We drove through miles of green rolling hills and pasture land along the southwest coast from Waterford to Cobh, a delightful little port town with a natural big deep harbor. From 1848 to 1950, six million Irish emigrated to other parts of the world. Two and a half million of them departed through Cobh.
Now, I bet you think Queenstown was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic, right? (Yep, this is a trick question.)
From 1850 until the late 1920s, this seaport located on the south coast of County Cork DID go by the name Queenstown, named to commemorate a visit from Queen Victoria, but today it’s known as Cobh (pronounced like “Cove” as it is a Gaelic, which has pronunciations that make absolutely no sense to me). Located on the south side of Great Island, it is the home of Ireland’s only dedicated cruise terminal.
When the RMS Titanic sailed away in 1912, the last thing anyone saw of Ireland was the spire of the cathedral above the town—the same as for all ships leaving decades before and after.
When Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892, the first passenger processed through the immigration station was a 15-year-old Irish girl named Annie Moore. There is a statue of her and her two brothers near the historical center in Cobh.
At the historical center, there’s a funky little museum, a café, and a few gift shops with surprisingly reasonable prices. Even Waterford Crystal is for sale here, and at deeper discounts than at the factory!