French frigate L'Hermione

The sailing ship L'Hermione is a 12-pounder Concorde class frigate built in Rochefort, France. She is a reproduction of the 1779 L'Hermione which achieved fame by taking Gilbert Motier, General Marquis de LaFayette to Boston in America, in 1780, on a top secret mission.  General LaFayette was carrying a secret message that France was committing ships and troops to the American cause in the War of Independence against the British, allowing him, his ship and crew to join the Americans in their battle for Liberty.  In April 2015, L'Hermione made a transatlantic 'return' voyage to the United States.  The newly built frigate called in at ports from Yorktown, Mount Vernon and Philadelphia to New York and Boston, arriving in Castine, Maine for Bastille Day, 14th July, before making her voyage back to France.  L'Hermione's visit is to reaffirm the historic relationship between France and U.S.A.

L'Hermione's construction began in 1997 and she was launched in July 2012, starting her sea trials in September 2014.  Her displacement is 1,166 tons, she is 44.2 metres long and has a compliment of 255, the 1779 L'Hermione was built and sailed within one year.  The original plans have been modified for reasons of strength and safety, she now has an engine in addition to her sails, with electric generators for lighting and basic amenities.  Twelve ships of the French Navy have borne the name L'Hermione, in honour of Hermione, daughter of King Menelaus of Sparta and the beautiful Helen of Troy.  During the 1820's France supported the Hellenic people in their own struggle for liberty and independence from the Ottoman Empire.  The French connection continues in Ermioni today, as the majority of tourists that visit this historic coastal town, year after year, are from France. 

There are plans to try and get the historic replica L'Hermione to visit Ermioni in the near future as part of a Mediterranian cruise. However, these sailing visits can take years to organise and co-ordinate, so we will have to wait and see.