Seaport used to be the boardwalk of New York City, with its shops, restaurants, small eateries, and boats all around. Notably, there was the Peking, a German ship that has been a tourist site for over 40 years at the docks of Seaport. It would usually be the backdrop to one’s pictures in Seaport, or simply meant to be in the picture. Now it has set off on a new journey, leaving behind the New York City pier, and eventually heading back home to Hamburg, Germany.
On Wednesday, the Peking left seaport heading to Staten Island to be prepared for its route across the Atlantic Ocean setting sails back home to Germany. Two barges pulled the 377-foot long boat to a dry dock in Staten Island.
Built in 1911, the vessel will go through a $25 million dollar restoration plan and will be on display in a maritime museum. It was displayed in Seaport since 1974 and was a tourist destination. Now that it is gone, what will replace it? There will certainly be nothing like the Peking, but there will be a replacement with the Wavertree. It will arrive on September 24th, after undergoing a $13 million restoration.
So why must a ship that has been docked on a pier in New York City have to go? It all started back in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit. Financial issues had Seaport negotiating a deal to bring the Peking back to Germany. Willing to give the Peking away as a gift, it was unable to send the ship across the Atlantic due to the financial issues and not enough funds to send it underway. Then the German government invested $30 million dollars in having it brought back to its homeland.
South Street Seaport Museum director, Jonathan Boulware, stated that it would be ‘good’ to have the ship sent back to Germany, as it belongs more there than here. It made an entire trip to America and was a tourist destination for over 40 years. Its time has come to an end, as Seaport is undergoing major renovations and another vessel will be displayed for years to come. A bittersweet moment for New Yorker’s and German’s as a vessel will do it’s final journey and be displayed in its country.
The Peking’s last tour was on Sunday.
Featured Image Via Wikipedia