She is a replica of a three masted barque of the same name that was originally built in Quebec, Canada, in 1847 by the Scottish-born shipbuilder John Mumm.
The original Jeanie Johnston was bought by merchant John Donovan & Sons as a cargo vessel and traded successfully between Tralee and North America for a number of years. The trading pattern was to take emigrants from Ireland to North America and then to bring timber back to Europe.
She made her maiden emigrant voyage from Blennerville, Co. Kerry to Quebec on 24 April 1848, with 193 emigrants on board. Between 1848 and 1855 she made 16 voyages to North America, sailing to Quebec, Baltimore and New York.
On average the length of the transatlantic journey was 47 days. The most passengers she ever carried was 254 from Tralee to Quebec on 17 April 1852.
Despite the number of passengers and the long voyage, no crew or passengers lives were ever lost on board. This is generally attributed to the captain James Atteridge not overloading the ship and the presence of a qualified doctor on board for the benefit of the passengers.
In 1855 the ship was sold to William Johnson of North Shields, England. In 1858 whilst sailing to Quebec from Hull with a cargo of timber she became waterlogged. The crew climbed into the rigging and after nine days clinging to their slowly sinking ship they were all safely rescued by a Dutch ship the Sophie Elizabeth.
The replica vessel was built in Blennervile at a cost of 13.7m Euro's which included the cost of the shipyard, workshops and visitors centre. She was laid down in 1998, launched on 6 May 2000 and undertook her maiden voyage in March 2003,
Overall she is 47m long with a 8m beam and 4.6m draft.
Her hull is constructed of larch planks on oak frames. The decks were constructed from Iroko and Douglas Fir with Douglas Fir masts and spars,
She has 18 sails with at total area of 6,940m2 and also has twin 290hp (216kW) Caterpillar 3306 diesel engines and a single 50kW bow thruster.
MMSI - 250271000
IMO - 8633671
Call Sign - EIJL
L = 47 W = 8m
Built - 2002