A tour of the re-created Jeanie Johnston shows movingly what the journey to America was like on board a Tall Ship during the Famine era and explains how people came to the decision to make such a long trip, with little prospect of return.
The museum is below deck and features life-sized figures based on actual passengers who sailed on the ship. The tour guides tell their stories, from the 15 year old girl (Margaret Conway) travelling only with her 12 year old brother, to the father of 11 (James Stack) whose livelihood was ruined by the famine….and through these stories all the misery and anguish imposed by the famine, and the choices that people were forced to make, are brought to life.
Although the subject is serious, the tour is fascinating and gains very high praise from people of all ages. The ship is an authentic replica of the original ship which sailed between Tralee and North America between 1847 and 1855. It carried 2,700 passengers to North America on 26 voyages, with not a single loss of life on those journeys – a remarkable statistic for the times, and attributable to the skills of the Captain and the Ship’s Doctor.