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Tradewind Voyages's Golden Horizon

Tradewind Voyages

COVID-19 UPDATE

Tradewind Voyages is scheduled to begin sailing in May 2021.  Be sure to check the line’s website for up-to-date news.

With the launch of Golden Horizon in May of 2021, Tradewind Voyages introduces tall ship sailing with a philosophy of authenticity — to journey the way the old ships of maritime trade once did, following the monsoons and currents, powered by the wind, and calling at ports along traditional trading routes of yore.

It was built as a near replica of 1913’s France II, the world’s largest square-rigged vessel.

Tradewind Voyages's Golden Horizon

The Golden Horizon. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

(Originally the ship was designed, planned and executed by Star Clippers, to be called Flying Clipper, but it became caught up in a dispute between the line and the shipyard, Brodosplit in Croatia, and was not delivered to Star Clippers in the end.)

The ship will power most of its journey using 6,300 sq. m. of sails when possible, with the goal of using its propulsion engines a mere 30% of each season. To that end, the company has a built-in sustainability model.

The ship will launch with a series of itineraries from the UK, sailing the northern European coast, after which she will sail through the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal and the Middle East, following the coast to India and on to Southeast Asia ending in Australia. When the winds change direction, Golden Horizon will follow the same journey back to her starting point.

Tradewind Voyages has mentioned plans to expand the fleet in the future.

FLEET

Golden Horizon (built 2021 & 272 passengers) — coastal Europe, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia & Australia

Passenger Profile

Sailing buffs and lovers of old ships and tall ships, who appreciate the journey as much as the destination, are the typical passengers.

Tradewind Voyage ships wheel

The pretty ship’s wheel. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

Golden Horizon is geared to couples, singles and friend groups in their 30s and 40s on up, predominantly from North America, UK, and Europe, and other places too.

Price 

$$ — Expensive

Included Features
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks are included at meal time
  • Complimentary water sports from the ship’s marina
Itineraries

Voyages from the UK begin mainly from Harwich, with two Glasgow embarkations, for 7- to 21-night exploring northern European coastlines.

The Maritime Silk Route cruises ply the coastal waters of France, Spain and Portugal into the Mediterranean, visiting ports in southern Spain and Italy to Croatia, then through the Suez Canal to Middle Eastern shores, India, Ceylon, Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Christmas Island turtle

Stunning sea life of Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, south of Java, Indonesia. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

A circumnavigation of Australia includes the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays, Yarra Valley and coastal scenery.

The journey back to the UK traverses Southeast Asia and across the Indian Ocean stopping at the Maldives and Sri Lanka to eastern African ports including Zanzibar.

Nosy Iranja the beautiful little island of Madagascar

Nosy Iranja, a beautiful little island belonging to Madagascar. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

Sample itinerary

The Bay of Bengal and The Malacca Straits is a 15-nights itinerary from Sri Lanka, where passengers will go wildlife spotting at the Yala and Bundala National Parks before embarking, and then cross the Andaman Sea to Thailand’s Phuket and Phi Phi Islands, sailing onward into the Strait of Malacca to Port Klang to finish in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

When to Go?

The summer months are spent in northern Europe.

Come autumn, Golden Horizon heads to the Mediterranean and sails through the Indian Ocean, Andaman Sea and through Southeast Asia.

Winter months are spent in Australia. In the spring, voyages back track to begin the summer season in northern Europe.

Sustainability Initiatives

The ship sails without using propulsion engines for around 70% of each season.

Activities & Entertainment

Onboard activities include wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, upper-deck games, movies under the stars and quizzes. Yoga and Pilates classes are held on the Sun Deck. There’s also a small gym and spa.

There are water sports from the marine platform. A resident destination speaker and visiting local speakers will present on areas of history and culture, maritime history and astronomy.

Optional shore excursions visit cultural attractions and natural sights.

In the evenings there’s a resident pianist and jazz duo in the piano bar who are sometimes joined by local dance and musical talents along the journey.

Dining

Seating is open in the main two-story dining room with its dramatic 19th-century maritime flair. Menus comprise dishes representing the local flavours of the region.

Tradewind Golden Horizon's restaurant

Golden Horizon’s two-level restaurant. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

SHIP

Golden Horizon

A 272-passenger tall ship, Golden Horizon may be a copy of a vintage ocean vessel, but the facilities are modern. Decor throughout is distinctly nautical. The dining room is grand two-level affair, where dishes are prepared with local flavours and a focus on fresh, sustainable and healthy ingredients.

There are two outside bars, which also serve light meals, and also a piano bar with resident pianist and a cozy premium beverage bar. In the late afternoons, snacks are provided by a trolley service.

For down time there’s a spa with sauna, hammam, snow room and Jacuzzi, salon, sun deck, gym and library.

Golden Horizon's library

Golden Horizon’s library. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

Cabins

The lowest category cabins have two portholes for views and accommodate two guests. Some of these rooms also accommodate solo passengers. Deluxe balcony cabins can sleep three adult guests — cabins in this category and higher have 24-hour room service and a free minibar.

All cabins have slippers, bathrobes, hairdryer, shampoo and conditioner.

Tradewind's Twin cabin with portholes

Twin cabin with portholes. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

Tradewind cabin

Deluxe balcony cabins can sleep 3. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

Tradewind Cabin bathroom

Cabin bathroom. * Photo: Tradewind Voyages

Along the Same Lines

The tall ships of Star Clippers and Sea Cloud Cruises offer a similar experience.

Contact

Tradewind Voyages, UK-based

www.tradewindvoyages.com

email: interest@tradewindvoyages.com

quirkycruise bird

 

 

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Deep Blue Holidays YASAWA PRINCESS

Deep Blue Holidays YASAWA PRINCESS

The firm, based in the Maldive Islands, an archipelago republic since 1965 and located south southwest of India in the Indian Ocean, got started in 2008. Deep Blue Holidays’ YASAWA PRINCESS was added in 2012 offering weekly cruises throughout the year for divers, snorkelers and those who enjoy beaches and swimming. Considered one of the top diving locations in the world, the Maldives draw aficionados from around the globe.

Deep Blue Holidays is also engaged in resort, city hotel, and guest house stays. While most visitors choose resorts located on 90 different islands, others who like the idea of a small ship taking them to different islands and atolls may find this option hard to resist. Tourism, which that did not come in earnest until 1972,  is now the chief source of revenue.

Note: There was considerable government unrest in recent years, and after a quiet period, another political crisis of sorts has been simmering over the past month or two. The governments of the U.S. and Britain are advising travelers to use extreme caution while visiting Malé, the capital, especially where crowds are gathered and be aware of your surroundings. Some countries have suggested staying away altogether for now. Click here for latest US State Dept. warnings, and go to “Read Travel Advisories” and plug in the country.

Deep Blue Holidays YASAWA PRINCESS

Maldives Islands from the air.

Anyone looking for one of the world’s best locations to engage in serious or casual diving, snorkeling, fishing or swimming, while staying aboard a small-ship cruise in a tropical paradise, should have a gander here.

Ship, Year Delivered & Passengers

YASAWA PRINCESS (built 1984, refurbished 2007; 56 passengers).

Passenger Decks

Four decks, no elevator.

Deep Blue Holidays YASAWA PRINCESS

YASAWA PRINCESS

Passenger Profile

Young and athletic, older and fit, and some lounge lizards but not many. English-speaking from Britain, Australia, NZ, North America, and those comfortable with English as a second language.

Price

$$ to $$$

Itineraries

7 and 14 days (different itinerary for second week) year-round from the city of Malé, the capital, mail port, and international airport. The city Malé occupies the entire islet of Malé.

Malé is a city of about 100,00 inhabitants, or about 25% of the archipelago country’s population. Most flights to Malé arrive from Dubai, Doha, Colombo, and Singapore. The archipelago’s land mass makes up only 115 square miles (298 sq. kms.) and the islands are surrounded by a lagoon and encircled by a reef structure. While the archipelago is made up of mountaintops rising from the sea bottom, the height above sea level is minimal. With rising seas due to climate change, the Maldives are one of the world’s most endangered countries.

Deep Blue Holidays YASAWA PRINCESS

The Maldives

Included features

All drinks except premium levels, plus daily excursions on cruises that feature both diving and leisure activities. Shore excursions on specialized diving cruises, on the other hand, operate on some but not all days for those not diving and depend on the locale. A dive master and instructor are included in fares, while diving gear supplied by the line is extra. Tips are extra and are to be placed in a single envelope at the end of the trip for the whole crew to share.

MALDIVES Deep Blue Holidays YASAWA PRINCESS

Reluctant beauty in the Maldives.

Why Go?

The Maldives are considered one of the finest locales in the world for scuba dividing. The archipelago enjoys largely blue skies and year-round tropical temperatures. Some 90 islands are inhabited and others are used for agriculture, plus there are scores of atolls and lagoons, and coral reefs harboring vast varieties of fish.

When to Go?

Year-round, with the dry season January to March and wet May to November. Peak season is November to April when whale sharks and manta rays are present. Temperatures are comfortably warm year-round, especially when near water, which apart from arriving and departing Malé, is most of the time. The average highs hardly vary from 86-88F and lows 77-80F.

YASAWA PRINCESS Cabin

Cabins

28 cabins are spread over three decks with twins and queen-size beds. Those on the lowest deck have portholes and on the two other decks, with windows and doors that open to the side deck.

Public Rooms

Forward lounge has a bar, and open and covered outdoor lounge spaces.  

Dining

Open seating indoors and outdoors with buffet service at all meals. Night barbecues on selected dates.

Activities & Entertainment

For divers, three dives a day on specialized diving trips; once daily on cruises not exclusively diving-focused, along with snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, and fishing (fly and spinning). Non-divers are welcome on intensive diving cruises, but fewer excursions will be provided.  For extra charges, a boat is available for 16 persons for two full days with two tank dives and for big game fishing with daytime and evening outings. Also, visits are made to resorts and local villages for Maldive Island culture.

Note

Bring a dry bag for protecting cameras, cell phones, tablets, watches, etc. from salt water damage.

Along the Same Lines

While QuirkyCruise introduces the Maldives as a small-ship cruise destination with just one good example at present, many other operators serve the archipelago. Go to visitmaldives.com, click on “Where To Stay,” then “Liveaboards” to access a large selection.

Silhouette Cruises operates in the Seychelles, another archipelago located in the Indian Ocean closer to East Africa.

Contact

Deep Blue Holidays, Fila Bldg (07-10), Koli Umar Manik Goalhi, Male 20026, Maldives; phone: 00 960 330 2556, deepblueholidays.com.

 

 

© This article is protected by copyright, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the author. All Rights Reserved. QuirkyCruise.com.