The Mayflower II relaunched on Saturday, eight months ahead of the Pilgrims voyage 400th anniversary next May, and after a $7,370,000 restoration that has lasted 30 months.
Dignitaries at the Mystic Seaport Museum, as well as the ship’s restoration team were present among the huge crowd in Mystic, Connecticut to celebrate the re-commissioning of the boat built in 1957 as a replica of the 1620 original.
Kicking off around 2pm on Saturday, an overflow crowd watched from the town boat ramp on Bay St. outside the museum’s H.B. duPont Preservation shipyard, enjoying performances, remarks, and the christening of the ship owned by Plimoth Plantation.
The Mystic Seaport Museum posts photos of the renovation of the Mayflower II ship. Pictured here: An aerial view of the launch ceremony of Mayflower II on Saturday
The ship is pictured prior to renovation in 2015 (left). On the right, a cage covers the ship during its restoration in 2017
The Mayflower II, a replica of the original Pilgrim vessel, sails into Plymouth, Massachusetts, on June 13, 1957, after a 5,000-mile and 53-day trip from England. Previously, the Pilgrims took a more direct route of 3,000 miles that lasted 66 days
Harriet Cross, British Consul General to New England, christened her with water from all 50 states as well as Plymouth, UK, and Leiden, Netherlands.
It was then lowered into the Mystic River to float for the first time in nearly three years, gearing her up for a return to Massachusetts in spring 2020.
The ship was was built in England as a gift to the US for WWII support and at the May 21 homecoming to Plymouth, Massachusetts will be the centerpiece of the 400th commemoration of the Pilgrims’ arrival to historic Patuxet, now known as Plymouth.
From across the Mystic River the Mayflower II can be seen afloat in the shiplift following a re-launch ceremony Saturday
Guests come forward to see the Mayflower II afloat after a re-launch ceremony Saturday at the Mystic, Connecticut
An overflow crowd watches from the town boat ramp on Bay St. outside the Mystic Seaport Museum’s H.B. duPont Preservation shipyard
The new ship’s bell, rung for the first time on Saturday at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Stonington, Connecticut
Purple heart wooden deadeyes for the Mayflower II are pictured as the 60-year-old replica of the Pilgrim ship undergoes a bow-to-stern overhaul at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic a year ago (left). The deadeyes are seen on Saturday (right)
The Mayflower II, the 60-year-old replica of the Pilgrim ship, undergoes a bow-to-stern overhaul at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic on September 17, 2018
The original Mayflower sailed back to England in April of 1621, where it was later sold in ruins and most likely broken up.
Hosted by Jared Bowen, WGBH Boston’s Executive Arts Editor, the gathering featured performances by the United States Coast Guard Band, Gilly Assunçao, and Justin Gigliello.
There was also an invocation by Reverend Anne Robertson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bible Society, and Kerri Helme, of Plimoth Plantation’s leadership team and the Mashpee Wampanoag nation.
Harriet Cross, British General Consul to New England, christens the Mayflower II with water from all 50 stated, England, and The Netherlands
The Mystic Fire Department’s fire boat sprays a salute to the Mayflower II on Saturday as it was relaunched
Off with a bang: Chip Sowalski fires a canon to salute the re-launch of the Mayflower II in a ceremony on a Saturday
Author Nathaniel Philbrick delivers his keynote address as Plimoth Plantation and Mystic Seaport Museum re-launch the Mayflower II
Singer Gilly Assunçao performs Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) during the re-launch ceremony (left). Guests applaud author Nathaniel Philbrick’s keynote address (right)
The ship is nearing the end of a 30-month restoration in Mystic in preparation to sail on the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims voyage in the spring of 2020
Kerri Helme, a member of the Mashpee Waampanoag Tribal Nation strikes a water drum as she and Rev. Anne Robertson of the Massachusetts Bible Society, offer the Invocation to open the re-lauch ceremony
An overflow crowd gathered at the Bay St. boat ramp applaud author Nathaniel Philbrick’s keynote address
The ship is a replica of the vessel that brought the Pilgrims to the new world in 1620 and was built in England as a gift to the United States in thanks for support during and after WWII
Locals who obtained entry with their admission to the museum or as a member, were seen applauding as a keynote was delivered by Nathaniel Philbrick, bestselling author of Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War.
The newly-restored ship will make her debut in Boston from May 14 to May 19 next year for Mayflower Sails 2020, a free maritime festival at the Charlestown Navy Yard.
It was designed by MIT-trained naval architect William Avery Baker for Plimoth Plantation. The ship is a full-scale reproduction of the original 17th-century vessel – from the solid oak timbers and tarred hemp rigging to the wood and horn lanterns and hand-colored maps.
Senator John F. Kennedy, shown with, left to right, Felix Fenston, John Lowe and bearded crewman Davis Thorpe as he checks out the Mayflower II in Plymouth on June 15, 1957
Left, ‘Pilgrims’ leave the Mayflower II after reenacting the signing of the Mayflower Compact on the Mayflower II in Plymouth on November 21, 1970, during the celebration commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact. Right, Landing of the Puritans of England arrived by the Mayflower in North America. In 1620. Colored engraving after Antonio Gisbert