Embrace the Enthusiasm! ~Unveiling the Radiant Sea Cloud Spirit from Sea Cloud Cruises – All Things Cruise

Photo of author

By Car Brand Experts


It appears that numerous of my adored facets originated in Europe: my favored melodies, food, prose, artwork, and now, because of Sea Cloud Spirit, one of my preferred vessels.

During my recent voyage of seven days, despite a considerable amount of rainy, blustery, and absolutely chilly days, the Sea Cloud spirit among guests remained undampened as we traversed from Portsmouth, England, to Dublin, Ireland.


A Modest Vessel…With Essential Amenities:

The public areas of Sea Cloud Spirit epitomize casual sophistication. Despite her relatively small size–4,228 gross tons–she integrates

many of the modern conveniences of larger vessels while introducing experiences that are distinctively her own.


Debuted in 2021, the all-inclusive, 136-passenger, three-masted Sea Cloud Spirit is the latest addition to the trio of windjammers from Sea Cloud Cruises, a Hamburg, Germany-based firm that is commencing to create a buzz in the U.S.A. Primarily known for the original Sea Cloud, founded in 1931 as the private yacht of wealthy heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and still navigating the seas today, Sea Cloud Cruises anticipates that, by the end of the year, 40% of its clientele will come from America.

Starting in January 2025, indeed, Sea Cloud Spirit will make its first home port in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it will initiate an ambitious culinary initiative to highlight some of Puerto Rico’s most renowned chefs.

And even though this may be a tempting allure for tourists, American or otherwise, I have a feeling that the primary allure is Sea Cloud Spirit herself, and the image of 28 billowing sails soaring 200 feet above a lavishly adorned yacht that blends classic charm with the latest in contemporary technology. Sea Cloud Spirit isn’t the only windjammer navigating the globe, but she and Sea Cloud’s vessels are the only ones that raise sails manually as they did centuries ago. Who needs elaborate performances, a swimming pool, or a casino when one can stand on the open decks and witness 18 sailors scurrying up the masts to unveil the dazzling 44,100 square feet of white canvas sails?

Moreover, guests aboard Sea Cloud Spirit can now experience climbing those masts just like the sailors do. Recently introduced on Sea Cloud Spirit is “Hit the Rig!”, a program that grants aspiring sailors the opportunity to ascend above once they have passed a physical assessment by the ship’s doctor and first mate. Among those who participated in “Hit the Rig” on my voyage was an 86-year-old!

For individuals with a fear of heights but a passion for photography, Sea Cloud Spirit offers the Photo Safari, a chance for passengers to board a zodiac and encircle the vessel while its sails are elegantly displayed. Imagine the photographic opportunities! (The primary image of this tale is not a professional capture, but one I took with my four-year-old iPhone during the cruise’s Photo Safari.)


The SEA CLOUD SPIRIT harmonizes the traditional windjammer experience with 21st-century comforts accommodating up to 136 passengers.


Portsmouth…An Optimal Start:

With its intriguing maritime heritage, a D-Day Museum, Charles Dickens’ residence, and a plethora of shops, eateries, and the remarkable Spinnaker Tower providing panoramic views up to 23 miles from its peak (and, for the more daring, an opportunity to descend by rope down the landmark), Portsmouth might just be my favorite departure point for cruises.

The Portsmouth Passenger Terminal Dock is merely a few moments away from my hotel in Gunwharf Quays, and upon my arrival there, I find Sea Cloud’s designated entrance devoid of the typical crowds and lines found in cruise terminals today. Our vessel is the sole one sailing today, so after receiving a glass of champagne, I board Sea Cloud Spirit and proceed to my cabin.

Accompanying me on this “Britain in Bloom” journey are 98 other voyagers, 73 of whom are from Germany, with the remaining primarily hailing from the United States, many affiliated with Stanford Travel/Study, an educational travel organization that has journeyed on Sea Cloud ships since the foundation of the line in 1979.

5 FitforHeiress
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
Fit For An Heiress

Sea Cloud Spirit Residences…Suited for Royalty:

You could say the staterooms and suites of Sea Cloud Spirit are unparalleled. Literally. This ship is inspired by the original Sea Cloud and, consequently, its distinctive brass fittings glimmer with grandeur–even the basin-style bathroom sink in each of the vessel’s luxurious suites is a resplendent golden spectacle. The 69 staterooms onboard Sea Cloud Spirit span from a compact 140 square-foot superior single to a 301 square-foot verandah suite, although all accommodations on Deck 3 come with verandahs. While the ambiance evokes an era of past opulence, there is no doubt that this is contemporary luxury thanks to an advanced TV with entertainment system, a stocked in-room refrigerator, a complimentary gigabyte of Wi-Fi, and a shower with water pressure so forceful, I almost received whiplash. Robes, hairdryers, coffee makers, and a bottle of Pommery champagne, its bottle adorned with an illustration of Sea Cloud Spirit, are standard in all staterooms and suites.

A Modest Vessel…With Essential Amenities:

Sea Cloud Spirit’s communal areas exude casual refinement. Despite her modest size–4,228 gross tons–she encompasses many of the amenities of larger ships while introducing experiences that are distinctively her own.

A remarkably well-equipped spa is secreted away on Cabin Deck, providing steam, a Finnish sauna, a footbath, and treatment chambers, while a boutique offering branded merchandise is located adjacent. Also situated on Lido Deck is the sports platform of the vessel, giving you access to the sea when conditions allow, be it for a swim or to recline on one of the floating deck chairs provided. Need some exercise? Journey to the Sun Deck to discover Sea Cloud Spirit’s seaview fitness zone with bicycles, weights, and treadmills. A delightful library, furnished with books in both English and German, is positioned forward on Lido Deck.

During our trip, lectures were conducted each day, in both English and German, in the delightful Lounge (a sorely underused area in my opinion) covering subjects predominantly related to our U.K. journey, from Stonehenge, the Romans, and King Arthur to an exploration of Cornwall and its influence on mystery authors like Agatha Christie. The Lounge is also where soccer enthusiasts gathered in the evening to watch European Cup matches beamed to the room’s widescreen TV.

On mild evenings—we experienced only one of those—the Lido deck comes alive with dancing, with all song requests fulfilled by the accommodating disc jockey while those lacking in rhythm are content to gather at the Lido Bar, enjoying a beverage, conversing with fellow passengers and the pleasant bar staff, and absorbing the breathtaking vistas of the ocean.

A Taste of Sea Cloud Spirit:

We catch a glimpse of the ocean through oval leaded windows, gold-trimmed sconces and chandeliers casting an amber glow over the golden-framed maritime paintings and the room’s elegantly arranged tables. This is Sea Cloud Spirit’s Restaurant, aIn a refined and elegant setting, guests can enjoy a lavish breakfast spread each morning and partake in the Captain’s Gala Welcome and Farewell dinners. In case of adverse weather conditions, lunch and dinner buffets are also available, with live cooking stations adding to the varied offerings.

However, it is the maritime ambiance of dining on the Lido Deck that appeals most to visitors. Here, amidst this sheltered outdoor restaurant, tables are elegantly set with fine china, glassware, and silverware. At the entrance, a well-stocked bar invites socializing. It is undeniably clear – we are aboard a sailing vessel, with the expansive ocean all around us and the majestic sails just a glance away.

With Sea Cloud Spirit’s German heritage, the cuisine naturally leans towards European flavors (and, paying homage to the ship’s homeland, luscious freshly baked pretzels are a fixture in every bread and pastry display). Instead of the usual fare like sandwiches, pizzas, or frequent international dishes such as Mexican, Asian, or Indian cuisines (though a delightful selection of sushi was presented one evening), the focus is on sumptuous soups, succulent roasted meats like BBQ chicken and whole roasted pig, generous cuts of beef, and the freshest seafood, usually grilled right before your eyes. Vegetarians have their own dedicated options at every meal, and perennial favorites like chicken breast, pasta arrabiata, and Caesar salad are consistently on offer.

Embarking on a Fresh Journey:

Departing from sunny Portsmouth, Sea Cloud Spirit encounters storms along its route. Visits to Guernsey and Tresco are swapped for the more sheltered harbors of Cowes and Falmouth…which surprisingly turn out to be the highlight ports of call!

In Cowes, Sea Cloud Spirit hastily procures a bilingual tour guide, leading to an enlightening walking excursion that includes a stop at the Sir Max Aitken Museum, an exquisite 18th Century edifice brimming with Sir Max’s personal assortment of historical and maritime artifacts.

Arriving in Falmouth, the ship is greeted by glorious sunshine and the town’s annual Sea Shanty Festival in full swing. Free musical performances echo throughout the town, from cozy taverns to public squares, and it appears I am the sole individual not clad as a pirate!

Though the “Britain in Bloom” voyage aboard Sea Cloud Spirit encountered some unfortunate weather, due to the outstanding service, exquisite dining, and a clever route amendment to avoid potentially harsher conditions, guests scarcely seemed to mind.

###


Cover photo: Sea Cloud Spirit, credit to Judi Cuervo

For all other images, refer to the captions and credit Judi Cuervo

Explore Sea Cloud cruises here:

Sea Cloud Cruises
Sea Cloud
Sea Cloud II
Sea Cloud Spirit

 

 



Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!