10 Suggestions for Getting The Most out of the Mayflower II

The Mayflower II in Plymouth Harbor, MA

The Mayflower II

I’ve been on the Mayflower II twice – once when I was about 8 and a second time in 2014.    Both times were an interesting experience, although as much as I enjoyed it as a child, I’m sure I appreciated it more as an adult.  The costumed interpreters (and non-costumed interpreters) were fascinating, so happy to talk about the time period of the pilgrims. And just experiencing the famed Mayflower was so interesting.  I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area and don’t mind spending a few $$.



Because it isn’t cheap: we’re talking about $12/head ($8 for children 5-12 and $11 for seniors).  For a couple, that’s pricy but not bad, but for a large group?  Well, let’s just say we really wanted to do it!


Cabin on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

Cabin on the Mayflower II

We visited on a lovely day in November.  The weather was perfect – sunny, warm enough to leave the coats in the van, and the sky had just enough clouds to be interesting.


So here are my 10 suggestions of how to make your visit to the Mayflower II more memorable!


The Mayflower II from the floating dock, Plymouth, MA

The Mayflower II from the floating dock

#1: Walk to the right of the ticket booth and down the ramp onto a floating dock.  From here, there are really quite good views of the Mayflower II.  You won’t be able to get such good views after you’re on the ship.


Writing implements and equipment on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

Writing implements and equipment on the ship

#2: Is ok to buy the tickets and then come back later.  The tickets aren’t timed, so we purchased our tickets, went and ate lunch, then came back when (we hoped things would be) quieter (it wasn’t).


The dingy next to the Mayflower II, Plymouth Harbor, MA

The dingy next to the Mayflower II

#3: Be prepared for a small ship.  The Mayflower II really isn’t that big.


A diagram of the Mayflower II on the dockside, Plymouth, MA

A diagram of the Mayflower II on the dockside

#4: Spend a short amount of time on the dock inside the gate before boarding the ship.  There are some interesting boards, a set of pulleys to try out, and so on.  It’s not really exciting, but is interesting.


Deck of the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

Deck of the Mayflower II

#5: Plan to spend quite a long time on the ship.  I think we spent between 30 minutes and an hour touring that tiny ship.


One of the male costumed interpreters on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

One of the male costumed interpreters

#6: Seek out and spend time with the interpreters.  They are a wealth of information about the Pilgrims, their culture, their history, historical trivia, and facts and figures about the ship.  They really know their stuff!


A female costumed interpreter on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

A female costumed interpreter

The day we visited, there were a couple of uncostumed interpreters, a male in costume, and two females with costumes.  Those in costumes pretend they’re still in the Pilgrim era, while the ones without costumes pretend they are from today.  For example, one of the young women wondered where we were from, so she asked, then, when we told her, said she’d never heard of it (of course!)  We played with her though – and told her to wait a hundred years or so and then she’d hear a lot about it!


The mid-deck on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

The mid-deck

#7: Visit all the decks.  There are three you can go on – one that you come on to, another where you can go into the officer’s cabin, etc., and a third, which is where the pilgrims were with all their smaller boats, animals, baggage, etc.  It must have been pretty crowded.


Bowls, baskets, and a chest below deck on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

Bowls, baskets, and a chest below deck

#8: Keep your eyes open.  There are lots of little things here and there that are just cool – like the mops on deck, pieces of armor in the steerage deck, a compass, a garden hose beneath the steerage deck…wait…a garden hose?


Mayflower II rigging, Plymouth, MA

Mayflower II rigging

#9: Take some pictures of the rigging.  Ok, maybe it’s just my group, but those rigging pictures are so cool!


A mattress in the steerage of the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

A mattress in the steerage of the Mayflower II

#10: Pause as you leave the Mayflower II.  There are some more signs that are interesting on the way out.


Most of all…enjoy your visit!


Fees: As of 12/2014, $12 per adult, $8 per child 5-12, and $11 per senior

Trail ★★☆☆☆

Road ★★☆☆☆

Signs ★☆☆☆☆

Scenery ★★★★★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆


The Kitchen on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA

The Kitchen on the Mayflower II

Key GPS Coordinates for the Mayflower II

Ticket counter / entrance: 41.95972N / -070.66228W (41° 57′ 34.9914″ / -70° 39′ 44.2074″) (24 ft.)

Mayflower II Half Deck: 41.95980N / -070.66196W (41° 57′ 35.28″ /  -70° 39′ 43.0554″) (39 ft.)


Getting to the Mayflower II

From I-495 near Middleborough, MA, take Exit 6 onto US-44 E.  Drive on US-44 about 18 miles.  Once through downtown Plymouth and in the traffic circle by the waterfront, take the third exit onto Water Street (the first exit will also be Water Street; don’t take that one).  After 0.2 miles, turn right by the parking lots.  We paid to park here.  Then we walked back past all the restaurants to the Mayflower II – it’s a bit hard to miss if you’re looking for it.


Looking for other routes?  Try Google 🙂

Zoom map out to browse nearby hikes & places of interest


This Week’s Featured Product!

If you’re really interested in the history of the Pilgrims, but prefer stories to textbooks, this may be of interest.  It follows the Pilgrims as they sailed from England and as they set up a new life in a new and sometimes savage land.



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