MAYFLOWER, Plimoth Plantation's full-scale reproduction of the original ship that brought the Pilgrims to New England’s shores in 1620, was built between 1955 and 1957 in Brixham, England as a gift from the people of the United Kingdom honoring the alliance of friendship forged between our nations during World War II. The ship set sail from Plymouth, England on April 20, 1957 with a crew of thirty-three men and arrived on the shores of Plymouth, Massachusetts on June 13 to a crowd of 25,000 spectators.
Sixty years later, the ship has lost none of her luster as an international destination. Since that time, an estimated 25 million people have stepped aboard MAYFLOWER and imagined the Pilgrims' experience on that historic crossing in 1620. Today’s visitors to the ship sense the perils of the 1620 voyage and methods of maritime travel of the time, observe the tools of 17th century navigation, and are reminded of their own ancestors who may have made similar voyages to the United States.
The ship, one of Plimoth Plantation’s three main outdoor living history sites, is a floating classroom essential to its educational mission and a national symbol of freedom and self-determination. MAYFLOWER is a historic ship in her own right; the Massachusetts Historic Commission determined that she is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and Landmarks when she returns to her berth in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2020.
Since November 2016, the ship has been undergoing a full restoration at Mystic Seaport Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard. This once-in-a century refit ensure the ship can fulfill her educational mission for generations to come. There is no better embodiment of the preservation of craft and history represented by the full restoration of Mayflower, the iconic ship at the center of The Voyage That Made A Nation®.