Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York to chants and cheers Wednesday after a trans-Atlantic trip on a sailboat to attend a global warming conference.

Greta, 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.

Greta waved, was lifted onto a dock, then took her first wobbly steps on dry land.

“All of this is very overwhelming,” she said of the reception, looking slightly embarrassed.

The Swedish activist, who set sail from Plymouth, England, on August 14, attracted international attention last year when she started missing school on Fridays to protest political inaction on climate change and inspired youth around the world to do the same.


Greta greets well-wishers after arriving in New York. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

“Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead,” Greta tweeted around 4 a.m. Wednesday, posting a picture of tiny dots of light on a dark horizon. The teen activist has been providing day-by-day updates on her Twitter account of the long journey.


Greta and the Malizia II crew sail through New York Harbor. The teen activist doesn’t fly because of the amount of carbon emissions airplanes generate and the harm those emissions do to Earth’s atmosphere. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Rather than travel in an airplane that burns fuel and contributes to atmospheric carbon pollution, Thunberg opted to make her trans-Atlantic journey carbon emission-free by sailing on the Malizia II, a 60-foot yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity onboard.

The boat has no shower or toilets, and those aboard including Greta’s father and crew members planned to eat freeze-dried food throughout the trip.

In addition to the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York, Greta intends to join the U.N. climate change conference in Santiago, Chile, in December.