21 Jan 2021

The Sea Is Calling

Tradewind Voyages News

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.”