Replica 'Hermione' to set sail for France after Canada visit

18th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

A replica of the Hermione, the 18th-century ship that brought French General Lafayette to America, sailed to Canada Saturday on the last leg of its North American journey before its voyage back to France.

The faithful reproduction of the majestic French frigate fired its cannon 20 times as it arrived in the port of Lunenburg, not far from the city of Halifax, at around 10 am (1300 GMT).

The frigate was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers in Lunenburg, a village of fewer than 3,000 inhabitants, who had gathered to witness the awe-inspiring sight.

"Look at this huge crowd -- all lovers of sailing ships," said Nicolas Chapuis, France's ambassador to Canada.

The Hermione replica, which took almost two decades to build, departed France's western coast in mid-April, retracing a 3,700-mile (6,000-kilometer) journey across the Atlantic.

It arrived in New York earlier this month for July Fourth festivities, before setting sail for Canada.

The ship arrived in the United States in June, stopping first in Yorktown, Virginia, where American forces led by General George Washington and French soldiers scored a decisive victory over the British in 1781, prompting their capitulation.

The original Hermione was used in that history-making battle.

On its way to New York, the ship stopped again in Mount Vernon, Virginia, just outside Washington, then in Annapolis and Baltimore, both in Maryland, and in Philadelphia. It then moved on to Boston and then to Canada.

The Hermione is due to arrive back in France on August 10.

© 2015 AFP

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