A modern-day Zeppelin airship set off on Thursday for a second time on a voyage from Italy to Japan, this time by sea, its German manufacturer said. The new 75-meter (82-yard) dirigible, Zeppelin NT, left the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro on a specially chartered ship, according to German constructor Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, the successor of Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who pioneered the rigid airship in the early 20th century. After travelling through the Suez Canal via the same route taken in 1929 by Count Zeppelin, the modern Zeppelin is expected to arrive in the Japanese city of Kobe in mid-January, after being bought by Japanese shipowner Nippon Airship Corporation. It is the second attempt to send the Zeppelin to Japan. It got no further than Helsinki in July, after failing to receive authorization to fly over Russian territory. Having decided to avoid trying to cross Russia at the start of the Siberian winter, the manufacturer then decided to send the airship by sea.