Windjammers is the newest addition to the SA Maritime Museums permanent exhibitions.

It explores the lives of the young crew who sailed enormous four-masted square-rigged ships, transporting South Australian grain during the final days of commercial sail.

Sailing yearly from the Åland Islands, in the Finnish Baltic, windjammers arrived in the South Australian summer to collect grain. They also collected young South Australians keen to learn the ropes.

With small crews of 25-30 sailors, the youngest about 13 years old, skilled captains sailed the enormous ships east and south passing through the tumultuous seas of Cape Horn where the ships of iron and steel 90 metres long, rode waves that loomed like walls of water.

The gallery includes an immersive and interactive cinema experience, presents windjammer objects from the South Australian History Collection and, for those who wish to delve deeper, a selection of short films and digitised sailors journals are available via iPad kiosk.

The exhibition has been supported by temporary exhibition Pamela and the Duchess, which tells the story of life, love and loss on the high seas through intimate photographs taken by British journalist, Pamela Bourne aboard the Herzogin Cecilie.

The Windjammers immersive experience was developed by the South Australian Maritime Museum in collaboration with the University of New South Wales Centre for iCinema.