before being lifted into the hold of a cargo ship to make the 10,120-mile sea journey to Australia.
Mr Tildesley said: "The Australian team are over the moon - we're all delighted with its progress."