Noah's Ark is back in the Netherlands after being forced to extend its stay in Ipswich to 18 months.

The ship museum arrived at the Dutch port in Vlissingen on Friday after setting sail in Ipswich last week.

It's the first time the Noah's Ark replica has been able to leave the Waterfront since late 2019.

The Ark wrote on its Facebook page: "We enjoyed the people visiting the ark in Ipswich. We keep them always in our memory."

East Anglian Daily Times: Owner and Dutch theatre producer Aad PetersOwner and Dutch theatre producer Aad Peters (Image: Archant)

Owner and Dutch theatre producer Aad Peters responded on its arrival to detractors after emails and documents obtained by this newspaper showed that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) considered it unseaworthy.

East Anglian Daily Times: Noah's Ark leaving Ipswich at first light on Thursday, July 1Noah's Ark leaving Ipswich at first light on Thursday, July 1 (Image: DR RUTH FLAHERTY)

Mr Peters said: ′"Every floating object, like the ark, depends on weather conditions.

"At 10 metres high waves you don't sail and at 10 metres you do.

"The ark has [arrived in] more than 50 ports [including] Rotterdam, Hamburg, Rostock, Copenhagen, Oslo and up to the Norwegian [coastal city of] Bergen in the last 10 years - always under the right weather conditions."

The MCA documents also said the Ark could not sail under a Dutch flag despite being registered there, key certification is missing and, since April 1, the vessel has been accruing a fine of £500 a day.

Visitors are set to be able to visit the ark, now in the Netherlands, from July 10.

- The Noah's Ark revelations were thanks to Archant's Investigations Unit, see more stories like this on their Facebook page.