The original Godspeed, along with the Susan Constant and Discovery, set sail from London on December 20, 1606, bound for Virginia. The ships carried 105 passengers and 39 crew members on the four-month transatlantic voyage. A 17th-century source noted that a total of 52 people were aboard the Godspeed. The expedition was sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, a business venture that had been organized to form a colony in Virginia. The fleet reached the Virginia coast in late April and, after two weeks of inland waterway exploration, arrived at the selected settlement site on May 13, 1607. The origins of the Godspeed and Discovery are uncertain. The Susan Constant and Godspeed returned to England in June 1607, while the Discovery remained in Virginia and was used for Chesapeake Bay and coastal exploration.
Today, these ships have been re-created at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. Visitors can board one of the three ships moored along the James River to learn about the four-and-a-half-month voyage from England and take part in periodic demonstrations.
With a crew of staff and volunteers, the Godspeed periodically sails to other ports in the Chesapeake Bay region to participate in commemorative and community events and host educational programs. A volunteer sail training program is offered to individuals of all ages.
The Jamestown Settlement ship re-creations have been designated “the official fleet of the Commonwealth” by the Virginia General Assembly.