Alexandria's students, tourists and others are in for a treat this week as the great ship Godspeed anchors in Old Town Alexandria.
The ship was commissioned in 2006 and is a recreation of one of the three ships that brought America's first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607. The ship is usually on exhibit at the Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum of 17th century Virginia in Williamsburg, Va.
Alexandria City Public Schools elementary students are scheduled to take tours of the ship beginning Tuesday when it will serve as a "floating classroom" under the tutelage of the crew, including sailor and volunteer Rich Watkins who dresses in period clothes.
Godspeed will be docked at the north end of the Alexandria City Marina, adjacent to Founders Park near the intersection of North Union and Queen streets, and will be open for free tours from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 4-7. It will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 8, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.on Oct. 9. Visitors will be able to explore the ship and talk with historical interpreters about the 1607 voyage and 17th-century sailing, navigation and shipboard life.