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October 17, 2007          


WILLIAMSBURG, Va.–Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed will sail to Urbanna and to Charles City and New Kent counties in November, culminating a major role in events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of America’s first permanent English colony. 

The Godspeed, a re-creation of one of the three ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607, is home-ported at Jamestown Settlement, a state-operated museum of 17th-century Virginia.

Free public tours of the ship will be offered 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3, at the Urbanna Town Marina during the Urbanna Oyster Festival; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, November 10, at River’s Rest Marina & Resort in Charles City County as part of the event “Chickahominy Corn & John Smith – the Godspeed Retraces a Journey of Survival”; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, November 17, at Rockahock Campground Marina in Lanexa in conjunction with the “New Kent County 2007 Godspeed Festival.”  At each port, historical interpreters will provide on-board and pier-side presentations on 17th-century shipboard life, ship handling, navigation, and commodities transported by sea.

Pre-scheduled maritime education programs will be presented for students in Urbanna on November 1, Charles City County on November 9, and New Kent County on November 16.  In Urbanna, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation educators also will present “Cultures in Contact,” a program about the complex cultural interactions that took place in early 17th-century Virginia.

The Godspeed launched the 400th-anniversary commemoration with a goodwill sail to six East Coast ports in 2006.  The ship sailed to eight Hampton Roads and Richmond locations this spring, including Virginia Beach, along with the re-created Susan Constant and Discovery from Jamestown Settlement, to mark the 400th anniversary of the original ships’ first Virginia landfall, and Norfolk to participate in Sail Virginia 2007, the city’s signature event commemorating America’s 400th Anniversary.

All three ships sailed in the James River on May 12 during America’s Anniversary Weekend, docking at Jamestown Settlement amid musket and cannon salutes and commentary.  In September, the Godspeed visited Onancock, Mount Vernon and Quantico. 

While the Godspeed is at other ports, visitors to Jamestown Settlement have the opportunity to see and board the Susan Constant and Discovery, as well as the Elizabeth, the representation of a ship known to have made several voyages from England to Virginia between 1613 and 1625.  Located at Route 31 South and the Colonial Parkway adjacent to Historic Jamestowne, the original settlement site, Jamestown Settlement also features a re-created Powhatan Indian village and 1610-14 English fort, a riverfront discovery area that interprets economic activities linked to waterways, and extensive indoor exhibits that chronicle 1600s Virginia and the cultures that converged there.  The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.