Olympic torch arrives in France aboard historic ship

The Olympic torch for the 2024 Paris Games has arrived in the French city of Marseille after being carried across the Mediterranean Sea from Greece aboard a three-mast sailing ship.

The Paris organizing committee says the ship was launched in 1896 -- the year of the first modern Olympic Games.

More than 150,000 people gathered at the port to welcome the vessel's arrival. The French Air Force aerobatic team staged a flyover, releasing smoke in blue, white and red -- the colors of the French national flag.

A 24-year-old local man said it was incredibly moving to see the ship come into view.

A huge cheer rose when Marseille-born rapper Jul lit a cauldron with the torch.

The torch relay in France is set to start Thursday in Marseille and will involve about 10,000 torchbearers.

The flame will pass through various iconic places -- including World Heritage sites Mont Saint-Michel and the Palace of Versailles -- before arriving at the River Seine for the July 26 opening ceremony.