Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, Irish emigration culture

Jeanie Johnston – Irish culture of emigration

Step aboard the Jeanie Johnston and get a sense of the experience of the millions of people who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in tall ships, seeking survival and hope in the “New World”.

The original Jeanie Johnston made 16 emigrant journeys to North America between 1847 and 1855, carrying over 2,500 people with no loss of life.

The ship is an authentic replica, built in Tralee, Co. Kerry. It has sailed to North America and to various ports in Europe.

Jeanie Johnston ship in Dublin
Jeanie Johnston tall ship in Dublin Liffey River

The Jeanie Johnston is one of Ireland’s most famous reminders of their culture of emigration and ferried thousands of Irishmen and women to and from the New World in search of a better life. It was also something of a charming ship and is full of unexpected details, here are some Jeanie Johnston facts for you before you step onboard.

Our expert guides bring history to life in a fascinating 50-minute tour of this beautiful ship. It is one of Dublin’s most popular attractions and it is just 20 minutes away from the Dublin Citi Hotel. Be sure to check their daily tours on their website as they change from season to season.

History of the Jeanie Johnston

The original Jeanie Johnston was built in 1847 on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City, Canada. Its architect was the Scottish-born shipbuilder and master craftsman John Munn. 

Jeanie Johnston tall ship
Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship

The 408-ton cargo ship was purchased in Liverpool by John Donovan and Sons of Tralee, Co.Kerry.

The original intention was for it to be a cargo ship but as the famine gripped Ireland, the demand for transport to North America became very large and so the company ran a successful trade bringing emigrants from Ireland to North America and returning with timbers bound for the ports of Europe.


  • The first place that the Jeanie Johnston sailed to with passengers was Quebec, Canada, and it had a lot of people on board. A total of 193 passengers joined in search of better lives and everyone (including the crew) made it safely to the other side.
  • Nobody has ever died on board the Jeanie Johnston.
  • There’s no denying that the journey from Ireland to America/Canada was a difficult one, spanning over seven weeks in less than ideal conditions. Many died making the passage, however, nobody ever died on board the Jeanie Johnston.
  • Before the Jeanie Johnston retired and became an integral part of Dublin’s cultural heritage scene, it ferried ex-pats to and from places like New York, Quebec, Baltimore and naturally Dublin. Over the course of its lifetime
  • When it was first bought by John Donovan, the gigantic boat was initially intended for shipping. However as things grew harder during the Famine and there was an increased demand for emigration, its focus eventually shifted and it began ferrying people instead of to the New World. However, on its return journeys from Canada or America, it would bring back timber to be sold in Europe.

 Opening Times

  • April – October: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • November – March: 11a.m – 3 p.m


  • Adult: €10.50
  • Seniors/Students: €9.50
  • Children: €6.00
  • Family: €26.00

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