WILLIAMSBURG, Va., May 8, 2012 – Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed, a replica of one of the three vessels that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607, is participating in OpSail 2012 Virginia, with visits to Yorktown and Norfolk in June. The Port of Virginia and five other historic U.S. ports – New Orleans, New York City, Baltimore, Boston and New London – are part of OpSail 2012, which commemorates the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Yorktown, an affiliate port with OpSail 2012 Virginia, is the setting for Yorktown Maritime Weekend Friday through Sunday, June 1-3. The Godspeed, along with the Spirit of Bermuda and Lynx, will be open for public tours at Riverwalk Landing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, and will join a parade of sail in the York River from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
The Godspeed will have a leading position, just behind the U.S. Coast Guard’s Eagle, in an international fleet of traditional sailing ships that sets out on a parade early Friday morning, June 8, from the lower Chesapeake Bay, arriving in Norfolk in early afternoon. The Godspeed will be docked at the Norfolk waterfront on the Elizabeth River over the next several days during the city’s annual Harborfest maritime festival, held this year in conjunction with OpSail 2012 Virginia, and will be open to the public 3 to 4:30 p.m. June 8 and noon to 8 p.m. June 9, 10 and 11.
The ships will depart en masse from Norfolk on June 12, with the Godspeed heading to Jamestown Settlement as much of the fleet sails up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore, the next OpSail 2012 port of call. The Godspeed is expected to reopen to visitors at Jamestown Settlement by June 18. During its absence, visitors will have access to 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.
Two Godspeed voyages are planned in the fall. The ship will host student groups and public tours in Lancaster County October 5 and at the Urbanna Oyster Festival November 1-3.
Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, is located at State Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway just southwest of Williamsburg. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit www.historyisfun.org.