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.
World’s Largest Square-Rigged Sailing Ship Begins Inaugural Season From May 2021 With Voyages From The Uk
The world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship, Golden Horizon, will start offering ex-UK voyages from May to August 2021.
The luxurious ship will carry up to 272 passengers and operate, under charter, to the new brand Tradewind Voyages. Golden Horizon is a near replica of the 1913-built ocean vessel France II and will retain its historic charm.
A highlight of the first season will be a British Maritime voyage, with the ship anchoring off Cowes for the traditional Regatta fireworks display.
In total, nine voyages will be offered from the UK with seven departures from Harwich and two from Glasgow. Northern European itineraries will feature Denmark, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltics.
In September 2021, Golden Horizon will sail to the other side of the world, taking guests on an adventure that will include some beautiful and rarely visited islands along with unique and iconic destinations.
Initially, she will travel east through the Suez Canal and follow the historic Maritime Silk Route to Jakarta, and on to Bali. Itineraries in late 2021 and into 2022 will feature Australia, the Indian Ocean, Japan, Alaska, the Americas and the Pacific Islands.
Golden Horizon will allow guests to explore the world and the oceans in a more sustainable way. Uniquely, all her voyages are planned on the basis of the prevailing winds and currents around the world, often following the traditional trading routes; a real maritime experience.
The ship will offer outstanding food and service and will appeal to active adults who want to travel the world in a new way. There will be a sophisticated enrichment and wellbeing programme and, for those who wish, the opportunity to take advantage of various complementary water sports available from its marina.
Tradewind Voyages’ programme will go on sale in September 2020 and is backed by a formidable team.
Chief executive officer Stuart McQuaker had a successful career in the Royal Navy and the cruise industry. Sales and marketing director Jeremy McKenna, head of marketing and distribution Amanda Norey and product director Oliver Hammerer have all held numerous key positions in well-known and luxury cruise companies.
“The team is hugely excited by the opportunity to operate this fabulous ship,” said McQuaker.
“We are looking forward to her introductory season in the UK and then taking her to some unique parts of the world, on itineraries that are planned to ensure we use the prevailing winds and currents to capitalise on her sailing credentials.”
McKenna added “We are looking forward to working with our trade partners to give our mutual guests a true sailing experience on board this stunning ship as part of an unforgettable holiday.”
Tradewind Voyages is planning to add further newly designed sailing ships to its fleet over the coming years, with the design process underway.
Golden Horizon: Vital Numbers
- Length overall: 162 metres
- Width overall: 18.50 metres
- Maximum draught: 6.40 metres
- Displacement: 8440 tonnes
- Sail area: 6300 square metres
- Speed: 10 to 17 knots
- Cabins: 140
- Guests: 272
- Crew: 159