The most unusual new cruise ship of the decade: Why Sea Cloud Spirit is a vessel you'll want to try

Gene Sloan

It might just be the most spectacular show in all of cruising.

Standing on the teak-lined top deck of Sea Cloud Spirit, the glorious new sailing ship from Sea Cloud Cruises, I am watching 18 sure-footed deckhands scurrying about high in the rigging to unfurl the sails.

From my perch, the crew members look like frenzied ants bumping around a recently disturbed anthill. Wherever you look across the vessel's three massive masts, which rise nearly 200 feet in the air, and the giant "yards" that cross them at regular intervals, at least one of these little jumbles of arms and legs is untying sails and throwing them into the proper position to unfurl.

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It doesn't take these deckhands long to prepare all 16 of the massive pieces of cloth up above — one on each yard — and soon they are bounding back down to the ship's top deck for the second half of the show: the (winch-assisted) heaving of the ropes that fully unfurl the sails.

It is only then that the massive vessel — five decks high and 453 feet long — begins to catch the wind and accelerate forward. Call it the show's epilogue. We are now underway, propelled by the power of the wind alone.

Even for a seen-it-all cruise writer like me, it is an exhilarating experience — and a rare one.

yacht sea cloud spirit

In the (small) world of large sailing ships that can be booked for multiday cruises, only a handful of vessels have sails that are still set by hand in this way — the old-fashioned way, like it was done centuries ago.

Most large sailing ships that offer multiday voyages, such as those operated by Windstar Cruises , have automated sails.

It is rarer still that a vessel like this would be built new, with all the latest creature comforts, as Sea Cloud Spirit was over the past 15 years during an on-again, off-again project to craft one of the biggest, most elegant passenger sailing ships ever.

yacht sea cloud spirit

This is at the heart of what makes Sea Cloud Spirit special. It is an old-style tall ship that, above all, offers an authentic sailing experience. But as I saw recently on an 11-night voyage down the coast of Costa Rica and Panama, it's also a modern and upscale cruise vessel that will whisk you around such sailing-friendly destinations as the Caribbean in style.

Here are more of my first impressions of Sea Cloud Spirit, which is just starting to draw attention in the North American market after a quiet launch to mostly Germans in 2021.

It's an old-style windjammer with modern rooms

Call it the most unusual new cruise vessel of the decade — if not longer. Carrying just 136 passengers, Sea Cloud Spirit is a full-rigged, three-masted sailing ship of the sort that hasn't been common on the world's oceans for more than a century. Still, it's no relic of the golden age of sail. While it's modeled on classic sailing ships of old, it was built with all of the modern comforts that you would expect on a new cruise vessel, including elegant and amenity-filled cabins.

Aimed at an upscale traveler, Sea Cloud Spirit's accommodations are notably roomy for a sailing vessel, with most measuring more than 200 square feet and many boasting spacious balconies —a rarity for even the biggest passenger sailing ships.

yacht sea cloud spirit

All 25 cabins on the Panorama Deck (Deck 3), billed as junior suites and suites, have such balconies, allowing passengers to step out into the fresh ocean air during long sails between destinations. That's roughly 36% of the 69 cabins on the vessel.

The remaining 44 cabins — most located one deck down on the Cabin Deck (Deck 2), with a few on the higher Lido Deck (Deck 4) — all have windows to the outside. In an unusual-for-a-cruise-vessel twist, the windows of the Lido Deck cabins can be opened for a breeze.

All the cabins are well appointed with such modern amenities as televisions with on-demand movies available at no extra charge, miniature refrigerators stocked with soda, personal safes and a welcome bottle of Champagne. On the downside, storage space is somewhat limited, with relatively tight built-in closets with oddly small slide-out drawers.

yacht sea cloud spirit

All feature decor that draws its inspiration from the 1930s design of Sea Cloud Cruises' original vessel Sea Cloud — once the private yacht for Postum Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post (and, at one time, the largest private yacht in the world). Think classical motifs, white-on-white decorative wall paneling and shiplap ceilings, and bathrooms with lots of marble, brass and gold. (In junior suites, the type of cabin I had, the bathrooms boast deep whirlpool bathtubs and Villeroy & Boch fittings.)

The dining is upscale (if limited)

Hard and tasteless sea biscuits, salted meats and pickled vegetables might have been the staples of sailing ships of old, but that's definitely not the case on Sea Cloud Spirit. The ship offers a fine dining experience in its main eatery, the Restaurant, that mixes elegantly plated classic continental cuisine such as beef Rossini with locally inspired dishes such as a pan-seared fillet of grouper floating on a Caribbean-style salsa.

Big enough to serve all 136 passengers on the ship at once, the Restaurant has a classic feel to match its continental cuisine. It sports large arched windows that bathe the room in light, crisp white tablecloths, German-made china embossed with a gold line drawing of the ship, and paintings of sailing ships on its walls.

yacht sea cloud spirit

Located at the back of the vessel on the Panorama Deck, the Restaurant is, alas, one of few dining options on Sea Cloud Spirit, and it offers a limited menu at dinnertime. Each night, the menu features just a single starter, a single soup, a choice of three main courses and a single dessert (that can be substituted with an international cheese plate). Plus, sorbet is always served in between the soup and main courses.

An alternative option on some nights is a more casual dinner at the open-air "bistro" — a covered seating area with teak furniture and 270-degree views at the back of the ship. Its menu also is limited to just a few choices, and they typically overlap with what is offered at the Restaurant one deck below.

The bistro space, which is backed by a bar, also serves as the ship's main outdoor lounge space during the day and morphs into a drinking spot at night (complete with a DJ spinning tunes). On some nights, there's even dancing.

The single option for lunch typically is a buffet served at the outdoor bistro, with breakfast served as a buffet in the Restaurant. On some nights, dinner is also a buffet served at the outdoor bistro, with no meal served in the Restaurant.

What you won't find on Sea Cloud Spirit is the sort of casual decktop grill that you find on some ships where you can grab a quick burger in between lounges on the Lido Deck. And there's no room service offered on board for those who want to swap one of the very-drawn-out meals in the main restaurant for an early night to bed.

yacht sea cloud spirit

This is, no doubt, partly due to the small size of the vessel and resulting limits on the number of kitchen and wait staff members that it can carry. Even with the limited menus and dining options, the dining staff often appears stretched too thin.

Still, what the kitchen is able to accomplish with its limited resources is impressive. Dinner buffets at the bistro often feature chefs grilling fresh local fish either bought the same day from local fishers or caught off the back of the vessel while it is underway (something I've never seen done on any other vessel in nearly 30 years of writing about cruising). Filet mignon, lobster and other high-end fare cooked in front of passengers on deck is also common.

Sea Cloud has also begun hosting well-known U.S. chefs on some sailings to lead cooking demonstrations and lectures during the day and create special dishes for dinners at night. On my sailing, renowned South Florida chef Cindy Hutson and partner Delius Shirley, who have had restaurants in Florida and Jamaica, were on board. Sea Cloud recently announced that chef Michael Collantes of Winter Park, Florida's Michelin-starred Soseki would be sailing on a voyage in October.

It's mostly all-inclusive

Sea Cloud Spirit's itineraries aren't inexpensive. Ten-night Costa Rica and Panama voyages scheduled for 2025, similar to the one I experienced, start at $9,530 per person — or nearly $1,000 per person, per day. Top cabins on the vessel for such voyages cost as much as $23,090 per person.

But as is typical for cruise lines at the high end, Sea Cloud Cruises includes a lot in its base price. In addition to a room and all meals, the fares wrap in the cost of gratuities, a complimentary minibar in cabins stocked with sodas, and fine wines and other alcoholic drinks available from the ship's eateries and bar around the clock. These costs can really drive up the total price of a cruise vacation on many other lines.

yacht sea cloud spirit

In addition, all passengers get 1 gigabyte of speedy Starlink Internet access for free on every voyage. (If that isn't enough to last your entire sailing, you can buy more at a rate of 20 euros for 5 gigabytes or 35 euros for 10 gigabytes.) Plus, those staying in higher-level cabins get free laundry service throughout their cruise, a notable perk.

Another free perk on the ship is access to its small spa's thermal area— an extra charge on many ships. It's home to a Finnish sauna, steam room, foot bath, showers and a relaxation room.

Some destination activities are also included in the fare. On my sailing, for instance, guided snorkeling outings with a naturalist off the beach during stops at Panama's Coiba National Park and Pearl Islands were available at no extra charge. So was a visit with the indigenous Kuna people of the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama.

yacht sea cloud spirit

The handful of things that cost extra during a Sea Cloud Spirit sailing include extra-charge shore tours offered during visits to some destinations (on my sailing, there were extra-charge tours during three stops) and treatments in the ship's small spa.

It's magical — and romantic

Lovely rooms, lovely food, inclusive pricing — these are all things that you'll find on just about any higher-end cruise ship. But what you won't get on almost any other vessel is the feeling of sheer awe that you get spending a day under sail on Sea Cloud Spirit.

It is, quite simply, something magical — and romantic — to be propelled through the ocean on a vessel the size of Sea Cloud Spirit by nothing more than the power of the wind.

yacht sea cloud spirit

It harks back to a bygone era before the arrival of modern motor vessels, when crossing the world's oceans was as adventurous as it was arduous.

It's an experience that's all about the feeling of the wind in your hair, the lean of the vessel (known as the heel) as it's pushed by the wind and the sway from the waves, which is smoother than what you get on a motor ship.

It's about looking up at the massive sails swollen with the wind from the vantage point of a lounge chair and thinking about how far humans have come in just a few centuries — for better or worse.

It's about thinking about our collective history and the personal tales of our family histories.

Walking around Sea Cloud Spirit's graciously curved top deck, with its seemingly endless arrays of coiled ropes and winches and other gear needed to operate a giant tall ship, I couldn't help but think of my poor Scot-Irish ancestors casting off from Belfast and Londonderry to the Americas in the 1700s, setting off on sailing ship journeys that would take eight weeks in some cases.

yacht sea cloud spirit

Sea Cloud Spirit is enchanting for many reasons, including its sheer beauty. Narrow and sleek, as sailing ships always are, it's a sight to behold from the water when all 28 of its sails are unfurled and trimmed for maximum speed — something passengers can experience firsthand during a "photo safari" off the ship in rubber Zodiac boats.

When the light catches the ship's sails just right, it is pure majesty.

All that said, if you're the sort of cruiser who doesn't think a ship is complete if it's not loaded with amusements, Sea Cloud Spirit is probably not the vessel for you. Other than the show of the sails being put up, it offers no onboard shows, just lectures by the ship's staff and guest speakers about the places the ship is visiting and the ship itself. Its top deck doesn't even have a pool.

In contrast to what you'll find on many new cruise ships, the experience isn't about being amused while carving your way across the sea. It's about the simple thrill of traveling across the sea.

If you're an American, you might be in the minority

Sea Cloud Cruises is a Germany-based company, with a big following there, and as a result, its sailings are often dominated by German-speaking passengers.

While the company markets internationally, and its onboard program is bilingual (the relatively rare number of announcements on board are made in both German and English, and most of the staff speaks both languages), certain sailings can have very few English speakers on board. On my sailing, only about a dozen of 104 passengers on board were English speakers, for instance.

yacht sea cloud spirit

In addition, you'll find that pricing for extra-charge items on the ship, such as spa treatments, is in euros. The plugs on board the vessel are all European style (though you will find a couple of USB ports to charge your phones in every room).

Sea Cloud Cruises has been making a major effort in recent months to draw more travelers from the North American market, so expect to see this ratio of English speakers to German speakers grow. But, for now, a cruise on the vessel sometimes has the feel of a stay at the sort of smaller hotels in Germany that mostly cater to locals.

When passing someone in a hall, whether passenger or crew, you're more likely to be greeted with a "guten morgen" or "guten tag" than a "good morning" or "good day" — at least until they figure out that you're one of the few Americans on board.

Bottom line

Other authentic sailing ships offer multiday trips for vacationers — including the two other vessels in the Sea Cloud Cruises fleet (Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II). But none are as big or awe-inspiring as the new Sea Cloud Spirit.

If it's an authentic sailing ship experience you're after, on a large vessel of the sort that once was common on the world's oceans, a voyage on Sea Cloud Spirit will be hard to beat.

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This Gorgeous New Ship Is the Only Cruise in the World Sailed by Hand

The new Sea Cloud Spirit will sail the Caribbean this winter, and then cruise the Mediterranean for summer 2024.

yacht sea cloud spirit

Carlo Raciti

Watching the tightly choreographed deck crew scale the riggings, swaying slightly in the breeze, to hoist the sails on the fully rigged windjammer a few miles off Nice, France, I felt my stomach knot up. 

An avid sailor, I have never ascended higher than the boom, let alone strap myself in with mountain climber–like safety gear and step up through ropes to “set the sails.” The sails on Sea Cloud Spirit , a three-mast, square-rigged tall ship, measure a whopping 44,100 square feet. It takes 22 professional square-rigged vessel seamen and deckhands around 45 minutes to raise all 28 sails. 

According to Sea Cloud Cruises CEO Daniel Schäfer, this Malta-flagged ship, custom-built in Vigo, Spain, and launched in 2021, is the only sail-powered cruise ship in the world that is “hand-sailed.” That’s with the exception of electric-powered winches, which tighten the sheets (or the ropes that trim the sails). It’s a glorious sight to see and a key reason passengers choose to cruise with Sea Cloud. “About half of our passengers are sailors or have something to do with the water,” Schäfer told me.

Sea Cloud Spirit

  • Sailing is embedded deep in Sea Cloud Cruises’ DNA, so don’t miss the setting of the sails on sea days.
  • Sea Cloud Spirit operates an open bridge policy, so pay a visit to see the state-of-the-art navigational systems and have a chat with the friendly officers on duty.
  • All 69 rooms are sea-facing, with Veranda and Junior Veranda Suites featuring balconies.
  • The food on board is excellent, from the Lido deck buffet to the fine-dining indoor restaurant.
  • The ship’s small size ensures an enviable central docking position close to the action when calling at cities like Barcelona and Marseille, France.

Dennis Carbocci had done his homework before booking back-to-back cruises aboard Sea Cloud Spirit . I met him and his wife, Pamela, on their second week-long Mediterranean cruise, this one tracing the Italian and French Rivieras before schmoozing into the Balearic Sea under the warm October sun. 

“This is, like, real sailing. With all the sails up and heavy wind, it really is exhilarating,” Dennis said.

Sea Cloud Cruises isn’t new to boutique luxury sailing. The small Hamburg, Germany–based company has been around for more than four decades and prides itself on its sophisticated European hospitality.

Christoph Mayer, an occasional sailor, has previously sailed on Sea Cloud II , while his parents have taken five or six cruises on the elegant vessels. It was his first time sailing together with them, along with his girlfriend and aunt. But Sea Cloud is the flagship; the one that started it all. Wall Street broker Edward Francis Hutton commissioned the vessel in 1931, the world’s largest private sailing yacht at the time, and allowed his wife, businesswoman and philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post, to furnish the interiors with lavish antiques. With a long and fascinating history, the 64-passenger ship is still sailing the high seas and has ardent devotees.  At 452 feet and a 136-passenger capacity with 85 crew on board, Sea Cloud Spirit is the largest of the company’s three vessels — but it still has an intimate feel. More spacious than Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II , it retains classic windjammer lines and lacquered timber finishes throughout. 

One afternoon, the wind picked up, reaching around the mid- to high-20 knots, and the skies turned overcast. I watched in amazement as Katia Jarosławowna Plewińska, one of two female deck crew, fastened the lower sails. 

Like every bonafide sailing yacht, Sea Cloud Spirit heels (leans) when the sails are up. This makes for a smooth ride, even in choppy seas. All you hear is the water gliding beneath the hull. Powered by two silent diesel electric engines, the only noise is the engine’s generators, which operate intermittently.

Here, everything you need to know about Sea Cloud Spirit — and what it was like to be one of the first on board.

The Staterooms 

My luminous, spacious, 237-square-foot Junior Veranda Suite featured an exceedingly private 65-square-foot balcony with two deck chairs. 

With just enough motion to rock me to sleep, I snoozed like a baby on the firm German-made Dr. Weidner mattress atop a twin bed that can be converted into a double. During the day, I often left the balcony door open to let the sea breeze flow in. 

Glossy mahogany woodwork throughout, from the dual walk-in wardrobes and bathroom cabinets to the vanity dresser, lends a classy Old World ambiance. Judging by details such as 23-karat gold–plated light fixtures illuminating sailing-themed paintings, no expense has been spared. 

Bathrooms in the Veranda and Junior Veranda Suites have Jacuzzi-equipped bathtubs, Villeroy & Boch fittings, and ample storage space. Black and gold mosaics set off bisque-hued marble tiles. 

All 69 cabins offer sea views with ample natural light. Shades of warm apricot, chocolate, navy, ochre, and rust red bring warmth to furnishings and bedding. Grand staterooms on the Lido deck offer unimpeded views to the sea through windows that open, while Deluxe and Superior staterooms have portholes. The smallest rooms are the Superior staterooms, ranging from 172 to 205 square feet, and the Superior Single staterooms, at 140 square feet. Veranda and Junior Veranda Suite accommodations include complimentary laundry service. 

Veranda Suite 318 is the most luxurious, with 301 square feet of space, an 86-square-foot balcony, three arched windows, and an L-shaped sofa that converts into a full-size fold-out bed.

Bars and Restaurants 

The best seat in the house was aft, on the Lido deck, soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine with a flute of Champagne. Indeed, I picked up a pointer or two at informative, fun, expert-led Champagne tastings zeroing in on boutique estates. Beyond the rare magnums, I discovered Sea Cloud places a premium on dining. As part of a gastronome-geared itinerary set to expand in 2024-25, the pièce de résistance was a dinner orchestrated by two guest chefs who helm Michelin-starred restaurants. Tristan Brandt, whose Miami-based Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt earned its first star in May 2023, and Niklas Oberhofer illustrated their trademark Asian-infused modern French cuisine with an exquisite five-course menu. Carabinero shrimp with celery, miso, and yuzu and poached egg with cauliflower, parmesan, and black truffle triumphed. 

Chef de cuisine Florian Schneider’s in-house culinary team proved near faultless, both at the refined indoor restaurant in the evenings and the open-air Lido deck, where rather epic breakfast and lunch buffets were served. On separate days, hotel manager Elias Stamatopoulos prepared divine ceviche from whole tuna and swordfish sourced from Naples, Italy. 

Departing Marseille, I had my French onion soup prayers answered. While docked at Barcelona’s city-center harbor, I tucked into terrific tapas, better than those I had ashore the last time I was in the Catalonian capital. That evening, Sea Cloud veteran bar manager Anton Campos whipped up a lush piña colada for me.

Where Sea Cloud Spirit Sails 

In November, Sea Cloud Spirit made its 16-night Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean, drawing sailing purists yearning to catch the famed trade winds and switch off. Through early January, the ship will cruise in the Caribbean, calling in at small ship destinations like Bequia, in the Grenadines; Dominica; and the BVI’s Jost Van Dyke. 

In February, chef Cindy Hutson, of Coral Gables, Florida, restaurant Ortanique , and naturalist Stephen Weston will be on board for an 11-night cruise through Costa Rica’s wildlife-rich national parks and Panama’s remote Coiba National Park followed by a daylight Panama Canal crossing and a jaunt to the San Blas archipelago. From May to June, a culinary-themed cruise will take in destinations such as Bilbao, Spain; Bordeaux, France; and La Rochelle, France, followed by a late summer sojourn in Portugal’s Azores, which should be pretty spectacular. 

From September to October, Sea Cloud Spirit will sail between Malta, Italian destinations including Syracuse, Taormina, Salerno, and Amalfi; Sardinia; Corsica; and St. Tropez, France, among other Mediterranean ports. The vessel will return to Barcelona when it hosts The America’s Cup in early October 2024 and fans of yacht racing’s biggest event won’t want to miss out on the action. Learn more about the sailings here .

Shore Excursions 

It was tough choosing shore excursions. I envied fellow passengers who opted for adventurous options like hiking the Camino de Ronda along rocky trails in Spain’s Costa Brava. Instead, I delved into the history and culture of provincial towns and cities like Girona and Tarragona with walking tours led by enthusiastic on-the-ground guides. With its mix of Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic architecture, Aix-en-Provence, reached via Marseille, was a revelation. A little rain failed to dampen guide Annette Orru’s in-depth introduction to the vibrant cobblestoned university town, with its Roman Empire origins, stately 18th-century mansions, and stories about the city’s most famous son, Paul Cézanne.

Tour guide Patty Witzigmann’s intriguing onboard Salvador Dalí presentation had me pining for a visit to the museum-theatre dedicated to the eccentric artist in his home town Figueres, Spain. In Barcelona, I lucked out with guide Evgueni Agaltsev Kosmata, whose passion for Antoni Gaudí was palpable. Whisking our small group through the Gothic Quarter’s narrow streets, away from the crowds, we reached Palau Güell for a private, after-hours tour. Kosmata proceeded to show us this architectural wonder, a mansion designed by a young Gaudí who masterfully melded Gothic, art nouveau, and Islamic elements, in mind-blowing detail. 

Amenities and Entertainment

With the weather still warm, the sun loungers on the top deck were a popular spot for a post-breakfast or -lunch snooze and, of course, to admire the sails harnessing the breeze and propelling us to our next destination. Also on the top deck: a decently sized gym with sea views and all the equipment you could need. 

On the Lido deck, above the bow, is a stately, well-stocked library. One day, when the wind was howling, I retreated to its sunlight-strewn interior and leafed through books like "Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die," while daydreaming about my future sailboat. 

In the evenings preceding a sea day, I joined impromptu parties deejayed by David Hoffmann on the Lido deck that promptly turned somewhat surreal. One night, the ship’s gentle rolling motion saw us involuntarily and hilariously line-dancing till late. Sea Cloud Spirit is one solid vessel though; our shenanigans failed to disturb fellow sleeping sailors. One afternoon, I slipped away for a deep-tissue massage in the spa, where therapist Adriana got to work, quietly pummeling away deep-seated knots from my shoulder blades with butterfly-like techniques I hadn’t felt before. I couldn’t even drag my body to the Finnish sauna after.

Family-friendly Offerings

Children, from the age of 12 months, are more than welcome on board Sea Cloud Spirit, but the truth is it has more of an adults-only feel. There are no children’s facilities on board. Certainly, the ship works well for a multi-generational cruise vacation for those with children in their 20s and up and, particularly, for special occasions like milestone birthdays and anniversaries. Sea Cloud Spirit is also available for private charter. 


Given the nature of this ship, there are no ADA-compliant rooms on Sea Cloud Spirit . There is, however, an elevator between decks and bathrooms are equipped with rubber shower mats and handrails.

All Things Cruise

REVIEW: Sea Cloud Spirit Makes a Splash!

Sea Cloud Cruises Sets Sail for America

I’m settled in the spacious lounge of Sea Cloud Spirit, an amber glow cast by a nearby table lamp illuminates the dish of taco chips before me and a bowl of what just might be the very best guacamole I’ve ever tasted. Trays of bacon-wrapped pigs in a blanket, popcorn, crunchy chicken strips and buckets of beer are nearby but it seems I’m the only one of the room’s 15 or so occupants whose attention is entirely focused on the delectable snacks and not on the giant American flag-bordered screen from which Super Bowl… whatever …is streaming.

I’m not a football fan. At all. But to savor that heavenly guacamole and those luscious pigs in a blanket I feign interest, figuring I’ll ask questions that just might suggest at least a minimal knowledge of the sport. “And which team does that guy Taylor Swift is seeing play on?” is the best I come up with.

German-based Sea Cloud Cruises has discovered America and, with its exciting new ship Sea Cloud Spirit, intends to draw U.S.-based travelers to the Sea Cloud family. In fact, the line hopes that, by year’s end, 40% of the ship’s guests will hail from the American market.

Sea Cloud Cruises, a fleet of three windjammers, each topped with a riot of dazzling white sails that are hoisted by hand, launched in 1992 with the still-sailing Sea Cloud , built in 1931 as the luxurious private yacht of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.  In 2001, the 94-passenger Sea Cloud II debuted and, in 2021, Sea Cloud Spirit , the 136-passenger, five-deck three-masted windjammer I’m sailing from Costa Rica to Panama, joined the fleet.

Until recently, Sea Cloud Cruises was marketed almost exclusively in Europe and on this sailing, the American contingent is vastly outnumbered by German guests, along with a handful of Swiss, Spanish, Mexican and Cuban ones.  Communications and menus are provided in both German and English; lectures and announcements, likewise.

Yet the remarkable Sea Cloud Spirit experience, her delectable cuisine, and the innovative things that set her apart from other cruises, comes through loud and clear in any language.


It’s a vision from another time—billowing white sails adorn masts that reach 200 feet skyward and propel the sleek vessel through pristine waters. In fact, according to Sea Cloud Spirit’s Captain Heiner Ellers, the ship sails more than 40% of the time on wind power alone.

While there are certainly other windjammers sailing the seas, Sea Cloud’s are the only ones with sails set by hand just as they were 200 years ago. You can keep your slides and top-deck waterparks—nothing can compare to the spectacle of seeing Sea Cloud Spirit’s hardworking male and female sailors scurry up the masts like a determined band of tightrope walkers. On deck, guests shade their eyes from the sun and watch in awe as the sailors climb to dizzying heights, positioning themselves within the maze of rigging to manually unfurl the 44,100 square feet of heavy sail. It’s an hour-long process that ends with an equally amazing climb down the masts to manually address the system of ropes and pulleys that adjusts the sails.

yacht sea cloud spirit


It’s not surprising that a ship inspired by one of the most lavish private yachts ever built would have cabins fit for an heiress, and ones significantly larger than other sailing ships (from a 140 square-foot superior single stateroom to a 301 square-foot Suite)—some even feature a verandah accessed through an arched-windowed doorway. But it’s the attention to detail that is most staggering. My 237-square-foot Junior Suite with Balcony is a dazzler with spacious sitting area, two full closets tucked into a corner nook, beds dressed with the finest linens and the most luxurious pillows I’ve ever rested my head on. Artwork is spotlit and a polished wooden unit holds a TV that features on demand films, a Krups coffeemaker and minibar stocked with soft drinks and bottled water.  Everywhere, particularly in the stunning bathroom with shower, jacuzzi tub and gorgeous frosted golden bowl-style sink, is gleaming brass hardware, a Sea Cloud signature. And while outlets require a European plug, several USB ports for charging phones are available. My cabin category even includes free laundry—a huge plus on a steamy 11-night voyage.

There is, in fact, quite a bit of “free” stuff on Sea Cloud Spirit, a largely all-inclusive experience. All dining, gratuities and beverages (including cocktails, wines and beers) are included in fares as is one gigabyte of Starlink internet (packages offering additional internet access are available at an extra charge). Access to the ship’s thermal spa and, on my sailing, several shore excursions are also complimentary.

Only optional shore excursions, gift shop purchases, spa treatments, premium wines and transfers are charged separately.

yacht sea cloud spirit


A pelican perches for an hour on the rail of Sea Cloud Spirit and scores of stingrays gather together alongside the ship while dolphins frolic at the stern. Sometimes Sea Cloud Spirit’s best entertainment is provided not through organized activities but by nature itself.

Sea Cloud Spirit shuns today’s typical cruise ship entertainment options to create a unique adventure that celebrates the ship, the sea and the winds. You won’t find a casino, production shows, or even a swimming pool aboard Sea Cloud Spirit but, instead, invigorating experiences, some that even the most jaded cruise fan has likely never seen.

Sun worshippers can relax beneath those magnificent sails on Sun Deck loungers and in the partial shade of comfortable circular sunbeds or work out in the small ocean-view fitness center. On Cabin Deck, a spa area offers two treatment rooms, a Finnish sauna, steam bath, multi-sensory shower and more while a nearby boutique offers a selection of Sea Cloud branded items. Cabin Deck is also where guests access the swim platform:  Dive right into the surf for an invigorating swim or climb aboard one in the chain of floating loungers.

In the evenings, the Lido Deck is transformed from an outdoor dining venue to a dance club that kept some of us out until 1:00 a.m.!  On our sailing, too, four local Costa Rican musicians held court beneath the sails on the Sun Deck—and I’m not talking steel drums and “Yellow Bird,” but a rockin’ band that had everyone, even crew members, dancing all night!

Sea Cloud Spirit , its sails unfurled, is best viewed from the sea—a fact that has led to the introduction of the ship’s Photo Safari. As weather conditions allow, guests are taken for a Zodiac spin around the ship for a spectacular photo opportunity—in fact, the shot that leads this article Isn’t a professional one but taken by me during my Photo Safari.

yacht sea cloud spirit

And if you’re wondering what those three lines extending from the stern into the sea are, you just might find out at today’s lunch buffet. Where legally permitted, Sea Cloud Spirit often catches its fish right from the ocean using a simple bait and hook on each of the three lines. Chef Angelo explained the process to me as he set to work fileting a massive mahi mahi that was caught that very morning.

While Sea Cloud Spirit’s onboard entertainment is largely centered on relaxing pursuits like lectures that explore history and wildlife, the very nature of a sailing ship demands a degree of agility (although the ship does have an elevator). Landings are most often via Zodiac and navigating the Sun Deck, with its myriad ropes and winches often takes some care.

yacht sea cloud spirit


With the exception of the hamburger, hot dog and club sandwich dinner menu offered to football fans during the ship’s Super Bowl party, Sea Cloud Spirit’s dining leans more towards European formal than American grab-and-go. My 11 days on board, in fact, just might be the longest time I’ve ever spent without seeing a pizza. Even the Barbecue-themed dinner, served on deck, skipped typical American favorites like ribs, chicken and burgers in favor of more elegant fare like sirloin or ribeye steak and tuna-three-ways:  tartare, sashimi and grilled steak.

Unlike today’s newest cruise ships, Sea Cloud Spirit offers only two dining venues:  The Restaurant, a lovely indoor dining room with period decor that may accommodate all passengers at one open sitting; and the outdoor Bistro on the ship’s Lido deck. A full breakfast buffet in The Restaurant is supplemented by outdoor “early riser” and “late riser” options and a full lunch buffet is offered daily at the Bistro. Expect a dizzying number of prepared salads at lunch, a separate green salad station, and limited—but often spectacular—hot dishes, like an elaborate paella, carved roast turkey, spiny lobster, grilled filet mignon or a perfectly-spiced shrimp curry. Cheese and desserts follow though, sadly, Sea Cloud Spirit rarely ventures beyond vanilla, chocolate and strawberry in its ice cream flavors.

At dinner time, Sea Cloud Spirit guests often have the option of dining al fresco at The Bistro (which may be buffet style or served) or more formally at The Restaurant where Americans may find service rather slow. It takes a lot for me to forgo an outdoor dining experience for an indoor one, but the staggering heat and humidity of our Central American itinerary typically convinced me to do just that. Amazingly, the vast majority of my European shipmates preferred the sweat-inducing atmosphere outside. When asked why, one German gentleman simply shook his head and said, “You’ve obviously never been to Hamburg in February.”

An exciting addition to Sea Cloud Spirit’s dining program is its Guest Chef program which kicked off on our sailing with award-winning Miami culinary legend Cindy Hutson who contributed several superb dishes to gala dinner menus (including her Costa Rican Coffee Crusted Certified Angus Beef Skirt Steak which was not only my favorite dish on the cruise but maybe of my life),  dished out her extraordinary seviche at lunch one day, conducted a rum tasting enhanced by three of her delectable appetizers (pork crostini, black bean hummus and crispy coconut shrimp) and mingled cheerfully with food-loving guests.

Next up in Sea Cloud Spirit’s Guest Chef program is Chef Michael Collantes, head chef and owner of one Michelin star-rated Soseki in Winter Park, Florida, and Sushi Saint, Central Florida’s first handroll bar experience with a New York outpost opening soon. Chef Collantes sails Sea Cloud Spirit from Nice to Barcelona October 5-12, 2024.

In January 2025, Sea Cloud Spirt will homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and sailings will include overnight calls at boutique Caribbean islands, including St. Barts, Virgin Gorda and Norman Island.

FOR THOSE SEEKING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINAL SEA CLOUD :  Washington D.C.’s Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, one of the premier art collector’s museums in the United States, is currently inviting visitors to travel the high seas through a special exhibition dedicated to the original Sea Cloud, one of history’s most famous yachts, built in 1931 and still sailing!

Photos credit Judi Cuervo

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VESSEL REVIEW | Sea Cloud Spirit – Three-mast cruise yacht with 136-guest capacity

yacht sea cloud spirit

Hamburg-based Sea Cloud Cruises has begun regular operations of the newest addition to its fleet.

The 138- by 17-metre, full-rigged Sea Cloud Spirit can accommodate up to 136 guests. It is being presented as an alternative offering for all travellers in the premium cruise segment who want to avoid larger vessels of competitors but still wish for the comfort inherent in a five-star luxury ship.

yacht sea cloud spirit

The newbuild is equipped with all the characteristics of a modern cruise liner. Of the vessel’s 69 outside cabins, 25 including the three owner’s suites are equipped with balconies. A spacious wellness area comes with three treatment rooms, a Finnish sauna, a steam bath, and a hairdressing salon. The separate fitness area is located on the sundeck of the ship while dining and entertainment options including a lounge, a restaurant, and a bar with bistro are available as well.

For a quieter recreation option, guests may access an onboard library located forward of the seven de luxe outside cabins on the number three deck.

yacht sea cloud spirit

This premium vessel was designed by Spanish naval architects Sener to meet demanding environmental standards while providing passengers an elegant interior design and improved levels of comfort and convenience. Design work was carried out in compliance to DNV class rules.

Besides providing the full basic engineering of the ship, Sener also performed additional modifications at the owner’s request. These included extending the stern length by 1.9 metres, replacement of steel blocks with aluminium blocks, modification of the forward area of the veranda deck, relocation of the accommodation ladder, and changes to the ballast, fuel, and freshwater tanks.

For regular cruising, the vessel is dependent primarily on its three masts with sails that cover a total surface area of 4,165 square metres. Hoisting the sails is done by hand and can be completed in just under an hour. The vessel nonetheless features a backup diesel-electric powerplant that will allow it to reach a speed of 14.2 knots.

The backup propulsion runs on eco-friendly marine diesel and is designed to comply with existing regulations on emissions and environmental protection, ensuring minimal environmental impact even if the sails cannot provide adequate propulsive power.

Sea Cloud Spirit was built entirely at the Vigo facilities of Spain’s Metalships and Docks. The vessel was handed over to its new owners in May of this year and sailed out of Rome on its maiden cruise in September. After initial voyages along the Italian coast between Tuscany and Sicily, it will cruise the waters around the Canary Islands from November 2021 to April 2022. For the winter season 2022/2023, it is scheduled to debut in the Caribbean and Central America, and will also offer voyages from Florida to the smaller Bahamian islands for the first time.

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Sea Cloud Spirit Sets Sail From Miami

Sea Cloud Cruises’ newest vessel, SEA CLOUD SPIRIT, has just made her long-awaited debut in Miami, Florida. On February 21, 2023, the shipping company celebrated its newest tall ship sailing through US waters. Following this sailing, the 453-foot yacht will sail from Miami, Florida to Eleuthera and the Exuma Cays every February and March. These itineraries will signify the end of the company’s Central America and Caribbean sailing season. The company’s original flagship and namesake, SEA CLOUD , was built in 1931 for renowned entrepreneur, Marjorie Merriweather Post. The company has carefully selected Miami as its departure location and destination because of the city’s easy access to guests from around the globe. 

yacht sea cloud spirit

Photo: Porthole Cruise and Travel

Captain Vukota Stojanovic describes SEA CLOUD SPIRIT with the following statement, “An entire deck with balcony cabins, an exclusive wellness and SPA area, a fitness room with sea view, a bistro on deck as an evening alternative to “fine dining” in the restaurant – the youngest member of the SEA CLOUD family offers plenty of room for individuality in addition to genuine windjammer romance.”

Years ago, Sea Cloud Cruises found success after offering three separate yacht tours to the rarely visited Lesser Antilles and Central America. The company continues to fulfill its promise of offering guests trips to destinations that are inaccessible to traditional cruise ships with their new itineraries to Eleuthera and the Exuma Cays. The company longs to provide guests with a one-in-a-lifetime sailing experience to destinations that are usually deemed unreachable. The addition of this new region is traditionally only visited by small yachts, which is indicative of Sea Cloud Cruises’ mission.  

Sea Cloud Cruises expects an extremely successful 2023, due to the number of reservations already made up until now. The company believes that those who have had to postpone trips and set aside vacations due to the pandemic are finally able to travel again. 

yacht sea cloud spirit

About Sea Cloud Cruises 

Operating since 1979, Sea Cloud Cruises has focused on the sailing experience for its passengers. On Sea Cloud ships, guests can take part in onboard and onshore land programs and relax in a luxurious atmosphere. All three yachts in the company’s fleet are designed for an intimate and personal cruising experience, setting them apart from the competition.

The 90-year-old SEA CLOUD, her younger sister SEA CLOUD II , and the brand-new SEA CLOUD SPIRIT provide guests with a classic seamanship experience along with the luxurious environment of an elegant and intimate yacht. The company is dedicated to offering passengers unique itineraries in areas away from traditional cruise routes. SEA CLOUD and SEA CLOUD II have been repeatedly named among the top five cruise ships in the world by the Berlitz Cruise Guide.

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Sea Cloud Announces 2025 Florida and Bahamas Sailings, Brightline Pre-Cruise Option

WHY IT RATES: Sea Cloud Cruises is offering a new round-trip Miami itinerary for 2025, allowing travelers to enjoy a fun private yacht-style cruise onboard a brand-new, three-masted ship unlike any other. — Lacey Pfalz, Associate Writer, TravelPulse

Yesterday,  Sea Cloud Cruises , one of the world's most storied names in cruise travel, celebrated the inaugural call of  Sea Cloud Spirit  at Nassau Cruise Port. Joining Sea Cloud Cruises President Mirell Reyes for a ceremonial plaque exchange were Islands of The Bahamas officials and tourism industry leaders including Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper.  Sea Cloud Spirit  is currently embarking on an immersive Bahamas sailing  Nassau roundtrip March 4-12  that will call on boutique ports including the Exumas and Eleuthera. The current sailing’s Special Guest Lecturer Les Standiford was in attendance and shared details on a special 2025 voyage featuring his passions of Florida, Brightline and The Bahamas.

“Today, we welcome Sea Cloud Cruises to explore the islands of the Bahamas,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Deputy Prime Minister and Chester Cooper. “This voyage on  Sea Cloud Spirit  symbolizes not only the strength of our cruise industry but the enduring allure of the Bahamas as a destination of choice for travelers around the world."

Sea Cloud Cruises  Sea Cloud Spirit  will offer a new itinerary in 2025,  2025 Miami roundtrip March 27-April 4  with a pre-cruise hotel stay at The Breakers Palm Beach and Brightline PREMIUM transfer option, combining two of Standiford’s beloved books. “The Last Train to Paradise” is a definitive history of Henry Flagler and the Florida East Coast Railway which is closely connected to Brightline. “Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America's Xanadu,” chronicles the unique island in American history including original  Sea Cloud  owners E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post. Standiford will share stories and tales of Henry Flagler and Marjorie Merriweather Post throughout the journey which includes stops in Miami, Eleuthera, the Exumas, Key West and multiple days under full sail.

“Our guests are continually enamored with the earliest chapter of  Sea Cloud’s  history and there is no more charming expert and storyteller of this golden age than Les Standiford,” said Sea Cloud Cruises President Mirell Reyes. “We are delighted to welcome him once again as we feature The Breakers, Brightline and The Bahamas for an exclusive travel experience with limited availability.”

Brightline is the new train system on the same corridor as the Florida East Coast Railway in Standiford’s book “The Last Train to Paradise,” seamlessly connecting travelers to top major events and destinations between Central and South Florida. Guests reserving the exclusive pre-cruise stay at The Breakers can experience PREMIUM service enroute to Brightline MiamiCentral and PortMiami to board  Sea Cloud Spirit .

“Brightline’s PREMIUM service is the ultimate experience for discerning travelers to combine a pre-or post-cruise luxury hotel resort in Central or South Florida,” shared Brightline’s SVP Partnerships and Sales Johanna Rojas. “We look forward to welcoming guests before they board  Sea Cloud Spirit  on this unique itinerary and encourage all cruisers to make Brightline PREMIUM a part of their vacation.”

Les Standiford is a New York Times Bestselling author of 25 books and novels and a distinguished university professor and founding director of the creative writing program at Florida International University.

On each of the three sailing yachts comprising the Sea Cloud Cruises fleet, the sails are still traditionally hoisted by hand – an impressive and stunning job every time. There are no buttons that can simply be pressed and it takes almost a full hour until all sails catch the wind. Each voyage includes at least one day under full sail, a highlight of the Sea Cloud Cruises experience.

Sea Cloud Cruises sailings offer a well-balanced mix of authentic sailing experiences and unique discoveries ashore. With paramount courteousness and consideration, the crew creates a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere combined with impeccable service.

For more information on Sea Cloud Cruises, contact your travel advisor, call 1-888-732-2568, e-mail  [email protected]   or visit .

SOURCE: Sea Cloud Cruises press release.

The crew handle the rigging onboard the new Sea Cloud Spirit, a ship that defies modern sailing with three main masts and traditional sailing techniques.

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Former names: Angelita, Hussar II

Sea Cloud cruise ship

Cruise line Sea Cloud Cruises (Small Cruise Lines)

Sea Cloud current position

Sea Cloud current location is at Caribbean Sea (coordinates 16.60750 N / -62.35849 W) cruising en route to DO CAB. The AIS position was reported 4 minutes ago.

Current itinerary of Sea Cloud

Sea Cloud current cruise is 13 days, one-way from Valencia to Valletta . Prices start from USD 29344 (double occupancy rates). The itinerary starts on 25 Apr, 2024 and ends on 08 May, 2024 .

Specifications of Sea Cloud

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Sea Cloud Itineraries

Sea cloud review, review of sea cloud.

The 1931-built cruise ship Sea Cloud 1 is a tall-sailing ship launched as a private yacht constructed by the shipbuilder Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel Germany . The vessel was drydock-reconstructed and started cruise services in 1979. Sea Cloud was extensively drydock refurbished in 2011 at MWB-Werft ( Bremerhaven ). Its sistership is Sea Cloud 2 (2000-built as an exact replica). In 2021, the fleet joined the world's largest sailship Sea Cloud Spirit .

All three sailships are owned by Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH/ fleet (1979-founded, Hamburg -based company).

The vessel (IMO number 8843446) is currently Malta- flagged (MMSI 256084000) and registered in Valletta .

These sailships perfectly combine the elegance of sailing vessels with the luxury and comfort of modern passenger ships. Sea Cloud Cruises fleet in 2021 joined the newbuild Sea Cloud Spirit .

Occasionally, the boat is seasonally chartered by Lindblad Expeditions .

Traditionally for Sea Cloud Cruises, Sea Cloud 1 is often privately chartered, with a schedule combining regular revenue voyages with time- and voyage charters. The charterers are usually specialized groups renting the ship for events like religious conventions, business meetings, alumni gatherings, private parties (family reunions, birthdays, weddings, celebrations). Some even charter the ship for golf-themed cruises.

History - construction and ownership

The 64-passenger ship Sea Cloud 1 is a 4-masted barque originally built as a private yacht for Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) - an American entrepreneur, businesswoman, philanthropist. At the time, Marjorie Merriweather Post was the owner of General Foods Corporation (1929-founded/1990-defunct). The company (as Postum Cereal Company) was established in 1895 by Charles William Post (1854-1914, the pioneer in the prepared-food industry), and in 1988 merged into Kraft Foods Inc (now Kraft Heinz Co).

The vessel also served as a weather ship for the USCG (United States Coast Guard) and the US Navy during WW2 (1939-45). Following World War 2, the boat served as a private superyacht for many influential people, including as Dominicana's presidential yacht. Sea Cloud 1 was the first racially integrated US warship.

The boat is very much like a private shelter and boasts some of the most appealing cabins and public rooms at sea.

Decks and Cabins

MV Sea Cloud has 3 decks and only 32 cabins in 8 grades, all of which are outside staterooms. Cabins as types and sizes vary considerably. All upper-grade cabins are with antique furniture and marble bathrooms with bathtubs. All staterooms are without TVs.

All cabins offer as standard amenities large wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), dressing table / writing desk with chair, nightstand (bedside cabinet with 2 drawers), hairdryer, individually controlled air-conditioning, en-suite bathroom (WC, shower, marble sink top, gold-plated fixtures, razor socket), non-opening windows (half-height or Porthole).

Shipboard facilities and amenities

Sea Cloud Restaurants and food bars include Restaurant (open seating), Lido Deck (al fresco buffet, live music, Crew Shanty Choir). Food and service are exceptional, and meals are often served on deck. Dinner is served in the original dining room three times a week, from a fixed menu. Menus have a European influence, though the cuisine is sometimes tempered by the nationality of guests onboard. The most exciting part of the day is an afternoon snack on the Promenade Deck. The baker prepares a new treat each day, including waffles with ice cream, an elaborate afternoon tea or crepes to order. Complimentary wine flows freely at meals.

Sea Cloud 1 cruise ship

The most remarkable feature of this luxury yacht is its 4 masts, 29 sails and a tangled web of lines stretching 54 m skyward to support the rigging. Unlike the modern, computer-operated sail ships, all sails on Sea Cloud 1 are manually-served - by the 18 crew performing dazzling acrobatics, suspended over the ocean.

Ship's lounges and bars include Lido Bar, Lounge (featuring selected picture books, literature, board games, a writing desk with a laptop). Other facilities include Lobby area (Reception, Purser), Hospital, zodiac boats, "Fun Island" (sledding via inflatable water sleds).


Sea Cloud 1 schedule calendar includes cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean (departing from Piraeus-Athens Greece and Dubrovnik Croatia ), under contract to National Geographic Society. The yacht is also often privately chartered.

Following the Coronavirus crisis, Sea Cloud 1 became Sea Cloud Cruises' first boat to restart passenger shipping in 2021 - on August 27, leaving out of Piraeus-Athens.

For 2023, with Sea Cloud Lindblad introduced two new Mediterranean itineraries: the 10-day "Extraordinary Adriatic: Croatia and Slovenia Under Sail" (August 17, 2023, from US$14670 pp with double occupancy/from  Venice Italy to Dubrovnik Croatia) and the 16-day "Sailing the Western Mediterranean: Spain to Corsica" (April 19, 2023, from US$25,170 pp/from  Lisbon Portugal  to Naples Italy ).

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Sea Cloud ship related cruise news

Sea Cloud Cruises presents authentic itineraries in its 2024 brochure

Sea Cloud Cruises presents authentic itineraries in its 2024 brochure

Sea Cloud Cruises has unveiled its 2024 brochure titled "Authentic Sailing Journeys," offering a comprehensive overview of the experience on board...

Sea Cloud Cruises 2024 - new routes, destinations, and concepts

Sea Cloud Cruises 2024 - new routes, destinations, and concepts

For the year 2024, Sea Cloud Cruises/fleet has expanded its offerings beyond its well-established art, culture, and culinary trips. The company has...

Sea Cloud Cruises' tall ships continue sailing into the heart of Venice (Italy)

Sea Cloud Cruises' tall ships continue sailing into the heart of Venice (Italy)

Sea Cloud Cruises fleet will again steer a course for Venice Italy's historic downtown in 2023. Unlike large vessels, Sea Cloud's tall-sailing ships...

Sea Cloud Cruises remains an independent cruise line

Sea Cloud Cruises remains an independent cruise line

Sea Cloud Cruises revealed that Marriott International Inc (the parent company of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection via The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company...

Lindblad Expeditions updates Health & Safety protocols

Lindblad Expeditions updates Health & Safety protocols

Lindblad Expeditions updated its health & safety protocols with the first changes effective on sailings departing September 1st/later. As the...

Lindblad unveils 2 new cruise itineraries for Sea Cloud sailship

Lindblad unveils 2 new cruise itineraries for Sea Cloud sailship

Lindblad Expeditions announced 2 new itineraries for the 58-passenger sailship Sea Cloud. On the new voyages, tourists will discover the Adriatic...

Port Bastia (Corsica France) welcomes a double call with tall-sail cruise ships Royal Clipper and Sea Cloud

Port Bastia (Corsica France) welcomes a double call with tall-sail cruise ships Royal Clipper and...

Port Bastia (Corsica Island, France) welcomed a double ship call with Star Clippers' Royal Clipper and Ritz-Carlton's Sea Cloud. Both tall-sailing...

Sea Cloud Cruises cancels this year’s Saint Petersburg (Russia) calls of Sea Cloud Spirit

Sea Cloud Cruises cancels this year’s Saint Petersburg (Russia) calls of Sea Cloud Spirit

Sea Cloud Cruises announced the line had cancelled this year’s Saint Petersburg (Russia) calls of its new ship Sea Cloud Spirit. The Hamburg...

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to purchase Sea Cloud Cruises

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to purchase Sea Cloud Cruises

The maritime investment firm behind the Ritz-Carlson Yacht Collection, The Yacht Portfolio, signed a letter of intent (LoI) to purchase Sea Cloud...

Sea Cloud Cruises cancels its Caribbean season due to COVID

Sea Cloud Cruises cancels its Caribbean season due to COVID

For the 2nd year in a row, the German line Sea Cloud Cruises (fleet) canceled its Caribbean season due to the COVID crisis. According to the company...

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Sea Cloud Wiki

Under Captain Sergej Komakin, the ship Sea Cloud sailed approx 4260 km (2650 mi) without its engines - being powered only by the wind and cruising 17 days only under its 30 sails (total surface 2970 m2 / 32000 ft2). Only at ~160 km (100 mi) from Santo Domingo, the diesel engines were powered to support the remaining voyage. The 17-day Transatlantic crossing (itinerary December 3-20, 2019, from Praia, Santiago Island Cape Verde to Santo Domingo Dominicana ) was attended by 53 passengers and 60 staff/crew. During the ocean crossing, Sea Cloud maintained speeds 15-20 knots (28-37 kph / 17-23 mph).

In 2021, the 4-masted sailship restarted passenger operations under the command of Captain John Svendsen.

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Cruising the Moskva River: A short guide to boat trips in Russia’s capital

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There’s hardly a better way to absorb Moscow’s atmosphere than on a ship sailing up and down the Moskva River. While complicated ticketing, loud music and chilling winds might dampen the anticipated fun, this checklist will help you to enjoy the scenic views and not fall into common tourist traps.

How to find the right boat?

There are plenty of boats and selecting the right one might be challenging. The size of the boat should be your main criteria.

Plenty of small boats cruise the Moskva River, and the most vivid one is this yellow Lay’s-branded boat. Everyone who has ever visited Moscow probably has seen it.

yacht sea cloud spirit

This option might leave a passenger disembarking partially deaf as the merciless Russian pop music blasts onboard. A free spirit, however, will find partying on such a vessel to be an unforgettable and authentic experience that’s almost a metaphor for life in modern Russia: too loud, and sometimes too welcoming. Tickets start at $13 (800 rubles) per person.

Bigger boats offer smoother sailing and tend to attract foreign visitors because of their distinct Soviet aura. Indeed, many of the older vessels must have seen better days. They are still afloat, however, and getting aboard is a unique ‘cultural’ experience. Sometimes the crew might offer lunch or dinner to passengers, but this option must be purchased with the ticket. Here is one such  option  offering dinner for $24 (1,490 rubles).

yacht sea cloud spirit

If you want to travel in style, consider Flotilla Radisson. These large, modern vessels are quite posh, with a cozy restaurant and an attentive crew at your service. Even though the selection of wines and food is modest, these vessels are still much better than other boats.

yacht sea cloud spirit

Surprisingly, the luxurious boats are priced rather modestly, and a single ticket goes for $17-$32 (1,100-2,000 rubles); also expect a reasonable restaurant bill on top.

How to buy tickets?

Women holding photos of ships promise huge discounts to “the young and beautiful,” and give personal invitations for river tours. They sound and look nice, but there’s a small catch: their ticket prices are usually more than those purchased online.

“We bought tickets from street hawkers for 900 rubles each, only to later discover that the other passengers bought their tickets twice as cheap!”  wrote  (in Russian) a disappointed Rostislav on a travel company website.

Nevertheless, buying from street hawkers has one considerable advantage: they personally escort you to the vessel so that you don’t waste time looking for the boat on your own.

yacht sea cloud spirit

Prices start at $13 (800 rubles) for one ride, and for an additional $6.5 (400 rubles) you can purchase an unlimited number of tours on the same boat on any given day.

Flotilla Radisson has official ticket offices at Gorky Park and Hotel Ukraine, but they’re often sold out.

Buying online is an option that might save some cash. Websites such as  this   offer considerable discounts for tickets sold online. On a busy Friday night an online purchase might be the only chance to get a ticket on a Flotilla Radisson boat.

This  website  (in Russian) offers multiple options for short river cruises in and around the city center, including offbeat options such as ‘disco cruises’ and ‘children cruises.’ This other  website  sells tickets online, but doesn’t have an English version. The interface is intuitive, however.

Buying tickets online has its bad points, however. The most common is confusing which pier you should go to and missing your river tour.

yacht sea cloud spirit

“I once bought tickets online to save with the discount that the website offered,” said Igor Shvarkin from Moscow. “The pier was initially marked as ‘Park Kultury,’ but when I arrived it wasn’t easy to find my boat because there were too many there. My guests had to walk a considerable distance before I finally found the vessel that accepted my tickets purchased online,” said the man.

There are two main boarding piers in the city center:  Hotel Ukraine  and  Park Kultury . Always take note of your particular berth when buying tickets online.

Where to sit onboard?

Even on a warm day, the headwind might be chilly for passengers on deck. Make sure you have warm clothes, or that the crew has blankets ready upon request.

The glass-encased hold makes the tour much more comfortable, but not at the expense of having an enjoyable experience.

yacht sea cloud spirit

Getting off the boat requires preparation as well. Ideally, you should be able to disembark on any pier along the way. In reality, passengers never know where the boat’s captain will make the next stop. Street hawkers often tell passengers in advance where they’ll be able to disembark. If you buy tickets online then you’ll have to research it yourself.

There’s a chance that the captain won’t make any stops at all and will take you back to where the tour began, which is the case with Flotilla Radisson. The safest option is to automatically expect that you’ll return to the pier where you started.

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THE 10 BEST Moscow Boat Rides & Cruises

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  • Garden Ring
  • District Northern (SAO)
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Adventurous
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

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1. Flotilla Radisson Royal


2. Moscow River Boat Tours


3. Sup-Club

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4. Akvanavt Diving Centre

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5. Diving Center Crocus City Oceanarium

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6. CheapRussia Tours


7. Kite School Kiteclass


8. SUP Center

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9. Erwin. Reka


11. Easy Russia Tour Guide


12. Lovely Russia Tours


13. Capital River Boat Tours - Moscow Centre


14. Alfa Centr

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15. Diving Club Divers

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16. Sup Outdoor

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19. Soho Sailing Style

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20. Diving Center Crocodile

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21. Dive-Project

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22. Mosparokhodstvo


24. Kosinskiy Children Marine Club

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25. Kayak Moscow



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27. FLOW Moscow

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28. Moswake

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29. Morskiye Volki

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30. S-cruises


What travelers are saying


  • CheapRussia Tours
  • Easy Russia Tour Guide
  • Lovely Russia Tours
  • Insider Moscow Tours
  • Flotilla Radisson Royal
  • Moscow River Boat Tours
  • Capital River Boat Tours - Moscow Centre
  • Diving Center Crocus City Oceanarium
  • Cruise search
  • Atlantic Coast, Azores & Madeira
  • Northern Europe
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Canaries & Morocco
  • Caribbean – Lesser Antilles & Grenadines
  • Bahamas & Florida
  • Costa Rica & Central America
  • Transatlantic Crossing
  • Service package
  • Special offer
  • Private charter
  • Special occasion


  • Fascinated by windjammer
  • Low-impact tourism
  • Newsletter subscription
  • Feine Privathotels
  • Meisterkreis

yacht sea cloud spirit

Plenty of space for the highest demands


As an elegant square-sailing boat, the SEA CLOUD II, built in 2001, is clearly recognizable as the younger sister of the legendary SEA CLOUD. Despite all the maritime family resemblance, she has her own generous personality – and spoils you as a guest with the most modern travel comfort.

Captain Kathryn Whittaker & Captain Christian Pfenninger


  • Public Areas
  • Ground Plan

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CAT. A Owners’ Suites 401

The two Owners’ Suites on SEA CLOUD II follow in the maritime spirit of always keeping exclusive quarters white-glove ready for the ship’s owners. Today, these luxury spaces are reserved for guests who appreciate the elevated side of sailing with the comforts of a private yacht. Both light-filled suites are located on the lido deck and feature panoramic windows for a unique view of the sea, even from the four-poster bed. The opulence includes a fireplace, elegant cabinetry, high-end furnishings, and a spacious marble bath outfitted in our legendary golden fixtures.

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  • approx. 290 sq. ft.
  • marble bathroom approx. 45 sq. ft. with separate shower and bathtub
  • canopy bed, 75 in. x 83 in. (2 mattresses)
  • four closet spaces
  • sofa with table
  • fireplace (electric)
  • • TV with DVD
  • • panoramic windows

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CAT. A Owners’ Suites 402

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CAT. B Junior Suites

With rosewood furnishings, ornate wall finishings and a detailed marble fireplace, the junior suites are the epitome of luxury. Panoramic windows welcome in the sea, creating a bright, airy ambiance filled with casual elegance and upscale comfort. A separate sitting area makes the fireplace cozier. A majestic marble bath with golden fixtures is classic in this top tier. The Junior Suites are located on the promenade deck, with the restaurant, boutique, and reception close by.

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  • approx. 231 sq. ft.
  • marble bathroom approx. 34 sq. ft. with shower and bathtub
  • head-canopy bed, 71 in. x 79 in. (split king can be separated into 2 twins)
  • walk-in closet

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CAT. C Grand Staterooms (double bed)

The two grand staterooms envelope guests in sophistication. While the design and decor are decidedly stately and classically maritime, they still offer ultimate comfort. Panoramic windows welcome expansive sea views. Their location in the front of the promenade deck follows the elegant line of the SEA CLOUD II, enhancing the exhilarating feeling of sailing on a private yacht.

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  • approx. 194 sq. ft.
  • marble bathroom approx. 32 sq. ft. with shower, bathtub, and golden fixtures
  • double bed, 67 in. x 79 in. (2 mattresses)
  • chair with table
  • dressing table

yacht sea cloud spirit

CAT. D Deluxe Staterooms

The three large porthole windows give these SEA CLOUD II deluxe staterooms a special maritime flair. With a luxurious yacht ambience, these upscale spaces magnify the feeling of being part of an extraordinary journey on an extraordinary ship. The spacious room exudes elevated coziness with sophisticated furnishing and finishings, a glamorous palette and a beautiful sitting area. The six deluxe staterooms are located mid-ship on the same deck as the massage and cosmetic treatments, fitness room, swim platform and hospital.

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  • approx. 226 sq. ft.
  • marble bathroom approx. 32 sq. ft. with shower and golden fixtures
  • seating with table
  • • three portholes

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CAT. E Deluxe Staterooms

These outside deluxe staterooms with large porthole window are the epitome of nautical luxury on SEA CLOUD II. Located on both sides of the cabin deck, these are exclusive retreats of serenity that have made our sailing yachts famous. Sophisticated style comes in the form of rich wood finishings, Italian marble and golden fixtures.

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  • approx. 204 sq. ft.
  • California king bed, 71 in. x 79 in. (split king can be separated into 2 twins)
  • • two portholes

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CAT. F Staterooms

These three outside staterooms with porthole windows spotlight a design inspired by officers’ cabins on traditional windjammers. Warm, lustrous woods and a comfortable sitting area exude a classically elegant maritime atmosphere and provide an elevated sanctuary at sea. They’re located on the same deck as massage and cosmetic treatments, the fitness room, swim platform and hospital.

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  • approx. 150 sq. ft.
  • upper and lower beds, 32 in. x 75 in.

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Guaranteed double cabins (limited allotment; upon request)

Our guaranteed cabins allow you to book our voyages at a lower rate. A specific cabin number or category cannot be selected. You will receive your exact cabin number when arriving on board. On the SEA CLOUD, the range of accommodation starts from Cat. F. The allotment for this category is very limited.

Guaranteed stateroom: Space is limited. Allocations are at SEA CLOUD CRUISES’ discretion starting in Category F. You will receive your exact stateroom number when arriving on board.


Technical data and sail diagram


Length overall:

117 m / 384 ft

16.15 m / 53 ft

5.40 m / 17.7 ft

Height of the main mast above waterline:

57.40 m / 188 ft

Total sail area:

2,700 m² / 29,000 sq ft

Number of sails:


Year of construction:

47 outside cabins (including 16 junior and 2 owner suites)

Cabin equipment:

Bathrobe, hair dryer, telephone, adjustable air conditioning, personal safe, TV and DVD system, mini-bar, dressing table, exclusive cosmetics

Public areas:

Lidodeck with bar, restaurant with free choice of tables in one session, lounge with Steinway grand piano, boutique, library with laptop, massage and cosmetics, fitness room, hospital, WI-FI, swim platform, watersports equipment, 3 zodiacs

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Highlight: Artists from the Elbphilharmonie Orchesta live

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Special event: an evening straight from “1001 Arabian Nights” in Tangier

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  1. Introducing Sea Cloud Spirit

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  2. Exclusive sailing cruises with SEA CLOUD CRUISES

    yacht sea cloud spirit

  3. Introducing Sea Cloud Spirit

    yacht sea cloud spirit

  4. Sea Cloud Spirit

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  5. Segelschiff «Sea Cloud Spirit» erstmals in Hamburg

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  6. Sea Cloud Spirit: "Modern interpretierte Privatyacht als Alternative

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    SEA CLOUD SPIRIT. Building a three-mast full-rigged ship with traditional rigging in the 21st century may seem a little unusual. For SEA CLOUD CRUISES it is a commitment to true passion for sailing. With her clear, classic line she follows the example of her elegant windjammer sisters, but goes completely new ways. POSSIBILITIES.

  2. Sea Cloud Spirit Cruise: Expert Review (2023)

    Sea Cloud Spirit is the third ship in the Sea Cloud fleet. Based in Hamburg, the line is best known for its original vessel, Sea Cloud , a four-masted ship that once served as a private yacht for ...

  3. Sea Cloud Spirit Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review

    Sea Cloud Spirit's itinerary program and schedule were announced in late-June 2019. Inaugural cruise program (2021) The yacht's inaugural season (August through December 2020) was a Caribbean deployment and featured a new destination - the USVI (Virgin Islands). Bookings on Sea Cloud Spirit cruises opened on January 17, 2020.

  4. The most unusual new cruise ship of the decade: Why Sea Cloud Spirit is

    All feature decor that draws its inspiration from the 1930s design of Sea Cloud Cruises' original vessel Sea Cloud — once the private yacht for Postum Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post (and, at one time, the largest private yacht in the world). Think classical motifs, white-on-white decorative wall paneling and shiplap ceilings, and ...

  5. This Gorgeous New Ship Is the Only Cruise in the World Sailed ...

    Like every bonafide sailing yacht, Sea Cloud Spirit heels (leans) when the sails are up. This makes for a smooth ride, even in choppy seas. All you hear is the water gliding beneath the hull ...

  6. Exclusive sailing cruises with SEA CLOUD CRUISES

    The SEA CLOUD II perfectly combines spaciousness for up to 94 passengers with the lifestyle of a private yacht. To the ship . 360° Tour . ... SEA CLOUD SPIRIT. The SEA CLOUD SPIRIT combines traditional windjammer experience with 21st century comfort with up to 136 passengers. To the ship . 360° Tour . Video. Position. SEA CLOUD; SEA CLOUD II ...


    Category 4 Stateroom (twin beds) Category 5 Stateroom (lower and upper bed) Suites with a bath, shower and WC. Suites/Staterooms with a shower and WC. Masts. Guaranteed stateroom: Space is limited. Allocations are at SEA CLOUD CRUISES' discretion starting in Category 5. You will receive your exact stateroom number when arriving on board.

  8. REVIEW: Sea Cloud Spirit Makes a Splash!

    German-based Sea Cloud Cruises has discovered America and, with its exciting new ship Sea Cloud Spirit, intends to draw U.S.-based travelers to the Sea Cloud family. In fact, the line hopes that, by year's end, 40% of the ship's guests will hail from the American market. Sea Cloud Cruises, a fleet of three windjammers, each topped with a ...

  9. Review: Sea Cloud Spirit

    And, like Sea Cloud — the 1931-built namesake mega-yacht-turned-cruise-ship — and the 2001-built Sea Cloud II, her suites and staterooms even boast gold-plated taps and hardware. A junior suite onboard Sea Cloud Spirit. Credit: 2024 Sea Cloud Cruises ... Sea Cloud Spirit is a 136-guest ship that winters in the Caribbean and sails the ...

  10. Capturing the Spirit of sailing on a Sea Cloud cruise

    Feb 24, 2024. |. The three-mast, full-rigged Sea Cloud Spirit turns heads on its Caribbean sailings. Photo Credit: David Swanson. Barely a mile off the windward coast of Dominica, three galloping ...


    Hamburg-based Sea Cloud Cruises has begun regular operations of the newest addition to its fleet. The 138- by 17-metre, full-rigged Sea Cloud Spirit can accommodate up to 136 guests. It is being presented as an alternative offering for all travellers in the premium cruise segment who want to avoid larger vessels of competitors but still wish for the comfort inherent in a five-star luxury ship.

  12. A Review of the 'Sea Cloud Spirit' Sailing Ship

    Sea Cloud II (built in 2001) and Sea Cloud Spirit were built to uphold the ambience of a private yacht and tall-ship sailing inside and out. They feature elegant cabins with ample wood details as ...

  13. Sea Cloud Spirit

    The newly-built Sea Cloud Spirit is a three-mast fully-rigged ship that combines the romance of a traditional windjammer experience with 21st century comfort. She carries up to 136 passengers in 69 outside cabins, each featuring bathrobes, hair dryer, telephone, adjustable A/C, private safe, minibar, coffee machine, TV with entertainment system, WI-FI, exclusive cosmetics, dressing table, […]

  14. Sea Cloud

    Sea Cloud is a sailing cruise ship owned by Sea Cloud Cruises of Hamburg, Germany.Launched as a private yacht as Hussar V for Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1931, she later served as a weather ship for the United States Coast Guard and United States Navy during World War II, when she became the U.S. military's first racially integrated warship since the American Civil War.

  15. Sea Cloud Spirit Sets Sail From Miami

    Sea Cloud Cruises' newest vessel, SEA CLOUD SPIRIT, has just made her long-awaited debut in Miami, Florida. On February 21, 2023, the shipping company celebrated its newest tall ship sailing through US waters. Following this sailing, the 453-foot yacht will sail from Miami, Florida to Eleuthera and the Exuma Cays every February and March ...

  16. Sea Cloud Cruise: Expert Review (2023)

    Sailing as Mrs. Post's beloved yacht until 1955, Sea Cloud had a remarkable career entertaining royalty and being used on diplomatic missions for one of Mrs. Post's husbands. ... Sea Cloud Spirit ...

  17. Sea Cloud Announces 2025 Florida and Bahamas Sailings, Brightline ...

    Sea Cloud Cruises Sea Cloud Spirit will offer a new itinerary in 2025, 2025 Miami roundtrip March 27-April 4 with a pre-cruise hotel stay at The Breakers Palm Beach and Brightline PREMIUM transfer ...

  18. Sea Cloud Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review

    Sea Cloud Cruises fleet in 2021 joined the newbuild Sea Cloud Spirit. Occasionally, the boat is seasonally chartered by Lindblad Expeditions. Traditionally for Sea Cloud Cruises, Sea Cloud 1 is often privately chartered, with a schedule combining regular revenue voyages with time- and voyage charters. The charterers are usually specialized ...

  19. This Week in Cruise: Onboard Two New Ships; Caribbean Developments

    Sea Cloud Cruises recently debuted its new 136-passenger boutique luxury Sea Cloud Spirit.Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor was on site in Nassau earlier this month for a look at the new ...

  20. Philosophy SEA CLOUD CRUISES

    The Sea, the wind and endless horizons. Taste the sea air, hear the sound of the waves and feel the wind filling the up 4,100 m² / 44,100 sq ft of sail area. On the SEA CLOUD ships you can always be outside and close to the elements as so much on board takes place in the fresh air. The sea is always within reach here - and not a dozen decks ...

  21. Cruising the Moskva River: A short guide to boat trips in Russia's

    Surprisingly, the luxurious boats are priced rather modestly, and a single ticket goes for $17-$32 (1,100-2,000 rubles); also expect a reasonable restaurant bill on top.

  22. THE 10 BEST Moscow Boat Rides & Cruises (Updated 2024)

    Explore the scenic and historic attractions of Moscow from the water with the best boat tours and cruises. Enjoy the views of the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and the Sparrow Hills on a relaxing or informative boat ride. Or, spice up your trip with some water sports and activities in Moscow. Find out more on Tripadvisor.


    The two Owners' Suites on SEA CLOUD II follow in the maritime spirit of always keeping exclusive quarters white-glove ready for the ship's owners. Today, these luxury spaces are reserved for guests who appreciate the elevated side of sailing with the comforts of a private yacht. ... With a luxurious yacht ambience, these upscale spaces ...

  24. Boat tours and river cruises through Moscow: where to take them

    On this map you can see the details of the longest and most classic of the Flotilla Radisson boat tours: 2. Companies that do boat tours on the Moskva River. There are many companies that do cruises on the Moskva River, but the 4 main ones are: Capital River Boat Tour Company (CCK) Mosflot. Flotilla Radisson.

  25. Port of MOSCOW (RU MOW) details

    Real-time updates about vessels in the Port of MOSCOW RUMOW: expected arrivals, port calls & wind forecast for MOSCOW Port, by MarineTraffic.