Visit Savannah has collaborated with the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience & Museum in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland to tell a complete story of the Irish people who left the country during the Great Famine and arrived at the port of Savannah. A new attraction at the Dunbrody called “Savannah Landing Point” depicts what Irish immigrants would have experienced when they arrived in Savannah in the 1840s and 1850s.
The Savannah portion of the attraction includes a tour of a period-authentic ship and reenactment experience of the difficulty of crossing the Atlantic, followed up with the life-like representation of arriving at the port of Savannah in the mid-19th century. Savannah’s long-standing Irish population can mostly trace its roots back to County Wexford Irishmen and women who fled Europe during this time with the hope of a new start. The Savannah exhibit also features videos produced by Visit Savannah and a computer monitor encouraging visitors to explore the Visit Savannah website and Insider’s Guide for more information on visiting Savannah.
Visit Savannah President Joseph Marinelli says the project is a means of both celebrating the historical connections between County Wexford and Savannah, and of encouraging Irish visitors to check Savannah out: “In 2016, Visit Savannah opened its first international sales and marketing office in London England, and now we have a very visible presence in Ireland. The Savannah Landing Point exhibit does a great job of telling the story of the connectivity between our two countries and more specifically between Wexford and Savannah.”
The CEO of the JFK Trust and Dunbrody Famine Ship agrees. “We are very excited with the addition of the new Savannah Landing Point exhibit which completes the immigration reenactment experience and re-establishes the heritage links between our two countries in a real and informative way,” says Sean Connick. “We are most grateful to Visit Savannah and the other participating partners from Savannah for their efforts and assistance in delivering this celebration of the New Ross and County Wexford connections with Savannah.”
Led by Visit Savannah, the exhibit was supported by an array of partners including the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Bonitz, and Georgia Grown, with much of the factual research provided by Georgia Southern University professor Howard Keeley. Georgia Grown provided bales of real Georgia-grown cotton for the exhibit. The Dunbrody Famine Ship is located in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland. Learn more about the exhibit at Dunbrody.com.
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Visit Savannah serves as the official destination marketing organization for the Savannah area tourism industry and is committed to driving economic prosperity in the greater Savannah community through increased overall visitation and related spending while continuing to build upon Savannah’s image as a world-class destination.