Hermione

Photo Mathieu Prat

 

Her history

The Hermione is a tall ship, and one with a long history. Read on to hear all about it.

In 1992, the Hermione-Lafayette association was established thanks to a group of maritime-history enthusiasts, seeking to create an identical reconstruction of a frigate from the end of the 18th century in the heart of Rochefort's historic arsenal. 

Construction began on 4 July 1997 and was completed 17 years later, in 2014. 

This recovery of maritime heritage – which has marked the identity of an entire region – took on its full meaning and significance with the launch of major maritime festivals in France from the 1980s onwards. As a result, the ship has served as the sole witness to the great era of the sailing navy. 

 
Hermione

Key figures 

The Hermione is: 

  • A large mast 54 metres above the keel
  • A 44-metre hull
  • Overall length: 66 metres
  • More than 2,000 oaks selected from French forests
  • A puzzle of over 400,000 pieces of wood and metal
  • 800 pulleys
  • 1 tonne of oakum for caulking
  • 22 guns firing 12-pound bullets on the gun deck and six guns firing six-pound bullets on the forecastle deck
  • 2,100 square metres of sails
  • More than 25 km of ropes
  • The loaded frigate has a total weight of 1,100 tonnes
 
Hermione

Her journey

Since 2014, the Hermione has benefited areas much further afield than just Rochefort! In fact, since her sea trials, she has already made four trips and covered more than 22,000 miles. 90% of her seafaring is carried out only with the ship's sails – along American, French or African coasts. She has called in more than 34 ports, warmly welcomed on each occasion by a large number of people who have come to greet this majestic ship, curious to discover the boat for themselves.

 In total, she has travelled to and visited six French regions, 20 cities and an island, five countries and three continents. 

 

Her crew 

Today, the crew of the Hermione is made up of 78 people, carrying out various roles! 

15 professional sailors and 56 volunteers taking part in manoeuvres (known as 'gabiers'), along with seven supernumeraries (technicians, journalists, etc.).

Officers, captains, lieutenants and sailors: together, they form a real organisation and a passionate team that continues to bring the history of the Hermione to life. 

Not to mention those who work all year round to keep it afloat and in good condition. Joiners and carpenters – they too are an integral part of this great adventure, and who knows? Tomorrow you could be too! 

 

Her stay at the port of Bayonne

The association always makes every effort to make this site accessible. You can get all the information about their opening hours or opening days by contacting them directly by phone or on their website; as well as, of course, by visiting our Tourist Office.

In case of strong winds (over 70 to 80 km/h), the Hermione is obliged to close access to the public for safety reasons. Please return to the Tourist Office to change the date or be reimbursed.

 

The Grand Carenado de l'Hermione, what does it mean?

The ship Hermione is undergoing repairs in the port of Bayonne. It is in dry dock for a major maintenance operation. The repairs are located on a part of the hull, normally submerged, and are essential for the ship to be able to sail again. All this is happening in the Basque Country, where you can visit this emblematic French ship, a reminder of the region's maritime past.

For the first time since it sailed, the frigate is open to visitors during her careening. The Hermione - Lafayette Association, the ship's owner, wishes to share this stage of the Hermione's life with visitors. For this reason, an exhibition has been created and installed on the quayside, while the frigate remains accessible to the public during the works.

Mediators, as well as volunteers, are available on the bridge to answer visitors' questions.

The Grand Fairing of the Hermione is a unique restoration project and, depending on the maintenance works, some areas of the frigate may be temporarily closed to visitors for safety reasons.

In order to travel again, the Association needs everyone's support, as visiting the Grand Carenado contributes to the financing of its repairs.

Visit on your own - duration about 1 hour

There are two areas to visit: the exhibition tent and the ship. The exhibition will show you the history of the frigate, its construction and its voyages, as well as the organisation of life on board and how the frigate works today and in the La Fayette era.

You will also discover the major restoration mission and the challenges involved in restoring the fairing.

In the workshops, you will see how the new parts are made and, from the quayside, you will be able to watch the craftsmen and work teams in action.

Finally, you will have the opportunity to access the first two decks of this cathedral of the seas.

(All the information signs are translated into Spanish, English and Basque).

Guided tours - duration of each guided tour: 1h30 + access to the exhibition

  • Discovery and History

This visit invites you to a first immersion in the history of the frigate. Discover the challenges faced by the association in order to build, sail and maintain the largest historical replica of navigation in the world. From the workshops to the first two decks of the ship, a guide will share this exceptional human and maritime adventure with you, taking you to the commander's flat and the crew's cabins.

  • Major careening

This visit will give you access to the underside of this impressive work of art. Accompanied by a guide, you will descend in complete safety to the bottom of the dry dock, as close as possible to the hull of the ship.

Please note that both guided tours are in French. To request a guided tour in another language (subject to availability), please contact the Hermione Office.

The shop at the entrance is freely accessible and offers a wide range of certified Hermione products.

You can support, in the long term, the Hermione restoration project. Subscribing to the Hermione-Lafayette association allows you to benefit from advantages: free access throughout the year, discounts on items in the shop, invitations to concerts and events.

Practical information for the 2024 season

Access

Address: 12 avenue de l'Adour 64600 Anglet (opposite the France Asia grocery shop)
Free parking at 500 m (2 avenue de l'Adour)
Bicycle parking near the port

The exhibition is accessible for people with reduced mobility and pushchairs, but access to the boat requires very good mobility (gangway to access the ship and steep and narrow stairs on board).

Dogs are not allowed (except guide dogs for the visually impaired).

Opening hours

- Site closed from 7 January to 13 February inclusive

- Opening hours from 14 February to 7 April:
Open Wednesday afternoons to Sundays, 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time (4.30pm)
Guided tour "Grand Carénage" only

- Opening times from 8 April to 5 May:
Open 7 days a week from 10am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 7pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time (6.30pm)
Two guided tours: "Discovery and History" at 10:30 am and "Grand Carénage" at 2:30 pm

- Opening times from 6 May to 19 May:
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 6pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time (5.30pm)
Two guided tours: "Discovery and History" at 10:30 am and "Grand Carénage" at 2:30 pm

- Opening times from 20 May to 26 May:
Open 7 days a week from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 7pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time (6.30pm)
Two guided tours: "Discovery and History" at 10.30am and "Grand Carénage" at 2.30pm

For more information on opening times and days, please call 0033 784 997 526 or visit www.hermione.com

Prices
VISIT ON YOUR OWN    


GUIDED VISIT
DISCOVERY AND HISTORY    


GUIDED VISIT

GRAND CARENADE  

ADULTS12€18€18€
REDUCED(1)          10€15€15€
YOUTH(6 a 15 años)     FREE8€8€
MEMBERSFREE8€8€

1. On presentation of proof of entitlement: students, unemployed persons and persons with disabilities.
2. Guided tours are not open to children under 6 years of age.

Tickets on sale at the ticket offices of the tourist offices in Bayonne, Anglet and Biarritz, online or directly at the ticket office of the port of Bayonne in Anglet.

 
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