England’s ‘Freedom Day’ on 19 July 2021 coincided with the inaugural voyage of Golden Horizon along the south coast of England. Maddie Taylor, Tradewind Voyage’s Marketing Manager, joined other guests onboard as our magnificent tall ship sailed out of Dover.
It was an emotional moment when Golden Horizon sailed out of Dover on ‘The Inaugural Voyage’. The tug boats motored beside us in a grand farewell as The Ocean’s Journey (a piece of music composed especially for Tradewind Voyages) bellowed over the tannoy with gusto. The sails hoisted, catching gently in the breeze on one of the hottest days of the year so far.
For many of our guests, it felt like a defining moment of freedom. After 16 months of lockdowns, limited hugs and missing family and friends, worries seemed to be carried away on the ocean’s currents.
Holidays and life as we know it are slowly returning and the excitement of going on an adventure had a few sobbing on the expansive deck as the sun cast its light on the waves left in the ship’s wake. Other guests were beaming with happiness as they sipped Champagne and took it all in. Sailing away from the iconic White Cliffs of Dover was one of those monumental experiences you won’t forget in a hurry.
The route was a round-trip from Dover, taking in both Cowes and Plymouth en route. One couple we spoke to had just bought a flat in Poole and, while sitting on their balcony, had seen Golden Horizon sail past on a preliminary voyage. They knew they had to be on board this incredible replica of the 1913-built France II and a few days later, after some Googling and booking, they were standing on deck for The Inaugural Voyage.
It’s easy to see why the ship stood out among the yachts and cruisers gracefully sailing past Poole. Golden Horizon is the world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship, an ode to the charm, adventure and romance of history’s tea clippers and Cape Horners.
The captain welcomed the guests onboard, telling us how the ship is a destination in itself and, whenever the wind allowed, the sails would guide us to our next port of call. He enthused about the ship, encouraging guests to ask questions and chat to him under the billowing sails.
Being one of the first guests felt like a privilege and the camaraderie onboard was palpable, with everyone chatting over drinks, in corridors, on deck and at dinner. The average age onboard was around 60, with teens heading to the spa for a facial or a go in the ice room and hammam, while some older guests relaxed with a coffee in the elegant library.
Stepping into the spectacular dining room, we gazed up at the curved wrought-iron balconies sweeping towards a stunning central skylight and took our seats among the maritime art hanging from wood-paneled walls. The friendly, masked staff went about the tables pouring wine into sparkling glasses and served delicious fine-dining dishes in front of hungry guests. Masks were worn by guests for embarkation and disembarkation, but it was optional while onboard. In the elegant dining room, you not only got a taste of the very finest cuisine, but a taste of normality, too. The room was abuzz with an upbeat atmosphere, with laughter accompanying the delicious local dishes, each with a healthy twist.
After dinner, guests dispersed to different bars, many choosing Horizon Bar to make the most of the sunset. On course for Cowes, the musical duo took to the stage and the dance floor filled with people jiving and twisting, all keen to celebrate the occasion in style.
After being lulled to sleep by the gentle movement of the ocean, guests woke to an early morning yoga session or a not-so-early breakfast in the dining room. On deck, guests played quoits and relaxed around the pools, many signing up for a Dive Taster session in the Dive Pool. There were insightful speakers, too, including David Graham who gave a talk about Cowes and Plymouth before a merry whisky tasting session in Debeljak’s Bar.
The amazing weather allowed us to drop Marina in Plymouth and offer paddle boarding from the back of the ship, with the stunning Plymouth Sound as our backdrop. Changing guidance by the Cruise Authorities were all part of the course. A shore excursion on the Isle of Wight was replaced with a racy rib ride in Cowes harbour; but everyone took the voyage in their stride. Guests seemed keen to get to know each other and a real conviviality was felt onboard, especially during the quiz night which sparked some healthy, fun competition.
As guests headed for bed each night, they found gifts in their cabin to mark the occasion. A commemorative plate one night, beautiful cognac glasses the next. On the last night, the captain threw a cocktail party and thanked the guests for being part of the Inaugural Voyage, a very special sailing with an equally special group of guests.
In the final few hours, as we sailed back towards Dover, people said goodbye to new friends and requested the song ‘An Ocean’s Journey’ to remember the voyage when they got home. To my delight, many said they couldn’t wait to book one of our worldwide adventures and would soon be back onboard the stunning Golden Horizon.
We are pleased to share our new UK Voyages for Golden Horizon’s inaugural season, which are now bookable.
Experience the British Isles from a new perspective with our 4 voyages exclusively visiting UK ports from July 2021. These voyages give guests the opportunity to experience Golden Horizon, and the best of British coastal towns, whilst not leaving the country – perfect for a “Staycation at Sea”.
Our English South Coast and Islands Voyage is still operating for 10 nights from 4th August 2021 as planned.
Voyage Only Prices From £849pp*
*Price based on Long Weekend Voyage. All prices shown include all meals, soft drinks and beer/wine with lunch and dinner (price based on a double outside cabin – subject to availability).
To book please call:
Voyage Only – 01473 932060
Voyages with Flights/Hotels & Tours – 0808 239 9289
or to book a voyage online click here
We would like to thank you all for your continued patience during these challenging times.
Following the UK Prime Minister’s update last week and the extended restrictions in Scotland we have unfortunately had to redesign our UK departures.
Please note below the voyages that have now been cancelled.
1st July Eastern Coastal Contrasts
6th July Scotland East to West
15th July West Coast Gems of Scotland
21st July Maritimes Cities of the North West
25th July Rounding the South West Peninsular
14th August Norwegian Fjord Adventure
21st August Beautiful Denmark
Our English South Coast and Islands Voyage is still operating for 10 nights from 4th August 2021 as planned.
NEW UK VOYAGES
We now have four fantastic new voyages all departing from Dover with durations of 4, 5 and 7 nights. We will delighted to welcome you on board one of these beautiful English south coast voyages. These voyages will go on sale on later this week, once guests who were booked on original UK voyages have been contacted about their options of transfer, or refund.
New UK Voyages
|Date||Nights||Departure Port||Arrival Port||Voyage||Voyage Code||Itinerary Ports|
|July 15, 2021||4||Dover||Dover||Long Weekend Voyage||GH4021||Sailing, Newhaven, Cowes, Sailing|
|July 19, 2021||5||Dover||Dover||The Inaugural Voyage||GH4121||Sailing, Cowes, Plymouth, Sailing|
|July 24, 2021||7||Dover||Dover||South Coast Staycation||GH4221||Sailing, Portsmouth, Falmouth, Dartmouth, Poole, Sailing|
|July 31, 2021||4||Dover||Harwich||Cowes Week Taster||GH4321||Cowes, Newhaven, Sailing|
For guests originally booked on the Norway and Denmark voyages, we are working on new voyage itineraries from 14th August and hope to provide further details next week.
If you have booked car parking via CPS then please call them to discuss a refund or transfer to Dover – www.cruiseparking.co.uk.
Government advisement – Going ashore
In order to abide by CLIA – cruise industry guidelines, you will only be allowed ashore if you have booked a shore excursion and must stay within your shore excursion bubble.
There is so much to explore, whether you are enticed by the history of some of our iconic cities or wish to enjoy the great outdoors and contrasting landscapes.
Our Shore Excursion information will hopefully give you a taster of what to expect on your wonderful voyage and our Destinations Team will be pleased to provide you with more detailed information and assist you with your bookings.
If you would like to transfer your voyage or cancel your booking please email us at email@example.com or call 01473 932060.
Thank you for your consideration and we are truly sorry for this disruption to your plans.
In light of the Prime Minister’s update earlier this week and the extension of the Government’s restrictions some of our voyages have been affected. Our team are working round the clock to create new voyages for our guests to experience Golden Horizon safely and inline with Government restrictions.
We will advise guests of our revised voyage plan and how they may be impacted as soon as itineraries have been confirmed.
We send well wishes to everyone in the travel industry, guests and travel agents alike, who have all been heavily affected by the changing lock down announcements.
Thank you for your patience
The Tradewind Voyages Team
Enter our hashtag competition to win a £5000 Voyage Voucher for a Winter 2021 – Summer 2022 Voyage
During her inaugural season, Golden Horizon will be sailing around the UK and Europe, visiting iconic and remote locations, some which cannot be reached by larger cruise vessels. We invite you to capture your ‘Golden Memory’ and take a picture of Golden Horizon if you spot her sailing or at anchor during her inaugural season.
To enter our #SeeGolden competition, please post your photo you took of Golden Horizon on social media, using the hashtag #SeeGolden in the caption, and follow our Facebook page to be automatically entered into the prizedraw.
Terms & Conditions:
Hashtag: #SeeGolden Entrants: Competition open to UK and Non-UK Residents. Requirements for valid entry: Photo must include Golden Horizon, and tag @TradewindVoyages. Entrant must also be following Tradewind Voyages on the social media account they used to post their photo hashtag entry. Start Date: 15th June June 2021. End Date: 14th October 2021 Prize: £5000 voyage credit for a Winter 2021 – Summer 2022 Voyage (1st Nov 2021 – 31st October 2022), Applies to basic voyage price in double or single cabin, excludes shore excursions, spa treatments and additional alcoholic drinks. Subject to availability. Not combinable with other offers. Not transferable. No cash equivalent. Ends 14th October 2021. Covid-19 Book with Confidence Policy Applies to Booking. Judges decision is final. Winner: The winning photo will be chosen at random by the Tradewind Voyages marketing team following the competition end date. The winner will be notified through their social media account within a week of the competition end date. Competition Contact: Sharna Bunting, Marketing & Distribution Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.”
By John Grenville-Goble, Head of Marine at Tradewind Voyages
For the past few months, I’ve been pouring over routing charts as we plan our itineraries at Tradewind Voyages.
These charts have been plotting prevailing winds around the world for the past 150 years. The charts are re-issued every 15-20 years, but there are only ever very small changes, so we can be pretty confident they are accurate.
They are crucial for us as our philosophy is built on using the wind and currents to follow the sun, allowing us to sail as much as possible when we head east in August 2021.
We want Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square rigged sailing ship, to offer the most sustainable voyages at sea and this is what makes us different from other companies.
We aim to sail, without using engines, for an average of 70% of our voyages. It’s a huge task to get the right balance of wind, current and climate, so that passengers have a wonderful holiday.
We are taking people to see the world but, for us, the ship is also the destination and we will go where the wind takes us. If, for example, the wind is not going to Rio, then we’re not going to Rio because we plan the itineraries based on the wind patterns.
In the Far East, the winds dictate that we sail through the Japanese island chain via Okinawa and then on to Nagasaki. Others are more likely to take the inshore route via Shanghai and Vietnam.
Following the winds and the sun also means that we will visit some fascinating destinations that are off the beaten track, such as remote ports in India and Indonesia.
Our adventure will start in May next year, when we bring the ship to the UK for a series of itineraries from Glasgow and Harwich.
Even on these trips, we are using the elements wherever possible. On our ‘Wonders of Iceland’ voyage, we’ll sail clockwise around Iceland and proceed to Reykjavik and the Faroe Islands before heading to Scotland – if we take that route the winds should be in our favour.
We’re confident our philosophy will appeal to adults who have a love of the sea as well as travel.
On our ship you’ll be lower down than many modern ships, as there is just six metres from the water line to the deck. You’ll sometimes feel the splash of the sea!
That shouldn’t be any cause for concern to anyone thinking about a voyage, though! At 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide, she will ride the waves and with 35 sails on five masts is built to cut though the water smoothly.