The historic PEKING barque arrived home early Wednesday (August 2, 2017) in strong gusts and stormy seas forcing the “Dockschiff Combi Dock III“ bringing the ship across the Atlantic from New York to decelerate. The PEKING undocked smoothly in Elbehafen-Brunsbüttel despite its late arrival. “The flush out is always a special moment for us in logistics. After many decades, the traditional ship finally has home water under the keel in Elbehafen“, said a delighted Frank Schnabel, Managing Director of Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH. “Over 300 interested visitors and reporters saw the PEKING in the belly of the Dockschiff on Monday in our harbour in an exciting atmosphere before it sets off on its journey to refurbishment.”
Enormous restoration need
The PEKING, one of the last generations of windjammers used in the nitrate trade and wheat trade around Cape Horn, will be towed to Peters-Werft in Wewelsfleth for extensive refurbishment. A two-year stay in the shipyard is likely to render the PEKING a new, maritime, tourist draw for Hamburg in 2019. Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, said: “The successful return of the PEKING is a milestone en route to using the four-masted barque as part of the German Harbour Museum. It will be a spectacular attraction in the important new museum. As one of the legendary Flying P liners, the PEKING can tell many a tale about the history of shipping and global trade.”
Last year, the German government approved funds for the new German Port Museum or Deutsche Hafenmuseum (construction to begin in 2019, completion in 2021) in Hamburg, clearing the way for repatriating the PEKING to its home port. The EUR 120 million in funds approved by the government include EUR 26 million for returning and restoring the PEKING.