Today turned out to be a nice, sunny morning for a visit aboard the Jeanie Johnston famine ship in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve driven by the ship many a time and always wanted to check it out. Amazingly enough, this tall ship never lost a passenger on the grueling journey from Ireland to America during The Great Famine. Other tall ships were nicknamed coffin ships for the nearly 30% mortality rate of their passengers while on board.
Jeanie was very cool and I enjoyed photographing her with the view of the River Liffey and Dublin’s beautiful bridges in the background. The tour itself was a 6/10….our guide was nice and fairly knowledgeable, but the tour just seemed lack luster. Be aware of very creepy, realistic mannequins once below deck; my kids were terrified and I had to listen to our guide from the bottom of the stairwell.
I’d say visit the Jeanie Johnston only if you have any extra time in Dublin, but definitely don’t skip St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Dublin Castle to have a tour of Jeanie. Save your time and money and take a few quick snaps from the edge of the Liffey and read her history online. Click here for more info.
Whether or not you decide to check out the Jeanie Johnston, I recommend reading up on the Irish Famine of the 1840’s before you visit this beautiful country, as that event certainly helped shape the Irish culture and landscape of today. It may be some dark history, but it is enlightening and something most Americans were barely taught about in school.