Thank you for visiting!  As of October 13, public ferry service has ended for the 2020 season.

Stay up to date all year long with our park newsletter! Sign up.


Activities, ranger tours, and most programs are included with your ferry ticket.

Voyage of Mercy: Virtual Author Talk & Community Conversation

Gather online to hear the remarkable story of the USS Jamestown, whose 1847 mission set a precedent for humanitarian aid efforts worldwide.

Join Charlestown Navy Yard partners for a virtual gathering featuring stories and conversation with Stephen Puleo, author of the beautifully written and fastidiously researched “Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission.”

Event kicks off with traditional Irish music provided by Calum Bell and Friends and a rotation of historic images that set the context for an author talk followed by community conversation and Q&A.

Register here!

The Story: In 1847, the USS Jamestown set sail from the Charlestown Navy Yard loaded with food for people suffering the devastation of the famine in Ireland. More than 5,000 ships left Ireland during the great potato famine, transporting the starving and destitute away from their stricken homeland. The first vessel to sail in the other direction, to help the millions unable to escape, was the USS Jamestown.

This unprecedented voyage became what is now recognized as America’s first major humanitarian relief effort, and set the stage for future missions that established the country as a leader in international aid.

The Author: STEPHEN PULEO is a historian, teacher, public speaker, and the author of seven books, including national bestsellers Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 and American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. For more information, please visit:

Sign Up for the Boston Harbor Islands Newsletter!