Greta Thunberg Arrives in New York City

Greta Thunberg was welcomed to the U.S. like a rockstar on Wednesday, with a crowd cheering as she sailed into Manhattan on a solar-powered yacht. Find out what her fans had to say about the teenage climate activist.

This was no pleasure cruise

Hundreds of kids and adults showed up in lower Manhattan to witness the arrival of Swedish Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old climate activist sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on a zero emissions yacht to attend the September 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit. Thunberg, 16, and her crew were escorted into a lower Manhattan marina at about 4 p.m., concluding a two-week crossing from Plymouth, England. Hundreds of activists gathered on a Hudson River promenade to cheer her arrival. The teenager refused to fly because of the carbon cost of plane travel. A 2018 study said that because of cloud and ozone formation, air travel may trap two to four times more heat than that caused by just emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The boat carrying Thunberg, the Malizia II, encountered rough seas that slowed it down for a day. Taking turns steering the 60-foot racing yacht were two skippers Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi, the grandson of Monaco’s late Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly. This was no pleasure cruise. The Malizia is built for high-speed, offshore racing, and weight is kept to a minimum. There is no toilet — just a bucket — or fixed shower aboard, no windows below deck and only a small gas cooker to heat up freeze-dried food.

Speaking to reporters after she landed, Thunberg said the trip wasn’t as uncomfortable as she expected. She didn’t get seasick once, she said. But she stressed that “this is not something I want everyone to do.” Thunberg has become a symbol of a growing movement of young climate activists, leading weekly school strikes in Sweden that inspired similar actions in about 100 cities. She’s in New York to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit next month. There, she’ll join world leaders who will present plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.