French ship in Wellington in time for ANZAC commemorations
French multi-role vessel the B2M d’Entrecasteaux arrived in Wellington on April 24 ahead of ANZAC Day commemorations. Six of the d’Entrecasteaux’s officers will be present at services in Wellington on April 25, and members of public will have the chance to tour the ship later in the day.
A delegation of six officers from the d’Entrecasteaux will attend the ANZAC Day dawn service in Wellington, as well as the mid-morning service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
The d’Entrecasteaux will be berthed at Wellington’s Queen’s Wharf until Friday, April 28.
Tours of the ship are scheduled for the afternoon of April 25. Each tour has capacity for 15 people and lasts about 40 minutes. Identification will be requested to board the ship. Tours will be conducted on a first in, first served basis, with no bookings available. Schedule:
3:00pm - two tours
3:40pm - two tours
4:20pm - two tours
About the d’Entrecasteaux
B2M ships are modern multi-purpose supply vessels, built to merchant navy standards as well as French navy specifications. They are the key to French military and governmental requirements overseas. The D’Entrecasteaux is the first of the class and was delivered to the French navy in 2016.
Ratified by the 2013-SDR and financed by the MoD, the B2Ms are designed to accomplish transportation, surveillance and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions for the government.
Lieutenant-Commander Benoit Bariller took command of B2M “D’Entrecasteaux”, the first ship of a series of four multi-mission ships, in 2015.
A bit of history
The ship is named after Antoine Reymond Joseph de Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, known as the knight of D’entrecasteaux (« chevalier d’Entrecasteaux ») (1737-1793). He was a French navigator and governor in the Indian Ocean.
In 1791, he conducted a great expeditionary mission onboard the Recherche and Esperance destroyers after the one by Jean-François de La Pérouse. His travels took him to the seven seas and to explore the shores of New-Zealand, New-Caledonia, the Tonga Islands and Australia.
Those explorations place him alongside other French scientific sailors such as Bougainville and Dumont d’Urville who contributed greatly to a better understanding of the Pacific Ocean in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.