Gala Celebrates Historic Return
of Lafayette’s Freedom Ship Hermione

August 14, 2014
GFriends of Hermione-Lafayette in America today announced the date of October 14, 2014 for the Inaugural Gala to support Hermione, the historically reconstructed 18th Century French Frigate of Liberty, and her grand U.S. return voyage in the summer of 2015. The Gala will take place at The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. The theme of the Gala is Lafayette’s family motto “Why Not?”  The Gala celebrates democracy, heritage and the indomitable spirit that inspired young Lafayette to board Hermione in 1780 and sail to Washington’s aid in America’s fight for freedom. For Miles Young, President of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, and Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy & Mather:      “Hermione Voyage 2015 celebrates the indomitable spirit of the Marquis de Lafayette,  teen hero of the American Revolution and French Founding Father of the United States. It also returns this historic tall ship to the iconic ports of the War of Independence, in one of the most remarkable and authentic reconstructions in the world. This ambitious project brings history alive while exemplifying Lafayette’s family motto “Why Not?”      Our distinguished honorees include Honorary Chairman, Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund  and Charlie Rose, internationally renowned journalist and newscaster.  

“The United States and France have a long history of working together for shared principles. From French support when The Hermione tipped the balance against Britain in the Revolutionary War to long years fought together during World War I & II, there has always been a mutual and deep belief in liberty and freedom as our common cause.”
—Dr. Kissinger  

Hermione: The ship that changed the course of history      The idea of reconstructing an authentic, historical replica of the Hermione, made by hand in the techniques of the 18th century, was conceived in 1993 by author and savant Érik Orsenna and Benedict Donnelly.  The historical significance of Hermione, her role in turning the tide of the revolutionary war and the spirit of friendship that was created as a result seemed an invaluable part of history not to be lost.  The Hermione-Lafayette Association was formed to bring the mammoth project to fruition.      On April 25, 2015, the reconstructed Hermione, a work of pure craftsmanship, is due to set sail from the mouth of the River Charente in Port-des-Barques where Lafayette boarded on March 10, 1780.  The actual voyage is a three-month, 3,819 mile transatlantic crossing using 18th century technology.  The Hermione sails to the United States, making landfall at Yorktown, Virginia, where the original had engaged in the blockade that led to the British defeat at Yorktown.  She will then sail up the east coast, stopping in 12 iconic ports of the American Revolution including Mt. Vernon/Washington, DC/ Alexandria, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before heading back home to Rochefort, France.  

"The world is sorely in need of spirited, determined hearts, linked by a common purpose. Perhaps Hermione’s new journey will inspire more modern collaborations toward a more peaceful world.”
—Charlie Rose  

Exciting array of bi-national cultural/educational events in each port of call    
 The  Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America are inviting the public to join in welcoming the Hermione and are planning a range of pier-side events and festivities as well as visits on board the Hermione. These include:

•  Special Lafayette-Hermione Museum Exhibits with education programs in New York, Washington D.C, Boston and Paris;

•  French-American festivals including period concerts, contemporary bands, theatre, animation and fireworks;

•  A traveling exhibit that accompanies the Hermione to each historic port;

•  Heritage Villages: Pier-side historic recreations of 18th century shipbuilding, sailing, culinary, fashion and design experiences;  and,

•  The Hermione Game: an interactive education video game where players sail with Lafayette in 1780, to name just a few.    

 The  2015 summer event series is steeped in history and the collaborations of hundreds of the world’s finest historians, engineers, ship-makers, artisans and history and sailing enthusiasts who have been and are now involved with Hermione’s  voyage and legacy.       The  Friends  of Hermione–Lafayette in America    

 The  American Friends of the Hermione-Lafayette, a privately held 501-c-3 organization headquartered in New York City, exists to organize the visit of Hermione to the United States in 2015 and to create a legacy of cultural and educational assets which celebrate the role of Lafayette and Hermione in aiding American independence.    

 The  Friends  of Hermione Gala Committee includes Deborah  Berger, Catherine Godbille, Judi Kilachand,  Isabelle Lefebvre-Vary,  Helen  MacIsaac, Helen  Miller, Lindsey  Mulholland, Pascale Richard and Artee Seghal.

For Sponsorship Opportunities or to reserve tickets or tables contact:

Judi Kilachand, Executive Director Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America
+1 917-916-5274
Jitin Hingorani Event Coordinator JINGO Media
+1 512-773-6679  

 Gala Press Inquiries: 
Deborah  Berger PUREpr & marketing
+1 646-391-0352 

  Moët Hennessy is Founding Partner and Grand Sponsor of the 2015 United States Tour. Founding Maritime Partner, Tall Ships America, will accompany the Hermione in full armada from Baltimore to Halifax.