Tradewind Voyages is a brand-new cruise line, with a single ship – Golden Horizon. Launching in the middle of the pandemic, some thought they were crazy, but Tradewind Voyages planned ahead and were in the best possible position, when travel restrictions started to lift, by securing a number of UK itineraries, sailing around the British Isles.
Ray and I were very fortunate to be invited onboard for a few nights, as part of Golden Horizon’s ‘dress rehearsal’ and we are delighted to tell you all about our experience.
There is no denying that the cruise industry is rather crowded right now but Golden Horizon is like no other ship that you will find on the sea, she is truly unique and therefore filling a much-needed gap. She is the World’s largest square-rigged sailing vessel. A near replica of the 1913 built ocean vessel, France II, she retains the charm, adventure and romance of an historic ship.
The beautiful vessel cost 100 million Euros to construct and has a top speed of 20 knots, a length over all of 162m and a beam of 19m.
With a passenger capacity of between 272 and 330 (in normal times), looked after by a crew of around 159, passengers have four decks to enjoy and there are 140 cabins.
If you’ve ever sailed on one of the Royal or Star Clipper ships, she does appear to be similar, with her beautiful masts and sails, but she is in fact very different. Golden Horizon, is a true 5* ship, with all the bells and whistles. Her public areas are much larger, she has a full-service spa with hairdresser, gym, library, boutique and marina offering snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. She really is on a whole other level of luxury.
We stayed in a deluxe cabin which are the highest category of accommodation, except for the four owners’ suites. Our cabin was exceptionally spacious, with a traditional nautical feel. We had a 3/4 bath, with shower and plenty of hanging space, which isn’t always common when at sea. Having inspected all of the other cabins, it was great to see that they were all well-appointed and spacious. I was particularly impressed with the cabins for single travellers of which there are 6 and always sell fast.
The food that we experienced on board was of an excellent standard. You can dine in the main dining room, the Horizon Bar & Grill or in your suite and you have the choice of 5 bars for that special tipple. All allergies and intolerances are catered for.
There are three outdoor, salt water swimming pools onboard and the main pool is heated. There is also a dive pool although no swimming is allowed in here. Whilst we didn’t experience this whilst in the English Channel, the Marina will be perfect when docked in the Caribbean or Mediterranean and somewhere you will spend much time if you love to snorkel or enjoy water sports.
Daily classes are also available including yoga, meditation and breathwork and a daily schedule of activities is delivered to your cabin.
If you would like to relax whilst onboard there is a sauna, hammam and snow room in the spa area. Perfect for those days at sea or just a bit of R&R.
The true delight of the ship was being on the upper deck when the sails were raised. Having cruised a number of times before, I love to be up on deck, looking out to sea, but there is something very special about the ship when she is at full sail. The sails are in fact so important that the first time they are raised on a journey, there is a special ceremony, accompanied by music written for this special occasion.
The beauty of the Golden Horizon is that she aims to be as sustainable as possible. She uses the wind and current and follows the sun, to allow guests to travel the world in a unique way. Her philosophy is to be powered by nature whenever possible and the intention is to sail, without using propulsion for around 70% of each season.
If you have ever dreamed of sailing on a ship like Golden Horizon or you would like a different cruise experience, then this would be perfect. Please call us on 01428 658777 and we can discuss where in the world you would like to travel on this wonderful vessel.