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

Sep 14, 2021

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.

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 courtesy of Sea Cloud Cruises.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.