Originally planned a decade ago as Sea Cloud Hussar, Sea Cloud's latest and newest ship is finally looking like it will see the light of day. Sea Cloud Cruises had no access to the ship's hull while the original shipyard underwent bankruptcy proceedings, but all that has changed now. Armed with its original hull and a new name, Sea Cloud Spirit looks to emerge triumphantly as Sea Cloud's third vessel.
A three-masted windjammer that is part classic sailing ship and part modern cruise vessel, Sea Cloud Spirit will join the classic Sea Cloud and its fleetmate, Sea Cloud II, when it enters service on August 29, 2020. A fully rigged ship adorned with more than 44,000 square feet of billowing sails, the ship is also able to run on diesel-electric power should Mother Nature fail -- though Sea Cloud carefully designs its itineraries to ensure a maximum of sailing time.
The ship will boast a number of new features for the line in response to passenger feedback. Sea Cloud Spirit will offer 25 cabins with balconies and another seven cabins offering windows that can be opened to let in the sea breeze. The ship will also feature an elevator (a rarity on traditionally designed ships of this size) and a secondary dining venue known as The Bistro, which offers passengers a more casual dining venue than on the Lido Deck as it suits them.
Partner Ship Design of Germany is designing the interiors, with a mandate to replicate the classic sailing ships of days gone by. Expect traditional decor with plenty of wood, brass and frosted glass textures throughout.
Sea Cloud Spirit will also enable Sea Cloud Cruises to offer cruises from U.S. homeports for the first time in nearly two decades. Voyages to Miami, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are planned for 2021.
Meals aboard Sea Cloud are an international affair; a blend of North American, European and local specialties. Quality on these luxury vessels is high, and service is exacting but friendly. The aft-facing restaurant wraps entirely around Sea Cloud Spirit's stern, offering 180-degree views of the ocean.
Most meals are served in the ship's cozy main restaurant, though Sea Cloud Spirit offers passengers the chance to dine outdoors on the ship's Lido Deck at a casual Bistro.
Further dining details have yet to be announced. Room service is likely not available.
A wide array of cabins are offered aboard Sea Cloud Spirit, from lavish suites to snug but cozy staterooms intended for solo travelers -- a frequent group aboard Sea Cloud's classic sailing vessels.
Owner's Suites with Balcony (Cat A) are among the largest onboard, offering 388 to 420 square feet of living space. As the name suggests, these feature a large step-out balcony along with a seating area adjacent to the main bed, a walk-in closet and dressing table and standard items like a telephone, A/C, private safe, mini-bar, flat-panel TV and in-room Wi-Fi. A bathroom with a full-size tub is also included.
Junior Suites with Balcony (Cat B) are still plenty large at 280 to 323 square feet, and include all the features and amenities of the larger Owner's Suites.
De Luxe Lido Cabins (Cat C) are situated on the Lido Deck and feature picture windows that can be opened to let in the fresh ocean air. These range in size from 177 to 215 square feet and are styled similarly to a modern cruise ship cabin (albeit with classic nautical touches). The room features all the standard amenities, including flat-panel TV and Wi-Fi, along with a bathroom with sink, shower, toilet and luxury bath amenities.
De Luxe Outside Cabins (Cat D) are similar to those on the Lido Deck, but with porthole windows that do not open. Category D cabins are all 215 square feet in size and offer queen or two double beds.
Superior Outside Cabins (Cat E) are similar again to the De Luxe Outside Cabins, but smaller, ranging from 177 to 204 square feet.
Superior Single Cabins (Cat F) are intended for solo travelers. These snug, 139- and 156-square-foot rooms are located on Cabin Deck and offer porthole windows. They also offer a small sitting corner, an ensuite bathroom with shower, a wardrobeand television, coffee making facilities and Wi-Fi internet access along with a single bed.
The primary upper deck attractions aboard Sea Cloud Spirit are the ship's plethora of billowing sails, along with ample open deck space and classically styled steamer chairs. A small fitness center is located on the upper deck. Sea Cloud Spirit does not offer a swimming pool or hot tubs.
Entertainment onboard is a low-key affair, typically consisting of mingling with fellow passengers over drinks, taking in the air on the Promenade Deck or listening to music in the ship's main passenger lounge on Lido Deck.
Sea Cloud Spirit begins its inaugural season in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean for winter 2020.
An authentic remnant from another era, the square-rigged, 1931-built Sea Cloud garners attention when it sails into port. It's one of Alex Trebek's favorite ships.
Sea Cloud Spirit continues Sea Cloud's legacy of luxury three-masted sailing with all the technological advances modern cruisers have come to expect.