Attention to detail to create a fantastic on-board experience
Tradewind Voyages product director Oliver Hammerer has created an environment whereby customers can experience many emotions whilst they travel on the world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship, Golden Horizon.
“I want our guests to feel happy, to feel relaxed, to explore, to be well, feel well, sleep well, eat well, feel content, connect with the elements and enjoy themselves!” he says.
Hammerer has an extensive background working for luxury cruise lines and joined Tradewind Voyages as the man tasked with making the on-board experience luxurious and as enjoyable as possible.
“We include coffee, soft drinks, wine and beer at dinner. WIFI will also be included.”
The ship will offer sustainable voyages, following the wind and using sails for propulsion whenever possible. Hammerer feels it is vital to carry this through in the on-board experience.
“We won’t have plastic straws or bottles of water. Shampoo bottles will be biodegradable. It’s easy to slip up there and you have to practice what you preach.”
Tradewind Voyages will offer excellent service, while retaining a casual and relaxed atmosphere on board.
“Onboard the service will be very friendly, but not over-familiar. Dress at dinner will be smart casual, we won’t have black tie dinners.”
Hiring the right personnel on board is vital to achieving the right atmosphere.
“You hire the right people and treat them in a way that makes them feel proud of what they do. Crew recruitment and crew treatment is vital. Make them feel great and an integral part of the team. A happy crew makes for happy customers.”
The ship will have 272 guests and 159 crew but Hammerer says the guests to crew ratio will feel smaller than the 1.7-1 figure.
“We won’t have casino staff or photographer, for example. So there’s a high number of people looking after guests – it will feel very attentive without being intrusive.”
A key part of any voyage will be the food and drinks served. Under the mantra ‘Eat Well, Be Well’, Golden Horizon will offer a high standard of traditional and local dishes.
The main restaurant will have food laid out in the style of a buffet, but guests will be served. There will also be pasta and sushi stations, along with an a la carte menu.
“I’m delighted we’ve found the right Executive Chef because it’s a crucial cog in the wheel. The dinner is the highlight of each day. It’s so important that even the chief executive was involved in the selection process for the chef!
“We want people to eat well and be well, but pampering is also important. We can also serve some indulgent foods if they are done in style and in moderation.
“We’ll have a fantastic mixology programme offering cocktails with fresh and local ingredients. It’s important – a liquid food! We’ll also offer a price that makes people think ‘that’s a good deal and I’ll have another one if I want’, rather than ‘that’s a bit steep’. It’s all part of the philosophy of making people feel relaxed without having to worry too much about cost.”
Spa treatments, a wellbeing programme that includes Pilates and Thai Chi instruction on the open deck and beaches around the world, live entertainment in the form of a pianist and singing duo, and quizzes, movies and educational talks will all be on the menu.
Hammerer still has plenty of work to do before the first sailings, but is extremely excited about a product that he feels will be popular when the world starts opening up again and holidaymakers are able to travel.
“Sustainability is going to be increasingly important in the future,” he said. “People will also want fresh air and space and we have a huge amount of deck space and three pools, which is quite something for a ship of our size.
“Of course, it’s currently a difficult time for everyone but it’s an exciting time for us, creating something that we’re sure our customers will love.”