Steve Newman, cruise writer, boarded the Golden Horizon, the largest square-rigged sailing-vessel in the world, for her maiden voyage from Dover.
I’ve discovered there’s luxury cruising and then there’s Golden Horizon.
From the moment you step onboard this beautiful sailing ship, you’re aware you’re in for an amazing time. Many of the ports you visit are simply inaccessible to the larger cruise ships, so straight away you know you’re in for something extra special.
All of her 140 cabins have outside views, and there’s a range of suites as well as other options to choose from. Owned by Tradewind Voyages, the company aim to use the sails and ocean currents 70% of each season, and you really do get the feeling of being on your own luxury yacht.
The interior is beautifully classical, with the jewel in the crown being the three-level open Atrium, which also houses the restaurant and piano bar. Complete with wonderful maritime art of sailing ships at sea, wrought-iron balconies and an eye-catching ceiling skylight, it really is breath-taking.
The whole ship is dressed in a style of a traditional classical sailing-vessel – even the ship’s gym has an elegance of its own, with wooden flooring and solid wooden doors to continue the feeling. If you are not that active, don’t panic, as there are almost as many sun loungers as people on board.
Lunch and breakfast are both buffet-style, and a full-service evening dinner is served with complimentary beers and wines. Dress code is smart casual throughout with no formal dinner nights and I have to say the food and service was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for any of the crew.
There are three swimming pools filled with heated seawater and two bars both of which you can eat at, plus a premium beverage bar serving the finest whiskey and gins, water sports marina, health spa, and a lovely library with games and puzzles you can take to other parts of the ship.
The ship has an Open Bridge policy, so you can go in and talk to the captain and look at all the technology a modern cruise ship uses and there are numerous lectures, activities and tours from Yoga to explaining all about the sails.
Indeed, it’s the sails that make this cruise. When you’re at the Pool Bar on the top deck chatting with your newly made friends and the evening light is falling on the sails it’s an experience you’re simply never going to forget.
Try it while you can. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
For more information about this magical ship, visit tradewindvoyages.com