The Hermione passes through Woodrow Wilson Bridge

The Hermione passes through Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Twenty years ago, a small group dreamed of reconstructing an exact replica of General Lafayette’s 18th-century French frigate of freedom called the Hermione. Today, the majestic vessel is the largest and most authentically built Tall Ship in the last 150 years.

The Hermione set sail for the USA from France in April 2015. The journey started from the mouth of the River Charente, in Port des Barques, where Lafayette boarded on March 10th, 1780. The transatlantic crossing took 27 days in total, before making landfall at Yorktown, Virginia, then going on to visit 11 more US ports through July 18. The Hermione voyage was part of an expansive outreach program with cultural events, exhibitions and educational programs.

The arrival of this Tall Ship at its third US port was very important to the community of Alexandria, Virginia. It was the talk of the area, making local and national news, as well as a documentary.

The DBi Services experienced bridge operations team opened the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge (WWB) for the inbound Hermione on the morning of June 10 at 12:01AM, followed by the departure on June 13 at 12:01AM with several vessels accompanying the Tall Ship, biding her a safe farewell.

Spectators lined the multi-use trail of the WWB to observe both the incoming and outbound passing of the Hermione. Over 300 people welcomed her into Alexandria, with an additional 175+ on the boat escorting her through. The excitement and the beauty of the ship against the bridge lights was exhilarating and breathtaking. When she left, another 300-400 people bid her goodbye.

Visit the Hermione-Lafayette Voyage 2015 website for more information.

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