As a legendary 18th century explorer, Cook commanded the original HM Bark Endeavour for his ground-breaking voyage to Australia and New Zealand and while its replica’s forthcoming trip is more modest, its presence in Yorkshire is expected to make a huge impact as a tourist attraction.
A partnership led by Whitby-based businessman Andrew Fiddler bought what is one of just two full-sized doubles of the original ship for £155,000 at an auction in August, beating rival bids that could have seen the ship moved to Portsmouth, London or Dubai.
It is now being readied to sail from Stockton-on-Tees to Whitby where the original Endeavour was built in 1764.
Mr Fiddler, whose passion for the sea has seen him enjoy a career in the Royal Navy and take part in a six-month circumnavigation of the globe, said: “To have secured one of the most distinctive and historic maritime attractions is fantastic.”
After refurbishment, the ship will be sailed to Whitby next year where it is intended to re-open as a tourist attraction and centre for learning for schools and colleges.
Captain Cook’s early years were spent near Roseberry Topping and Great Ayton before he moved to Staithes and then onto Whitby where his maritime career began.
The arrival of the ship in Whitby will coincide with the 250th anniversary of Cook first setting sail from Portsmouth on board the Endeavour to observe the transit of Venus at Tahiti, circumnavigate and chart New Zealand and chart the east coast of Australia.