THE painstakingly-built replica of Captain Cook's ship HM Bark Endeavour will be welcoming aboard visitors from today.

It becomes Whitby’s newest permanent visitor attraction, floating proudly in the harbour of the port that Capt Cook once called home.

The opening of the Endeavour Experience is the culmination of three months’ work during which the replica underwent a challenging, and at times, precarious journey from her landlocked status on the River Tees at Stockton to reach Whitby.

Since arriving in the port on June 1 work has focussed on converting the top deck and two internal decks of the 33-metre long vessel to provide fun and educational interactive spaces and displays.

Specifically the interpretation elements are designed to help families imagine life for the 95 members of Capt Cook’s crew within the confines of the ship after they embarked on their three-year voyage for the Pacific Ocean in August 1768.

Key features on the top deck have been renovated and replaced including the ship’s wheel, capstan and bell. As visitors board they will be greeted by "Land Ahoy" being shouted from the crow’s nest, cannons firing intermittently and the sound of goats and chickens coming from the animal crates on the deck.

Down below visitors can explore 11 different cabins and spaces and interactive areas, including, among others, Capt Cook's cabin and a gory scene featuring the ship's surgeon at work.

Whitby businessman Andrew Fiddler bought the Endeavour at auction last year for £155,000 and has since spent more than £1m transforming it into a visitor attraction.

“It is fantastic to see the Endeavour Experience opening particularly as it has been such a personal mission of mine to bring the ship to its rightful home in Whitby where the original vessel was built," he said.

“In a similar way that Cook would have had to have held his nerve at moments during the voyage, so we too have needed to show grit and determination to overcome some really challenging times in the journey to get here, particularly when it came to lifting the Endeavour by crane over the Tees Barrage.

“This makes it all the more special to be at the point where the ship can now be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and helping complement the other Captain Cook attractions in Whitby.”

The Endeavour Experience opens today and tickets will cost £7.50 per adult and £4.50 for children aged 16 and under. Under 3’s go free.