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Restored Mayflower replica set to return to Plymouth

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A replica of the original Mayflower ship that brought the Pilgrims to America 400 year ago this year is returning home following extensive renovations. The Mayflower II is slated to complete the final leg of its journey on Monday when it docks at Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The 64-year-old historic reproduction is also expected to travel from New Bedford to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne this weekend. The ship began the slow return home last month after spending the last three years in Mystic, Connecticut, getting $11.2 million worth of renovations.

It stopped in New London, Connecticut, but had to scrub a planned visit to Newport, Rhode Island this week because of new travel restrictions required of people who visit the state. The ship also made an unscheduled stop at New Bedford's State Pier to shelter during Tropical Storm Isaias. A cruise into Boston Harbor alongside the USS Constitution was previously cancelled because of the pandemic.

The original plan had called for a celebratory departure in late April with several stops at southern New England ports before a May arrival. The Mayflower II has been a major tourist attraction and educational tool since it arrived in Plymouth as a gift from England in 1957.

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