Will Hermione pass near you in 2018?

The replica frigate will make stopovers at various ports around the Mediterranean. Credit: Hermione La Fayette

Route will include 11 stopovers at various ports in another epic journey

Hermione, the famous replica of General Lafayette’s 18th-century ship, will take to the seas once again in 2018, in a new voyage which will take in, among other destinations, Tangier, Sète, Marseille and Toulon.

Details of the route were revealed in Rochefort on Saturday, on board the ship itself. The voyage, Hermione 2018 Libres Ensemble (Free Together), will go from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea in a four and half month trip with 11 stopovers in total.

Still under the command of Yann Cariou, the frigate will leave Rochefort on Friday, February 2, 2018, for La Rochelle (February 4-20), Tangier in Morocco (March 11-13), Barcelona in Spain (March 22-24, to be confirmed), Sète (March 27 - April 2), Toulon (April 5-9), Marseille (April 12-16) and Monaco (April 20-22, to be confirmed).

The stopover at Sète will coincide with the especially-organised maritime festival Escale à Sète (Stopover in Sète).

“This stopover is the pivot of the journey, which was made around this invitation," said the vice-president of the association Hermione-La-Fayette, Paul Le Bihan, at the press conference in Rochefort yesterday.

On the way back, the ship will cast anchor at Port-Vendres (April 27-29) in the Pyrenees, then Portimão (May 8-10) in the south of Portugal, before arriving at Pasaia in the Spanish Basque Country (May 18-21). It will return to Rochefort on Saturday, June 16.

The stopovers at Barcelona and Monaco are yet to be confirmed.

Two refuelling stops, on the way out (La Rochelle) and on the way back (Bordeaux), are also planned.

The crew on board will be made up of 18 professional sailors and 54 voluntary top-men, said Mr Le Bihan.

Partnering with the OIF (an organisation of countries having French as an official language), the Hermione hopes to bring people together in the spirit of unity, diversity, integration and freedom.

The idea of the ship began over 20 years ago, when a small group of people decided to reconstruct an exact replica of General Lafayette’s 18th-century ship called the Hermione. The replica took 20 years to build, using only traditional techniques.

Today, the vessel is the largest and most authentically built Tall Ship in the last 150 years. The Hermione first set sail in 2015, in a voyage from France to the USA.

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