Historic ship in NYC to return to its birthplace in Germany

A historic sailing ship that's been a tourist attraction for 42 years has left New York City's seaport district for good. It will eventually return to its birthplace in Hamburg, Germany.

The Peking departed Wednesday under cloudy skies from a pier at the South Street Seaport Museum. The 377-foot-long vessel was pulled by two barges to a Staten Island dry dock where it will be readied for its trans-Atlantic crossing atop a heavy-lift ship next spring.

Once in Hamburg, the four-masted vessel built in 1911 will undergo a $25 million restoration for a planned maritime museum.

The Peking was one of seven sister nitrate clippers between Europe and South America.

On Sept. 24, another ship — the three-masted Wavertree — returns to the museum following a 16-month, $13 million restoration.