After years of rumours, the 320-foot, steel-hulled, four-masted barque, Peking, is finally set to leave New York City’s South Street Seaport next spring bound for the port where she was built, Hamburg.
On 12 November, the German Bundestag decided to purchase the ship as a part of the German Port Museum in Hamburg. The associated €120 million appropriation included a grant to ship (pardon the pun, and Peking is a barque) the now unseaworthy vessel across the Atlantic. In 1975, Peking became part of the now struggling South Street Seaport which now expects to save Peking’s $750,000 annual maintenance costs as it nears completion of a multimillion-dollar renovation of Wavertree.
Laid down in 1911 by Blohm and Voss, Peking was one of the last windjammers in the nitrate and wheat trades and the subject of a documentary film by Irving Johnson of a passage around Cape Horn in 1929. She and her sister Flying P-Liners of the German shipping company F Laeisz were the last gasp of sail’s battle with steam.
Padua still sails as the Russian sail training ship Kruzenshtern. Passat and Pommern are museum ships in Travemünde, Germany and Finland respectively. In 1957 Pamir was lost in the Atlantic.