L’Hermione — the beautiful, giant ‘Tall Ship’ — explained in pictures

L’Hermione sailed from France and is making her way through the Chesapeake Bay and up the East Coast this summer. This is her first international voyage. 

L'Hermione took 16 years to build at a cost of $30 million. The original Hermione took one year to build.  She is the largest and most authentically built 'Tall Ship' of the last 150 years. During her first voyage in 1780, Lafayette said, "She sails like a bird." Even though L'Hermione is new, she still needs constant work. Look closely in the rigging and you'll see some of the L'Hermione crew working on the wooden ship before tourists are allowed on board. L'Hermione was built in Rochefort, France & sailed to the U.S. for the summer of 2015 as a diplomatic envoy between the two countries. The original was designed as a light frigate to be fast and maneuverable. The hand carved wooden lion is holding King Louis XVI's coat of arms. L'Hermione is 145 feet long, 37 feet wide, and carries up to 255 people. Sailing near her is the 74-foot Schooner Woodwind yacht (the boat from the movie, "The Wedding Crashers") which sails out of Annapolis with as as many as 48 passengers. Woodwind is considered a big sailboat. During the Revolutionary War, the original Hermione was assigned to the Chesapeake Bay. She was part of a blockade that -- with the help of her 12-pounder cannons -- helped lead to Britain's surrender. Crew maintain L'Hermione dangling from ropes. She has a total of 32 guns; 26 12-pounder long guns and six 6-pounder long guns. Yes, they can be fired and are used for for ceremonies. L'Hermione is an exact replica of General Lafayette's 18th century ship, Hermione, that fought in the U.S. Revolutionary War. The trip to the U.S. is costing about $4.5 million with U.S. donors raising a quarter of the cost. Workers paint, scrub and tie to ready L'Hermione for visitors in Annapolis City Harbor. She sails with a 72-member crew. The average age is 27 and they come from around the world. L'Hermione has 19 sails, all strung with rope and wood-pulleys. She has 15 miles of rigging to maintain. The original Hermione ran aground while in service against the British off Croisic in 1793 and was wrecked by heavy seas. Her pilot was courtmartialed. The frigate L'Hermione was commanded by Marquis de Lafayette & sailed to the U.S. in 1780. The crossing from France to Boston took 38 days. Today she sails in slow wind with two 400-horsepower engines. L'Hermione is spending summer of 2015 in the U.S. as a joint mission between the two countries. She's visiting 12 U.S. ports with thousands of visitors expected at each stop.
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L'Hermione is 145 feet long, 37 feet wide, and carries up to 255 people. Sailing near her is the 74-foot Schooner Woodwind yacht (the boat from the movie, "The Wedding Crashers") which sails out of Annapolis with as as many as 48 passengers. Woodwind is considered a big sailboat.
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