Special rates if you visit the boat and Plimoth Plantation on the same day.
You'll then realize how crowded it was, not to mention the cows, chickens, goats and other farm animals which had to share the same hold space! Then imagine travelling in mostly bad weather in cramped quarters for 66 days before seeing land again. Getting on board really gave the children and I a sense of what the Pilgrims endured on their journey here.
Also onboard are costumed re-enactors who have carefully researched the characters they have taken on. We talked to Elizabeth Winslow who was still alive on March 24, 1621, which is the date aboard ship. We had a chat about her voyage which she declared "that i would not so chuse to do again." The re-enactors certainly played their parts convincingly, taking on the dialect of 17th Century Englishmen and spoke of the current events of 1621 liked they happened today.
Being onboard a ship with sails was also fascinating. The children felt free to wander aboard exploring every nook and cranny. We were also fortunate that it was the end of the day and it was slightly drizzly (more authentic), so no one else was there and our kids had free reign to explore. The rigging also fascinated them; it really is beautiful in a way our modern ships are not.
Also interesting was a display on the dock about how this ship was crafted and gifted to America as a gift from English as a Thank You for American assistance in WWII.
The ship is located on the Plymouth waterfront 3 miles from Plimoth Plantation. Definitely worth a stop (budget 45 minutes to an hour) to get a sense of the famous journey aboard ship. The waterfront is also charming and has some cute shops and eateries for a nice pick me up afterward.
After visiting Plimoth Plantation, it was a short 3 mile drive down the road to see Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II. My husband thought the the rock was way smaller than he had expected – I thought it was bigger. Go figure. ;)
The Mayflower II was neat – definitely worth seeing. It was so interesting to walk the deck (and below deck) and to imagine what that passage from England to North America must have been like. In short – it must have been pure hell. I can’t imagine the smell, the sickness, the fear – just unreal. I had to take a minute to think about how bad things must have been in the minds of the pilgrims to make them give up everything they knew to travel into such a scary unknown. Really amazing.
The ship itself had some great re-enactors on board. Really authentic, funny and full of facts and other ramblings.
This was the most fun part of Plymouth Rock was visiting this Mayflower Replica and being able to go around the ship. Of course the staff is dressed up like Pilgrims and try to give you a good feel of the day. It was a lot of fun and will take up much more time than just visiting Plymouth Rock.
Near Plymouth Rock is the Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth. The costumed staff knows all sorts of facts about the ship, which seems astonishingly small when you think about the 102 people who crowded onto it during its first journey from England to America.
Allow approximately one hour to see everything. This is a self-guided tour, but there are crew members, Pilgrims, and Native Americans to answer your questions.