Skip to content

The world's newest cruise ship doesn't need motors to get around (though it has them just in case)

Sept. 14, 2021
4 min read
The world's newest cruise ship doesn't need motors to get around (though it has them just in case)
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This might just be the most eco-friendly new cruise ship of the year.

Luxury line Sea Cloud Cruises is unveiling a new, 136-passenger vessel that can operate entirely on wind power, though it also has been built with motors and propellers (just in case).

Dubbed Sea Cloud Spirit, the three-masted sailing ship was officially named earlier last week in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, by Gabriela Toran, the wife of the ship's designer. It's operating with paying passengers for the first time on Tuesday as it sails from Rome on a 10-night voyage to the Western Mediterranean.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter.

Sea Cloud Spirit is the first new ship for Germany-based Sea Cloud Cruises -- a line that specializes in sailing ships -- in more than two decades.

The line is calling it a modern interpretation of the brand's original vessel, the 64-passenger Sea Cloud. Originally built in 1931, the still-operating, four-masted Sea Cloud is one of the cruising world's most famous vessels. Commissioned by Wall Street tycoon E. F. Hutton, Sea Cloud for years was the personal yacht of his wife and Postum cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, who outfitted it with resplendent marble, mahogany and gold trim.

Sea Cloud was converted into a cruise vessel in the 1970s.

The 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit, as it looks without its sails unfurled. (Photo courtesy of Sea Cloud Cruises)

As is the style for Sea Cloud Cruises sailings, Sea Cloud Spirit's sails will be unfurled by hand and set in the traditional way by a large team of deck crew who climb high into the ship's rigging. It's a throwback to the golden age of sailing ship travel in the 1900s that is a sight to behold.

The tallest of the vessel's three masts is 187 feet tall. The ship has more than 44,000 square feet of sails.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sea Cloud Cruises is known for using the wind as much as possible to operate its vessels, which also include the 20-year-old, 94-passenger Sea Cloud II. But all of its vessels also have motors as a backup. Sea Cloud Spirit has been built with two diesel-electric drives.

Like Sea Cloud Cruises' two other ships, Sea Cloud Spirit is being marketed as a luxury vessel. The 452.7-foot-long ship has an upscale "fine dining" restaurant, a casual bistro, a lounge, a sun deck, a fitness center with a sea view and a spa, among main features.

It also has 25 cabins with balconies -- a rarity for sailing ships.

After initial sailings this fall along the Italian coast between Tuscany and Sicily, the vessel will reposition to the Canary Islands in November through April of 2022.

After another summer in Europe, it'll make its Caribbean debut in late 2022, spending the subsequent winter in the region.

Based in Hamburg, Germany, Sea Cloud Cruises draws a large number of German travelers but also some North Americans, including U.S. travelers. It operates dual-language sailings with both German and English spoken.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by The 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit. (Photo courtesy of Sea Cloud Cruises)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more