It’s not often you get to be part of a special moment in history so, this July, why not take the opportunity to be on the inaugural sailing of Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square-rigged sailing vessel.
We’ll sail from Harwich in Essex, where the Royal Hospital School Band will give Golden Horizon a triumphant send-off while you sip Champagne up on deck.
Our staff will treat you to canapés and a special dinner, created by Head Chef Derek Allen and his team, and the Sail Away Party will be in full swing to celebrate the occasion. When the evening comes to a close, we’ll ensure you remember this historic event with a Tradewind Voyages inaugural plate, one of many special gifts we have planned for you during the voyage.
An elegant near-replica of the 1913-built ship, France II, Golden Horizon retains all the charm and grandeur of sailing on a historic tall ship – but with 21st century facilities, an ocean view from every cabin, a sustainable ethos and ‘eat well, be well’ dining philosophy.
To appreciate the full beauty of the ship and the service on board, we’ll host a special brunch in the main Dining Room with live music and spend the whole day at sea, so you can enjoy time by the pool, enjoy a treatment in the spa or relax in the library with a good book.
Tradewind Voyages’ philosophy is to power Golden Horizon by the billowing sails as much as possible, and you can learn more about our beautiful ship at the Captain’s lecture and a chat with the directors at our evening cocktail party.
Arriving in bustling Whitby, Yorkshire, take time to discover this busy commercial fishing port and the town’s restaurants and cafes, brimming with great seafood. Traditional fish and chips rarely gets better than in Whitby . Tour the ruined 7th-century Whitby Abbey before heading along the coast to quaint Robin Hood’s Bay, or head inland and hike through the North York Moors National Park.
Our next stop is Newcastle, an enthralling city with an industrial past that today has a thriving art scene in its small galleries and a choice of brilliant restaurants. From here, you might head into the small, attractive town of Corbridge to shop in its boutiques and visit the ruined Roman town that sits on Hadrian’s Wall – the frontier of the Roman Empire in then Brittania.
At Berwick-upon-Tweed, right by the Scottish border, you could scale the ruins of its castle or enjoy some beach time on the nearby sandy swathes. Back onboard, you’ll be officially welcomed to Scotland with the sounds of bagpipes. We’ll host a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ cocktail party where you can try Haggis canapés, try whisky samplers and choose from our featured cocktails. During the Scottish celebration dinner, watch the piper parade on the top level of our stunning dining room atrium and we’ll put on a special menu to give you a flavour of the destination.
We’ll end our voyage in Leith – the gateway to Edinburgh. Make time to visit the castle and medieval Royal Mile, and don’t miss out on a taste of classic Scottish neeps and tatties in one of the old fashioned pubs.
This will be an exciting seacation, a well-deserved holiday after the year we’ve all had! So, if you’ve got a sense of adventure and a passion for the sea, join us on our unforgettable and inaugural maritime adventure.
To discuss or book this voyage please call 01473 932060 or visit https://tradewindvoyages-ts.opendestinations.com/BookingSiteUI/PackageSearch.
Golden Horizon’s spectacular marina will be the focal point for environmentally friendly watersports that enhance our green credentials, in line with the sustainability philosophy we pledge to follow.
Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship, will offer voyages with unique sustainability credentials when it sails east from September 2021. Aiming to use wind power for 70% of each season, we feel it is imperative to maintain our philosophy of protecting the environment in all operations both onboard and ashore.
We will steer away from offering watersports which typically use gas to power engines. Instead, guests will be able to snorkel, kayak, windsurf and paddleboard, among other sports, to enjoy the ocean. Areas around the marina will also be cordoned off for swimming.
Sea bobs, which use battery power to propel people through water, will be available and guests will also have the opportunity to go on diving trips where appropriate.
Tradewind Voyages product director Oliver Hammerer, has worked with colleagues to create something that combines elements of the best marinas on ships, while ensuring the environment is protected.
Situated at the stern of the ship, the marina folds down into the water and extends four metres out to reveal a teak decked surface.
“We want guests to have a lot of fun while following our philosophy,” said Hammerer. “I’m also on the look-out for other toys to use on the marina that people will enjoy, provided they are environmentally friendly, of course.”
The number of marina days will vary by voyage, depending on the itinerary. The ship may also make unscheduled stops to use the marina, at the discretion of the captain.
In December 2021, our Great Barrier Reef & Gold Coast voyage includes 6 sailing days in the itinerary. The Marina is likely to be a hub of activity on those days, where guests could catch a glimpse of the unique marine wildlife that the Great Barrier Reef provides a home for.
In April 2022, our Indian Ocean Paradise voyage gives guests plenty of time to enjoy the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters from the marina. With 5 scenic days of sailing from one dazzling island to another, this voyage promises plenty of Indonesian adventures above and below the water.
Safety and security will always be paramount. Tradewind Voyages will have three staff members dedicated to the marina and use of equipment will always be supervised.
Guests will only pay extra for diving, with use of all other equipment included in the price of the voyage. A dive pool, where guests can learn to dive, will be situated three decks up from the marina.
Our new Sailing Master is excited about working on Golden Horizon and brings a wealth of experience.
The world largest Tall Ship deserves a truly experienced Tall Ship Mariner to lead the Deck department and to optimise the ship’s extensive suite of sails. Whereas most cruise ships’ second in command is known as the Staff Captain, onboard the Golden Horizon, that individual is known as the Sailing Master. Splitting his time between serving onboard luxury cruise ships and teaching onboard sail training vessels, including several years as Master, Richard Cruse brings exactly the right experience to bear.
“I’m looking forward to leading the team at sea” says Richard Cruse, who is thrilled at the prospect of making maritime history onboard the beautiful Golden Horizon. “I’ve always known the calling of the sea, even from an early age, it’s just part of my makeup.”
In his new role, Cruse will head up all departments in the same way as a staff captain on another cruise ship, but additionally will be in charge of the crucial and specialist areas of sailing and seamanship. It’s these responsibilities that will make his time onboard Golden Horizon very different to that of typical larger cruise ships – which he is eagerly anticipating, “you have a lot more to think about and its quite specialist knowledge.”
After an initial UK season starting in May, Golden Horizon will head east in August on sustainable voyages around the world, with the aim to sail, without using engines, for 70% of the season.
“The itinerary has been assembled using routing charts, to make the best use of the prevailing conditions for the time of year. However the specific passage plan and sailing strategy will be down to myself and the Captain.”
Richard has spent time in Croatia getting accustomed to the ship and will get his wish to return to the sea when he goes back there in January to begin sea trials and assist with the training of some of the crew.
Despite being only 35, Richard has a good and varied amount of seafaring experience. He joined the merchant navy at 18 and has worked on large and small cruise ships as well as in sail training.
“I prefer the small ship lifestyle,” he says. “You recognise both crew and passengers and build up a rapport with them – ultimately it’s all about the people, that’s important. It also allows you to focus on more of the granular detail and do things really, really well.”
“I’ve been out to see Golden Horizon in Croatia. She is very well designed from a passenger and sailing perspective, with generous deck space and intimate areas like Debeljaks bar. The rig may not be what Jock Willis of the Cutty Sark was used to, but I think he would be pleased. It’s very efficiently and cleverly designed, making use of modern materials and engineering techniques. I believe that she is capable of a good turn of speed and high windward performance for a square rigger. Her sheer size will make for an impressive sight; the long waterline length, fine lines and clipper bow should give excellent sailing qualities.”
“The accommodation is very neatly arranged, and there is a subtle, tasteful elegance about the ship. It’s not about glitz and glamour – the design of the ship and the level of service will speak for themselves. The history and rich culture of the places we visit will appeal to those of an inquistive mind, whilst the quality and ambience of the ship will suit those who appreciate a more refined experience. It’s why I’m so behind Tradewind, there is a substance to it”.
Richard said Golden Horizon was ideally suited to longer ocean voyages.
“Of course, she can sail anywhere, but she really comes into her own on long ocean going voyages. It’s here that we can make use of the more stable tradewinds, really power up that rig, and where you can feel the relentless pouding of the ocean under your feet, hear the spray and smell the sea. She’s the 747 of the sailing community and she’ll do well in the right hands. There is something very special about watching the sun rise over the vast expance of ocean, with a fresh cup of coffee and the prospect of a new day.”
Richard has also been impressed by the team recruited by Tradewind Voyages.
“It’s clear that some of the industries leading talent have come together to bring this company to life. No-one knows it all and we are all experts in our own field – the success will be driven by the blending of this collective specialist knowledge. I’m really proud to be part of that.”
Tradewind Voyages Head Chef Derek Allen discusses the dishes on board Golden Horizon.
Healthy, classic dishes with a modern twist is the mouth-watering prospect for Tradewind Voyages’ customers, according to its new head chef Derek Allen.
Montreal-based Allen will be in charge of all the dishes on Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship, which will offer ex-UK sailings in May before heading east on sustainable voyages around the world.
He said he was excited to be tasked with bringing the Tradewind Voyages’ dining philosophy of ‘Eat Well, Be Well’ to life.
“I’m building a nice rotation of menus, where we will offer a great variety and some local dishes, depending on where we are.
“There will be a lot of fresh produce bought from local markets and we’ll make the sauces from scratch,” he said. “We can offer healthy food that tastes fantastic and we’ll do things that are a bit different.”
An example of a classic dish with a modern twist will be Allen’s Beef Wellington with truffle puree and sauteed chanterelles.
“We’ll also make sure the dish is designed in a beautiful way!” he said.
Allen appreciates that people on holiday will occasionally want to indulge themselves and an example of one of his ‘naughty but nice’ dishes will be a white sponge-cake with blueberry mousse and white chocolate shavings.
There will be a wide choice to cater for all tastes and diets, and although Allen will have 19 chefs to assist him, he will be very much hands-on in the kitchen.
“I love to train and teach, but my passion is cooking,” he said.
Allen turns 40 in January and has a wealth of experience working for major hotel brands and cruise lines. His CV also includes a stint as chef at Six Senses, Zighy Bay resort in Oman.
Celebrity chef Marco-Pierre White was a big influence on him as the two worked together on another ship.
“He can be a bit crazy but he is just such a brilliant chef. I had total respect for him and I learnt so much working with him.”
A visit to Croatia to see Golden Horizon convinced Allen to take up the challenge of being its head chef as his next career move.
“It was like nothing I’d seen before, such a beautiful tall ship,” he said. The décor is so elegant and the dining room is spectacular. I knew this was the place where I wanted to work.”
Allen is very supportive of the Tradewind Voyages philosophy of treating everybody equally, as part of a team.
“When I first started working on a cruise ship, you might get a chef throwing an egg at you if he was unhappy with something. But those days are gone and I have a very different approach. I want any of our team to be able to ask me anything and we work together to create the best dishes for the customers.”
In his spare time, Allen likes to keep fit through weight training and running, to have the energy to work long hours as required in the job.
“When I’m working, I often don’t get to eat a meal, but I do lots of tasting to make sure the food is right and the calories can add up for me.
“So, the training helps to keep me in shape and gives me more energy to work. Passengers may well see me jogging around a port when I have the time for a break.”
By Jeremy McKenna, Sales and Marketing Director, Tradewind Voyages
Just seven months after five us sat in a one-room office, with pieces of paper and lots of ideas, we are almost ready to launch.
The growth of Tradewind Voyages has been nothing short of miraculous, all the more so because we’ve had to do so much of it in lockdown.
Although March 2nd was the official launch of the company, I’d been approached in the middle of November last year and asked if I would be interested in the opportunity to be part of a team setting up a new cruise line. Who could turn down that offer?
From that point on, I started writing down questions on a piece of paper. What type of customers would we want? What would our magnificent ship be called? What would the brand stand for? What would the website look like? What would be our commercial strategy? How would we tell our story? and so on, and so on.
It wasn’t long before I had 100 questions on that piece of paper.
Gathered in the office on that Monday morning in March were Chief Executive Officer Stuart McQuaker, Product Director Oliver Hammerer, Head of Marketing and Distribution Amanda Norey, Head of Marine John Grenville-Goble and myself.
We gave ourselves until the end of the week to come up with a connected plan.
Back then we didn’t even have wifi and had to log on to a public service in a building nearby!
But we managed it and Tradewind Voyages was up and running.
By the second week, lockdown was upon us and the office had to be mothballed. It’s only recently that we have been able to go back.
For everyone, working from home has presented its challenges, but I think it is particularly difficult when you are starting and growing a business.
We’ve saved time in not having to travel to and from meetings, but you miss the personal touch of a face-to-face meeting when you are hiring people or trying to agree deals, not forgetting building a team spirit. I think I must have done well over 800 Zoom calls!
I’d like to thank the trade for the enormous support they’ve given us during our rapid growth. People like Trailfinders Commercial Director David Ness, Mundy Cruising owner Edwina Lonsdale and TripSmiths founder and ChiefExecutive Officer Charlie Starmer-Smith were incredibly enthusiastic from the off and also freely offered us help and advice.
They immediately understood the concept of Tradewind Voyages and the fact that we will offer sustainable trips, following the wind and the sun, on the largest square-rigged sailing ship in the world.
The trade has given us an amazing reception and seem genuinely delighted to have something positive to talk about during COVID-19. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve told me that we are the only good news story in town!
And we would not have been able to get to our present position without our fantastic staff. We now have nine people in the Sales and Marketing team and they have been nothing short of magnificent.
We decided from the off that we would hire people with a ‘can do’ attitude – a positive mindset about our plans even though the pandemic is the most challenging time in the history of the travel industry. We got that – and skill – in spades.
The ship is currently in Croatia and during lockdown, we were unable to travel to see her until the end of July.
Standing on the deck, I was blown away (excuse the pun) looking at the five masts – the ship is beautiful, elegant and classic and our guests are going to love it.
We have 30 incredible voyages from May 2021 – May 2022, starting off with a programme of 9 ex-UK sailings and then travelling East through the Mediterranean and the Suez canal, following the coast of India as we head toward Australia where we do a full circumnavigation – spending Christmas on the Great Barrier reef before we traverse the Indian Ocean to Africa and then coming back to Singapore via the Seychelles and the Maldives.
We have already had a significant number of people registering their interest and the voyages will go on sale at our official launch on November 2, exactly eight months after that first office meeting.
The pandemic has made people think about different types of holidays and how they can live and holiday in a more sustainable way. The winds of change are coming and we intend to play our part in leading that change.
I look forward to sharing more details with you as our exciting adventure continues.
An application available to download on smartphones is helping Tradewind Voyages plan unique itineraries around the world.
Savvy-Navvy is being used by Head of Marine John Grenville-Goble, the man charged with plotting the voyages next year and beyond on Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship.
Tradewind Voyages use the winds to follow the sun to create sustainable trips around the world, with the aim of sailing (without using engines), for on average 70% of each season. After an inaugural UK season in May 2021, Golden Horizon will head east in August 2021.
The starting point for Grenville-Goble was to use routing charts, a navigational technique used for hundreds of years, before steam power made the wind less relevant (see ‘Routing Charts Helping Plan Unique Voyages’).
After initial routes are plotted, Grenville-Goble consults Savvy-Navvy.
“The app helps take the philosophy and turn it into a voyage plan,” he said.
“It’s not used for navigation, it is purely for reference. But it is a helpful next step in the planning process.”
For example, when Grenville-Goble is plotting an itinerary in the Sulu Sea, he can use the app to plan the route from Sandakan, north of Borneo, to Puerto Princesa, on the Philippine island of Palawan.
“The app can draw the distance between destinations and tell me the current winds and where they are coming from. It’s a help in planning how much the ship can sail.”
After using the app to scope the intended route, the next stage of the process is to properly plot the route, for this Grenville-Goble uses an ECDIS system called NaviPlanner, from Wartsila, the same system that will be deployed on Golden Horizon.
“This is a specialist bit of kit dedicated to navigation that professional navigators use to create the waypoints that make up the voyage plan.”
For our UK itinerary, NaviPlanner gives Grenville-Goble access to the full worldwide chart portfolio, some thousands of charts.
“It is the same system used on the ship, so that there is no confusion about the route.”
Grenville-Goble has been seeking out iconic cities and hidden beaches to visit and is not totally reliant on technology.
“We have a great shore excursion team who help us with the planning. Our philosophy is that we are less likely to have large groups going jet-skiing and much more likely to have small groups going snorkelling or on a cultural trip, so they help us find the right destination or those hidden beaches.”
“As an example, on the east coast of Australia there are some beautiful coves that offer natural protection against swells but in most cases it’s not possible for us to get in, so we will find the best place to anchor and tender in and we are having local help to find the most suitable places.”
Golden Horizon’s air draft i.e. her height from water line to mast head, is 64 metres and it has a draft of 6.4 metres.
One of Grenville-Goble’s key tasks is to ensure that wherever she sails, bridges are high enough for the ship to get under and the water is deep enough to accommodate the ship.
“Around countries like Denmark and Japan there are quite a few bridges on our routes, however Golden Horizon has the ability to fold down the top four metres of her masts to get under bridges. We always double check our navigational routes with local authorities.
“Also, the ship’s draft has an impact on some of the routes that we can take.”
“But customers should not be concerned. We never take risks and we always make sure there are very significant safety margins in all measurements.”
“We focus on zero impact to the environment, and health and safety is an area where we do not sail close to the wind.”
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.”
Tradewind Voyages has been strongly supporting its local economy by hiring nearby companies to help bring the business to life during the pandemic.
The Suffolk-based cruise company has commissioned a printing firm, marketing agency, IT support company, merchandisers and composers from the area over the past months.
The support of Tradewind Voyages has been a big boost for the companies, during a difficult period when many of them saw a downturn in business due to restrictions imposed by the government to combat the virus.
“As we started building this company, we made a decision early on that we wanted to support local people and the economy as much as possible,” said Stuart McQuaker, Chief Executive Officer at Tradewind Voyages, who lives a short walk from the new office.
“It’s been great to give something back to the area and at the same time the professionalism and skill of the local companies has been second to none.”
Ipswich-based Print Management Agency Mutual Media printed 5,000 copies of Tradewind Voyages’ 20-page preview brochure and will be printing 20,000 copies of the 68-page main brochure.
Mutual Media experienced a significant drop in business during the outbreak and was delighted to take on Tradewind Voyages as a new client during the tough trading period. The company is now recovering strongly and has around 80% of its pre-Covid business.
Mutual Media managing director Peter Brady said Tradewind Voyages was a great fit his company.
“Tradewind Voyages is the type of company that we want to align our business with as they share similar ethics to us. They want to be the best and they don’t want to compromise on quality,” he said.
“Most of our clients have been with us for many, many years and our hope is that Tradewind Voyages will be too.”
Marketing agency StrategiQ, based in Brightwell near Ipswich, have worked on all aspects of branding, design and social media with the cruise company since its formation last year.
When the pandemic hit, StrategiQ continued to work with Tradewind Voyages but some of the marketing agency’s clients cut back their business, leading it to furlough staff. StrategiQ has since recovered strongly and is now taking on new clients and staff.
“Working with Tradewind Voyages is a real thrill,” said business development and marketing consultant Ian Garstang. “Golden Horizon is such a beautiful ship with a high class feel.
“It’s also great to be working with a local company, being able to see them face-to-face during this time and being there from the beginning, helping to create the narrative for the brand.”
Ipswich-based IT support company Lucid Systems ensured that Tradewind Voyages’ computer network and telephone systems were installed smoothly – no mean feat when having to adhere to social distancing rules, or indeed access the new office remotely.
Meanwhile, Colchester-based merchandising company Total Merchandise helped to bring the new Tradewind Voyages team together with branded mugs and writing sets.
Tradewind Voyages even hired local musicians to compose the music ‘The Ocean’s Journey’, a dramatic track that passengers on Golden Horizon will hear as the ship sails out of port.
Jack Culpin met Tradewind Voyages Chief Executive Stuart McQuaker, himself a musician, in an orchestra and was commissioned, along with his cousin James Waymont, to create the music.
“We are proud of our record of supporting local businesses and will continue to do so as we grow the company,” said McQuaker.
Our Business Development Managers, Rachel Healey and Mark Schmitt, estimate they have each made around 250 zoom calls in the past three months, rapidly building relationships with new partners.
The business development managers, who joined Tradewind Voyages in May, have worked tirelessly to sign up retailers, consortia, wholesalers and online travel agencies to work with the new cruise company.
But instead of visiting them in their offices, they’ve been clocking up the virtual miles via the videoconferencing tool.
“Nearly all discussion with partners have been on zoom because of the restrictions forced on us by the pandemic. I’ve not left my home and I’ve hardly used my phone,” said Healey.
The company’s ship, Golden Horizon, goes on sale on September 30 and 95% of business will go through the trade.
After being appointed, Healey and Schmitt worked together to identify 40 core agent partners to work with, plus a second tier of retailers to target as partners.
Both came from a cruise background and quickly focussed on their contacts, with Schmitt concentrating on the north and Healey the south.
Schmitt believes the new working conditions have given them some advantages and doesn’t expect working life to ever be quite the same as it was pre-Covid 19.
“I’ve covered so much more ground than I could have done if I’d driven round to meet people, so it has been a big help from that point of view,” said Schmitt.
“Of course, face-to-face meetings are important and it’s what I love, but I suspect that in future, rather than meeting a big supplier every quarter, we will meet once a year and have then connect on zoom for the other three meetings.”
Both are close to confirming various partners ahead of Tradewind Voyages’ official launch and say that the feedback from agents has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Everyone has been incredibly supportive and keen to work with us,” said Healey.
“Agents have been desperate for some good news and they feel this is something really positive that they want to get behind.
“They love the style and the ambience of Golden Horizon and that it is something unique in the market.”
Schmitt said Tradewind Voyages’ sustainability credentials – the ship plans to sail for on average 70% of its season on worldwide voyages – was hugely important to partners.
“People are fascinated that we have used planned the itineraries to follow the wind and the sun,” said Schmitt.
“As we go into the new world, we’re confident people will want smaller ships with lots of deck space.”
“The preview brochure has been very well received and we’ll follow up with a full brochure at launch.”
Unsurprisingly, there have been challenges as they work with agents who are going through the most difficult trading period in their history.
“The biggest challenge is that companies still have teams on furlough, or individuals on annual leave, or facing the possibility of redundancy,” said Healey.
The government’s sudden decisions to force anyone returning from certain countries to go into quarantine, and the collapse of companies like CMV, have meant potential partners have suddenly had to switch their focus to deal with the crisis.
“Many businesses were very buoyant about the green shoots of recovery, but then the quarantine rules have hit consumer confidence and agents have had to deal with immediate problems,” said Healey.
However, Schmitt said despite the current travel restrictions, companies were continuing to approach them about being partners.
“It’s been such a rollercoaster for so many, but there is a feeling now that people don’t want to miss out on something this special.
“We are very optimistic about the future with our trading partners.”
Tradewind Voyages has joined Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) as a UK, Ireland and European Cruise Line.
Joining CLIA will enable Tradewind Voyages to further increase its profile and work closely with travel agents after positive initial feedback from the travel trade.
CLIA has over 4,000 agent members in the UK and Europe, all connected via the new digital platform cruising.org. It also has a significant social media presence.
Tradewind Voyages will take part in CLIA’s Learning Academy, to train agents about its ship and the company.
Our marketing director Jeremy McKenna said joining CLIA was an important step for the company.
“We are delighted to become part of the CLIA family, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association,” he said.
“We have a unique ship that we are confident agents and their customers will love. We expect that in 2021, a ship offering sustainable voyages by using the wind and sun will have a big appeal.”
CLIA director of UK and Ireland Andy Harmer said: “It’s exciting to have a new cruise line join us, particularly one that is offering something different. “We look forward to the time when holidaymakers will be able to enjoy sailing on Golden Horizon.”