- "At the Grey Havens dwelt Círdan the Shipwright, and some say he dwells there still, until the Last Ship sets sail into the West."
- ― The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur
Círdan maintained the haven at least into the Fourth Age, but it was recognized that eventually, its purpose would reach an end when no more Elves wished to cross the Sea. At that time, Círdan would abandon the Grey Havens and finally travel the Straight Road himself.
The Last Ship might have sailed before Fo.A. 120 based on Aragorn's final words to Arwen. Aragorn suggests Arwen might still sail into the West, and one of the reasons she gives that this is impossible is that "There is now no ship that would bear me hence...". This might imply that the Last Ship had already sailed by Fo.A. 120, the year in which this conversation took place. Alternatively, it might mean that Arwen was no longer counted as an Elf and that her species had changed when she married Aragorn. Tuor was counted as a Noldo, Lúthien died the death of a mortal, and now Arwen had become mortal herself. She had also given Frodo her place on the White Ship, so she might have thought that she had forfeited the right to live in the Undying Lands.
Celeborn eventually sought the Grey Havens, taking with him the last memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth. Since Círdan and Celeborn are among the only Elves of the Elder Days in Middle-earth, they took the Last Ship together.