World cruise plan for French ship Hermione

The Hermione visited Riviera capital Nice as part of this year's Mediterranean voyage

A world tour might be next for the Hermione, the magnificent replica 18th century frigate which returns home to Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, this month after a Mediterranean cruise.

Connexion learned of the plan when we visited the ship in Nice to find out more about life on board the Hermione, which is one of the world’s largest wooden sailing ships – 66m long in total, with a main mast topping off at 47m above the sea, 2.2km2 of sails and 25km of ropes.

This month sees her visit Bordeaux from June 10-13 and then Rochefort from June 17, around 8.30 after which visits will be possible in port for the rest of the year.

The original Hermione, also built in Rochefort, is best known for taking French soldier and aristocrat Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette to Boston, USA to help George Washington in the American War of Independence. In 2015 the replica ship recreated his voyage, its first major trip and this year’s cruise around Spain and North Africa to the Riviera and Corsica was its first long journey since then.

Apart from a few professional sailors, the crew – known as gabiers – are all volunteers. This year they included people from across the globe in a partnership with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. The crew all received several days' training in Rochefort before taking part. Due to personal commitments gabiers typically only joined for part of the voyage.

One gabier, ...

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