This grand, four-masted ship was built in Hamburg, Germany in 1911. The Peking, as one of the famous “Flying P. Liners” of F. Laeisz Lines was part of the nitrate trade, traveling between Europe and the west coast of South America with a cargo of goods to be traded for guano (which was used to make fertilizer and explosives). This ship was made famous by the film Around Cape Horn with Irving Johnson which documented the ship’s 1929 passage around the southern tip of South America through hurricane-like conditions.
The ship has survived massive storms and wars, and eventually found port in New York. According to the New York Times, the Peking settled into the South Street Seaport in 1974. With the decline in tourism after 9/11 and the effects from Hurricane Sandy, there were motions being made to move the ship back to Hamburg.
After a 30 million euro allocation to the ship’s journey, this spring, the Peking will be making what looks like its last voyage across the sea back to its home town in Germany.
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