Plimoth Plantation will officially launch Mayflower II, the acclaimed living history museum’s historic tall ship, on Saturday, September 7 at Mystic Seaport Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard in Mystic, CT. The ceremony, which begins at 2:00 pm, includes performances, remarks, and the ship’s christening with water from all fifty states as well as Plymouth, U.K. and Leiden, Netherlands, before Mayflower II is lowered into the Mystic River to float for the first time in three years. Once she returns to Massachusetts in spring 2020, the ship will be the centerpiece of the 400th commemoration of the Pilgrims’ arrival to historic Patuxet, now known as Plymouth.
“Launching Mayflower is an incredibly exciting and significant restoration milestone,” said Ellie Donovan, Plimoth Plantation’s Executive Director. “Our dedicated maritime staff have been working diligently alongside the talented team from Mystic Seaport Museum for nearly three years to make one of the world’s most iconic ships seaworthy again. We look forward to celebrating her return to the water and welcoming visitors on board next year.”
“We are very proud to have contributed our knowledge and expertise of the restoration of historic vessels to enable the ship to participate in the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in 1620,” said Steve White, President of Mystic Seaport Museum. “This partnership is an example of how two museums can successfully collaborate to achieve a complex project within tight time constraints.”
Mayflower II will spend the winter at Mystic Seaport Museum preparing for a May 2020 departure. The newly restored ship will make her debut in Boston from May 14-19, 2020 for Mayflower Sails 2020, a free maritime festival at the Charlestown Navy Yard (details at mayflowersails2020.com), followed by her long-awaited homecoming to Plymouth, Massachusetts on May 21, 2020. To learn more, visit sailingmayflower.org. ■