One of the largest tall ship replicas ever built sailed into Lunenburg Saturday morning.

The French ship L'Hermione is a replica of General Lafayette's 18th century ship that carried him to the United States from France to announce his country's support in the fight for independence.

Hermione 4

L'Hermione is a replica of General Lafayette's ship that carried him to the United States from France. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

After crossing the Atlantic ocean, L'Hermione began her journey up the east coast of the United States in June.

More than a hundred people lined the Lunenburg dock today to welcome her. The ship was led into the harbour by another famous replica — the Bluenose II.

While they seem similar, there are very important differences between the two replicas.

The Bluenose II is a modern ship that was built to look like the original fishing schooner. L'Hermione was built using 18th century materials and techniques.

The 65-metre long ship was completed in 2014, after 17 years of construction. The project cost $34 million dollars. The majority of the funds used to build the ship came from supporters and visitors to the shipyard who donated small dollar amounts at a time.

In attendance in Lunenburg today were a number of dignitaries, including the French ambassador to Canada and Nova Scotia MLA Suzanne Lohnes-Croft.

The ship leaves port tomorrow, sailing for Saint-Pierre et Miquelon before heading back to France.