Replica of Captain Cook ship heads to Whitby

The North York Moors coastline will welcome a major new visitor attraction next year when one of the most famous ships in the history of maritime exploration berths in Whitby.

HM Bark Endeavour – one of only two full-scale replicas of the ship commanded by Captain James Cook for his voyage to Australia and New Zealand – will relocate from Stockton-on-Tees to Whitby in spring 2018.

The tall ship was recently bought at auction by Whitby businessman Andrew Fiddler for £155,000, safeguarding its future as a visitor attraction in the north east.

After a refurbishment, repair and transportation programme costing up to £750,000, HM Bark Endeavour will re-open to visitors in Whitby, where the original ship was built in the 1700s and where the explorer forged his maritime career.

The arrival of the ship in Whitby in 2018 will coincide with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s departure from Portsmouth on Endeavour to observe the transit of Venus at Tahiti, circumnavigate and chart New Zealand and chart the east coast of Australia.

The development of the ship as a tourist attraction is being helped by the Coastal Communities Fund project and the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Catriona McLees, head of promotion and tourism for the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We’re delighted to help support a project that has such a strong resonance with the National Park, particularly with Cook’s early years being spent near Roseberry Topping and Great Ayton before he moved to Staithes and then onto Whitby where his maritime career began.

“The ship will be a great draw for visitors and encourage them to make their own discoveries of the wonders along our coast.”