Imagine this was your last view of home in Ireland, and your feelings of excitement and trepidation to be sailing away from the Great Famine to a new life overseas in the 19th century. 
On a boat trip now, wind tingling your skin, you can still sense all manner of epic comings and goings in Cork’s magnificent natural harbour: from marauding 10th-century Vikings and medieval merchant princes to today’s luxury liners.
Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, New York

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island circa 1903

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island circa 1903
On Great Island in Cork Harbour, Cobh’s pastel-speckled Victorian townscape climbs the hillside to the famous bells of St Colman’s Cathedral. 

​You stroll with a local guide along the waterfront, chatting about maritime memorials like the statue of young Annie Moore and her brothers. Sailing from here, Annie was the first-ever immigrant to be processed at new Customs facilities on Ellis Island, New York, in 1893.
Brightly painted houses overlooking Cobh Harbour
Statue of Annie Moore and her brothers, Cobh
Left: Brightly painted houses overlooking Cobh Harbour Right: Statue of Annie Moore, Cobh
Inside Cobh Heritage Centre you can share the experiences of Annie and other emigrants through the years in vivid evocations of conditions on board vessels, including the dreaded Coffin Ships. Between 1848 and 1950, Cobh was Ireland’s single most significant port of emigration as more than 2.5 million people passed through.
 
A Cobh Heritage Centre exhibition showing emigrants on board the Coffin Ships
Meanwhile, in April 1912, the Titanic made her last port of call here before her tragic maiden voyage to New York – another drama to relive, on a virtual journey to board ship in the Titanic Experience in the original White Star Line Ticket Office. Enveloped by the chilling events, you check your boarding card for the passenger’s name – what was your fate?
And how did Cobh townsfolk meet the challenge when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sank in 1915? Cobh Museum tells this and other shipping tales. Or maybe you’ve come to find ancestors in genealogical records, searching out the ties that bind Cobh with people around the world.
Cobh, formally known as Queenstown Harbour
A sign advertising the Titanic's arrival at Cobh, formally known as Queenstown
H.M.S Warspite at Cobh
Left: Cobh, formally known as Queenstown Harbour Middle: A sign advertising the Titanic's arrival at Cobh, formally known as Queenstown Right: H.M.S Warspite at Cobh
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Visit Cobh Heritage Centre – the Emigration & Maritime Story

Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh, Cork