Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Sea Cloud II
Ship: 432 out of 500
Accommodation: 173 out of 200
Food: 339 out of 400
Service: 335 out of 400
Entertainment: 90 out of 100
Cruise: 331 out of 400
Overall Score: 1701 out of 2000
Sea Cloud II Statistics
Size: Boutique Ship
Cruise Line: Sea Cloud Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9171292
Builder: Astilleros Gondan, Figueras (Spain)
Original Cost: DM 50 million
Entered Service: Feb 2001
Length (ft/m): 383.8/117.0
Beam (ft/m): 52.9/16.1
Draft (ft/m): 17.7/5.4
Propulsion/Propellers: sail power + diesel (2,500kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 4
Total Crew: 60
Passengers (lower beds): 94/94
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40.9
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.6
Cabins (total): 47
Size Range (sq ft/m): 215.2-322.9/20.0-30.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 0
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 0
Wheelchair accessibility: None
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): No
Slot Machines: No
Swimming Pools: 0
Hot Tubs (on deck): 0
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Euros
This fine tall ship provides exclusive sail-cruises for couples
Overview. This is just about as exclusive as it gets - sailing in the lap of luxury aboard one of the world’s most luxurious true sailing ships - although your experience will depend on which company is operating the ship under charter when you sail, and exactly what is to be included in the package.
The Ship. This three-mast tall ship (called a barque) is slightly longer and beamier than the original Sea Cloud, and has the look, ambience, and feel of a 1930s sailing vessel while benefiting from the latest high-tech navigational aids. It complements the company’s original, 1931-built Sea Cloud in almost every way, including its external appearance - except for a very rounded stern in place of the counter stern of the original ship.
The interior designers have managed to replicate the same beautiful traditional look and special decorative touches, so anyone who has sailed aboard Sea Cloud will feel instantly at home. Whether the modern materials used will stand up to 80 years of use like those of the original ship remains to be seen, although they are of a high quality. In any event, comparisons are bound to be made, and if you have sailed aboard the original Sea Cloud, you will probably be disappointed with the more limited space and decoration of the equivalent cabins aboard this ship.
The main lounge is truly elegant, with sofa and large individual tub chair seating around oval drinks tables. The ceiling is ornate, with an abundance of wood detailing, and an oval centerpiece is set around skylights to the open deck above. A bar is set into the aft port side of the room, which has audio-visual aids built in for lectures and presentations.
A treasured aspect of sailing aboard this ship is its ‘Blue Lagoon’, at the very stern - part of the outdoor bar and casual dining area. Weather permitting, you can lie on thick blue padding and gaze up at the stars and warm night sky - it’s a huge pleasure, particularly when the ship is under sail, with the engines turned off.
In terms of interior design, degree of luxury in appointments, the passenger flow, fabrics, food, and service, the ceiling height of public rooms, larger cabins, great open deck space, better passenger/space ratio and crew to passenger ratio, there is none better than Sea Cloud II. I have sailed aboard both vessels and I can promise you a memorable sail-cruise experience.
A small water sports platform is built into the aft quarter of the starboard side (with adjacent shower), and the ship carries four inflatable craft for close-in shore landings, as well as snorkeling equipment.
There are three masts and up to 24 sails, measuring a billowing 32,292 sq ft/3,000 sq m. These are: flying jib, outer jib, inner jib; fore royal, fore topgallant, fore upper topsail, fore lower topsail, fore course; main royal staysail, main topgallant staysail, main topmast staysail; sky sail, main royal, main topgallant, main upper topsail, main lower topsail, main sail; mizzen topgallant staysail, mizzen topmast staysail; mizzen gaff topsail, mizzen upper gaff sail, mizzen lower gaff sail, middle gaff, upper gaff.
Accommodation. The decor in the cabins is very tasteful 1920s retro, with lots of bird’s-eye maple wood paneling, brass accenting, and beautiful molded white ceilings. All cabins have a vanity desk, hairdryer, refrigerator (typically stocked with soft drinks and bottled water), and a combination TV/video player.
All cabins have a private bathroom with shower enclosure (or tub/shower combination), and plenty of storage space for toiletries. The cabin current is 220 volts, although all bathrooms also include a 110-volt socket for shavers.
There are two suites. Naturally, these have more space - but not as much space as the two Owner’s Suites aboard Sea Cloud - and comprise a completely separate bedroom, with four-poster bed, and living room, while the marble-clad bathroom has a full-size tub.
There are 16 Junior Suites. These provide a living area and sleeping area with twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed. The marble-clad bathroom is quite opulent, and has a small tub/shower combination, with lots of cubbyholes to store toiletries.
Dining. The one-seating dining room operates an open-seating policy, so you can dine with whom you wish, when you wish. It is decorated in a light, modern maritime style, with wood and carpeted flooring, comfortable chairs with armrests, and circular light fixtures. The gold-rimmed plates used for the captain’s dinner - typically a candlelit affair - have the ship’s crest embedded in the white porcelain; they are extremely elegant and highly collectible. The place settings for dinner, also often by candlelight, are navy blue, white, and gold Bauscher china.
There is always excellent seafood and fish, purchased fresh, locally, when available, as are most other ingredients. For breakfast and lunch, there are self-serve buffets. These are really good, and beautifully presented - usually indoors for breakfast and outdoors on the Promenade Deck for lunch. Meal times are announced by the ship’s bell.
European wines typically accompany lunch and dinner - mostly young vintages. Soft drinks and bottled water are included in the fare, while alcoholic drinks cost extra. On a cruise’s last day, home-made ice cream is produced.
Entertainment. There is a keyboard player/singer for the occasional soirée, but nothing else - nothing else is needed since the thrill of sailing is the entertainment. Dinner and after-dinner conversation with fellow passengers really becomes the main activity each evening. So, if you are feeling anti-social and don’t want to talk to your fellow passengers, take a good book or two.
Spa/Fitness. There is a health/fitness area, with a small gymnasium, and sauna. Massage is available.