Jeannie Johnston announces US stops
Thursday, 27 March 2003
Will the Jeanie Johnston be coming to a port near you? The long-awaited famine ship replica project has announced new ports of call.

With the long-awaited Jeanie Johnston soon arriving in America, the company backing the project has announced new ports of call.

Although beset by numerous setbacks and funding difficulties, Ireland's replica famine emigrant ship set sail from Kerry in bitter weather and heavy winds in mid-February. The crew and ship survived severe gales and made it safely to Tenerife in the Canary Islands in mid-March.

With a new complement of sail trainees who joined the Jeanie Johnston in Tenerife for the voyage to the US, the ship departed under Captain Tom McCarthy on March 14.

Captain McCarthy intends to retrace the voyage of Christopher Columbus. The ship called at the island of La Gomera in the Canaries and will berth briefly at San Salvador in the Bahamas - Columbus' first landfall in the New World - from where the Jeanie Johnston will sail for West Palm Beach in Florida.

Adding to the already announced ports in the United States, Chief Executive for the Jeanie Johnston Company, Denis Reen, disclosed ports in Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The schedule for the ship's tour to date includes the following:

  • West Palm Beach, Florida, April 17-28, 2003
  • Savannah, Georgia, May 2-12, 2003
  • Charleston, South Carolina, May 15-19, 2003
  • Washington DC, May 28-June 2, 2003
  • Baltimore, Maryland, June 3-9, 2003
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 12-23,2003
  • Trenton, New Jersey, June 23-26, 2003
  • Bristol, Pennsylvania, June 26-30, 2003
  • New York, July 3-14, 2003

Following these ports, the ship will visit cities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and continue to areas north of Boston during August and September concluding her tour in Canada, where the original Jeanie Johnston was built in 1847. She will return home to Tralee, Co. Kerry, in early October.

At every stop, the Jeanie Johnston will open to visitors, giving visitors a sense of what it was like to sail on a famine ship. The original Jeannie Johnston set sail on its maiden voyage to Quebec on April 24, 1848, at the height of the famine. Over the next seven years, the ship made 16 journeys to North America, sailing to Quebec, Baltimore and New York, without losing any of the 2,500 passengers it carried across the Atlantic.

Organisers say the Jeanie Johnston celebrates a spirit of unity and cooperation amongst nations of the world. As Denis Reen puts it, "The Jeanie Johnston is an international monument to collaboration. People from Ireland, North and South, the United States, Canada and all over the world have joined forces to make Jeanie's voyage to North America possible." The ship is a non-profit project supported by the Irish Government, the EU, state agencies, County Kerry municipal authorities, corporate sponsorship and private donations.

Visit the Jeannie Johnston web site for more information and reports as it makes its voyage to the States.

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