Mayflower II ship heading to dry dock for 2½ years

The Mayflower II left Mystic Tuesday to return home to Plymouth MA (WTNH / Stephanie Simoni)

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — The Mayflower II is making another pilgrimage to Connecticut — this time for a more expansive rebuilding and refitting.

The 60-year-old replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620 is being towed to Mystic Seaport on Tuesday. It’s expected to arrive there on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on tides and weather.

Once there, it will be placed back in dry dock for major reconstruction that’s expected to take 2½ years. Organizers say they plan to return the ship to its home port of Plymouth in 2019, in time for the 400th anniversary celebrations to be held in 2020.

Officials have been scrambling to raise $12 million for the restoration project.

The Mayflower II has been a major regional tourist attraction and educational resource since 1957.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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