As the world of travel opens up, there’re some very exciting new experiences awaiting us. One of these is the brand-new cruise line, Tradewind Voyages, which set sail for the first time this month.
At Inspiring Travel Company, we always like to be first in line to see the latest new luxury holiday offerings.
So, when our Cruise Specialist, Denise, got the chance to be one of the very first to set foot on this fabulous new vessel, she naturally jumped at the chance.
Now, it’s over to Denise to share her first-hand review…
Our First Look at Tradewind Voyages
I’ve just returned from what I would describe as quite a momentous and epic voyage. I feel privileged to be among the first to set sail again on a cruise and be able to support the return of the cruise industry.
This cruise was the first of its kind. The ship, Golden Horizon, is a brand-new sailing vessel, the largest in the world, modelled from the historical sailing vessel, France II. It’s set to sail around the south coast of the UK this summer, visiting beautiful Cornish fishing villages, Devon and the Isle of Wight.
The itinerary I followed departed from Portland and stopped at Falmouth, Fowey, Dartmouth and Poole before returning back to the start.
Cruising under COVID-19 restrictions
Not only is this a one-of-a-kind vessel. This voyage was particularly unique in that it was among the first to set sail post-lockdown, so restrictions were in place as needed.
Testing on arrival, mask-wearing and social distancing were all in place, so it felt very safe. It’s also a brand-new cruise company, not only abiding by new health guidance, but also having to comply with government restrictions in terms of going ashore. This was only allowed as part of an organised shore excursion so the vessel would safely maintain its ‘bubble’. And that, it did very well.
However, as lockdown restrictions further ease in the UK, going ashore is set to become more relaxed.
Testing & the check-in process
On arrival, we were ushered into the car park and handed a self-testing lateral flow kit to carry out in our own car. These were then collected from stewards, and we awaited our results patiently in the car. A health declaration form also had to be completed.
Once negative, we were allowed to board. Should the results have come back positive, we would’ve been asked to turn around and drive home.
For those arriving by taxi, train or on foot, a separate testing area was set up for any other form of arrivals.
Shortly after, we were on board mingling on deck with other guests, with a glass of pink fizz, while the ships resident duo, It Takes 2, played welcoming music in the background. It felt really great to be back out enjoying the world again.
The Tradewind Voyages experience
First of all, I’d like to say that the crew were the friendliest I’ve encountered in a long while. They simply can’t do enough for you and are always there with a warm welcome.
We had six glorious days sailing. This is a true sailing experience and the crew are magnificent. When the sails are unfurled, it’s a wonderful sight – for the first few times, they made something of a ceremony of it, playing the music for us all to watch in awe! It was a real moment to enjoy life on the ocean waves once again.
The Tradwind Voyages ship
The ship is small, intimate and perfect for anyone seeking adventure. You can get up-close with marine life or try some watersports from the marina.
We were lucky enough to encounter dolphins during our cruise. As I hear from the watersports coach, these dolphins also approached the marina platform at the back of the ship too – within touching distance! You don’t get moments like this from a big cruise ship.
The ship also offers a real insight into maritime sailing and allows you to feel at one with the sea.
The decor is extremely nautical, as you would expect. Dark teak wood, nautical prints and inspired artwork all create an authentic sea-faring feeling.
In fact, if you weren’t in such luxurious surroundings, you would expect to be falling into your hammock with a shot of rum in your tin mug!
As there are just four decks, you’re never far from anything exciting about to happen and the crew will be first on hand to let you know of anything to react to. It’s a real personable experience.
Overall, my first look at Tradewind Voyages left a fantastic impression. As this was one of the first ‘dress rehearsals’, there were a few teething problems with deliveries, the menus and food.
However, the crew were brilliant every step of the way. This is, after all, what a dress rehearsal is for! I was glad to have been there from the start to give valuable feedback on behalf of my clients, so everything is perfect when they arrive.
The whole voyage also felt extremely covid-secure, so I would feel very confident in returning. There were also some memorable touches that really made the experience something special – Fowey welcomed us in with water cannons and Poole saw us depart to one of their local marching bands!
For those who don’t want to travel abroad yet, this is a fabulous alternative that still gives you that feeling of adventure. The UK is ready to invite tourism again and people can’t wait to explore and become the social creatures that we are.
As they expand their voyages worldwide in the future, I hope to be seeing them all again soon!
If you’d like to find out more about Tradewind Voyages or planning a luxury holiday this year, contact us to speak to our Travel Specialists.
For more of the latest luxury travel news and to hear about our latest offers, subscribe to our newsletter below.