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17th-Century Ship Replica Godspeed to Visit Alexandria in Late September

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—The Godspeed, a re-creation of one of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607, will host public tours and school field trips in Alexandria Sept. 25 through 28.  The ship, from Jamestown Settlement history museum, last visited Alexandria in mid-2006 as part of a six-city East Coast tour launching “America’s 400th Anniversary,” an 18-month series of events commemorating the founding of Jamestown and its significance in American history.

The Godspeed will be docked at the City of Alexandria Marina behind the Torpedo Factory Arts Center at 105 North Union Street and will be open for free tours from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 25; 2 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 26; 2 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 27; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 28.  Visitors will be able to explore the ship and talk with historical interpreters about the 1607 voyage and 17th-century sailing, navigation and shipboard life.

Pre-scheduled educational programs for students from Alexandria public schools are planned for Sept. 25 and 26.

The Godspeed will depart from Jamestown Settlement, a state-operated museum that tells the story of 17th-century Virginia through gallery exhibits and living history, on Sept. 19 and return by Oct. 3.  Visitors to Jamestown Settlement will have the opportunity to board the Susan Constant and Discovery, re-creations of the other two 1607 ships, and the Elizabeth, representing a ship that made several voyages to Virginia between 1613 and 1625.

The Virginia General Assembly has designated the Susan ConstantGodspeed and Discovery as “the official fleet of the Commonwealth.”  Built to replace an earlier re-creation, the Godspeed was completed in time to have a significant role in 400th-anniversary events in 2006 and 2007.  The original ship carried a total of 52 people, including crew, on the 1607 voyage and was captained by Bartholomew Gosnold, a principal organizer of the Virginia Company of London that sponsored the Jamestown colony.

For more information about Jamestown Settlement and the ships, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.