Artemise project : « Tour of the Americas »

Aboard a sailboat skippered by Gilles Melon, set sail in 2026, to follow in the wake of the corvette Artémise a little more than 170 years later. A three-masted Navy ship, which left Cherbourg (France) on December 14, 1851, for French Polynesia (return to Cherbourg in 1855).


The aim of this new project, led by the Ecoransat association, is to tour the Americas to carry out an inventory of the impact of ecological upheavals (decline in biodiversity, plastic and organic pollution, etc.) and climatic (rising waters, navigation conditions, rising temperatures) that have occurred since the mid-19th century to the present day.

Communicate to raise awarness

The idea is to raise awareness among the general public on these themes on a regular basis through sustained production of video, photo, written press, Web and social media content. All carried out by journalists on board with the assistance of the crew and specialists met during stopovers.

The Ecotransat sailboat, skippered by Gilles Melon, will also take on board scientists to collect data, but also painters-photographers-actors, who will bring their artistic point of view and their look at the ecological and climatic state of our planet.

The genesis of the project

It was in San Francisco that the Artémise project was born. While visiting the cemetery of Mission Dolorès, an 18th century Catholic church, we notice a tomb on which we can read in French : “Here lie the remains of Monsieur Alfred Simon of the French corvette L’Artémise, who died at the age of 21, pray for him « . Note that reading the book by Mr. André Piron entitled, “Voyage and death of young Alfred Simon” was a valuable source of information.

Aspiring second class officer Alfred Simon, born in Sablé (France) in 1833, died of illness on September 17, 1854, in California, he was 21 years old. His disappearance is duly recorded in the barracks (logbook) of the Artémise.
This young sailor is the common thread of the Artémise project.
Upon arriving in San Francisco, the crew of the EcoTransat sailboat will pay tribute to him at the Mission Dolorès cemetery.

Historical referencies

Before returning to Cherbourg (France), its home port in 1855, the Artémise and its crew crisscrossed the oceans. A journey of around 20,000 miles which was scrupulously recorded and documented in the logbooks to which we had access thanks to the National Navy Archives in Cherbourg.

These thousands of pages are a true treasure which allows us to retrace with precision, day after day, the journey of the corvette and life on board.


To carry out this project, drawing on the experience of navigator Gilles Melon (round-the-world sailing) and that of journalist Vincent Lacour, the Ecotransat association is looking for partners.

Estimated budget for a trip estimated to last two years : €2 million.

Contacts : 
Gilles Melon : / +33 (0)7 81 64 21 46.
Vincent Lacour : / +33 (0)6 73 65 40 59.