The Journey That Changed the World


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010

May 9, 2006

The Journey That Changed the World

Visit the ship that brought the first settlers to America

The Fairfax County Virginia 2007 Community Program Committee invites everyone to see the first cruise ship to arrive from Britain to America in 1607. A replica of the Godspeed, one of three original ships that brought the first permanent English settlers to Jamestown, will be at the Alexandria waterfront beginning Saturday, May 27, through Saturday, June 3.

America’s 400th Anniversary Celebration launches with an 80-day sail of the newly commissioned replica of the Godspeed. The ship, sponsored by Jamestown 2007, will visit six ports along the eastern seaboard, including the local port of Alexandria.

The Godspeed is a 65-foot, three-mast square-rigger of 40 tons that carried 52 passengers, crew and provisions for five months. The ship sailed from London on Dec. 20, 1606, and arrived in Jamestown on April 26, 1607.

A visit to the Godspeed will provide a glimpse into what it was like to sail for more than four months in a 65-foot ship. It was not a leisurely cruise across the Atlantic, as the passengers sailed into the unknown to forge a better life for themselves. The voyage must have seemed to take a lifetime. 

The Godspeed is a floating museum of early 17th century life. Accompanying the ship are costumed interpreters plus historical and cultural exhibits. Visitors will be able to take a virtual voyage using interactive displays to assist them in understanding the magnitude of the venture.  There also will be live musical performances for the whole family. 

The Godspeed will be anchored near Founders Park/Torpedo Factory/City Marina/Waterfront Park on the Potomac River near Union and Oronoco streets in Alexandria. It is open to the public from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays.  Admission to the ship and all activities are free. 

Fairfax County’s 2007 Commemoration

Fairfax County’s Virginia 2007 Community Citizen Planning Committee promotes and publicizes events taking place in the county that commemorate Jamestown’s 400th anniversary.

Appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the committee represents the diversity of communities and resources in the county, including the African American, Hispanic and American Indian communities and representatives from Fort Belvoir, Wolf Trap, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Fairfax County Convention and Visitors Corporation.

As an official Virginia 2007 Community, Fairfax County is participating in next year’s statewide celebrationscommemorating the founding of Jamestown. Settled in 1607, Jamestown was America’s first permanent English settlement and is, in essence, our nation’s birthplace.

To celebrate the county’s role in the birth of our nation, the committee will publish an anthology of county history during the past 400 years. To learn more about this project or to submit an entry for possible inclusion in the anthology, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/va2007.

For more information about the committee, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/va2007. For more information about Jamestown 2007 and the Virginia 2007 program, visit www.americas400thanniversary.org or www.jamestown2007.org.

To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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