Tradewind Voyages has cancelled the inaugural Caribbean season of tall ship Golden Horizon this winter, citing ‘concerns regarding the ability to deliver an exceptional guest experience’.
The Suffolk-based company said it had made the ‘difficult decision’ to cancel the 17 planned voyages between December and April because of ‘guest concerns about accessibility to certain islands and resistance to travelling in bubbles’.
Instead, the cruise line will focus on the ship’s European season next summer and begin Caribbean sailings in winter 2022.
CEO Alan McGrory said: ‘As a company, the passion and vision has been to deliver an exceptional guest experience, however the current culmination of ongoing travel restrictions in place for the winter season does not allow us to deliver the exceptional customer experience which the brand stands for.
‘We thank everyone who has supported us on this journey so far and those that have experienced Golden Horizon know that travellers aboard this spectacular ship deserve nothing but the best.’
Tradewind Voyages has faced a series of challenges over introducing Golden Horizon, the world’s largest sailing ship.
First, the inaugural UK voyage was pushed back to June 1 by Covid restrictions, then Golden Horizon’s ‘dress rehearsal’ cruise on June 21 was cancelled. Planned round-Britain itineraries were scuppered by the Scottish government banning cruise ship calls and replaced by sailings from Dover. The Caribbean cruises were offered after European sailings had to be axed.
At the same time, Tradewind Voyages has been involved in a long-running legal dispute with Star Clippers which at one stage led to Golden Horizon being briefly ‘arrested’ in Dover.
The European sailings next year will begin in Palma de Mallorca in May and end in Piraeus (Athens) next October. The 22 voyages will include visits to Spain, France, Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Turkey.