Slow Travel – on the world’s largest sailing ship
As life gets faster and Christmas comes round ever quicker, it’s ironical – but anecdotally welcome – that one of the fastest-growing trends in tourism is the art of slow travel – and in particular, slow cruising.
Quite literally, slow travel is about slowing down, the quality of the journey and travelling with a purpose. It’s a holistic, grassroots mindset that focuses on meaning, connection, nature and culture, with a lighter footprint on the environment.
In the age of bucket list travel, many holidaymakers who lead hectic, stressful lives fly headlong into a vacation filled with a blur of distractions, ticked-off attractions and packed itineraries and return home more exhausted and harried than when they left. But instead of tourist burnout, slow travel calms the nerves, enriches the heart and fills the soul.
Smaller ships like expedition and river vessels are perfect for slow travel with a more relaxed pace onboard, more focus on the journey, fewer passengers and diversions, slower itineraries and no queuing to embark and disembark. But there’s a new ship on the horizon that promises to inspire and celebrate the magic of slow cruising better than most others – the world’s largest and newest sailing ship, Golden Horizon.
To be launched in April, 2021, by new UK-based cruise line, Tradewind Voyages, this majestic, five-masted square-rigger, with 6300 square metres of sail billowing in the wind, will glide across the seas without propulsion for most of the time, at one with the breeze, the sun and the currents, allowing its adventurous, modern-day seafarers to hear and feel the wind in silence and experience, for once, the true, raw power of slow travel.
“Golden Horizon is very much a vessel of the times, “ says Craig Bowen, Managing Director of Australian small ship cruise specialist, Cruise Traveller, which is the exclusive, Australian launch partner for the ship, which makes its debut appearance on our shores in December, 2021. “This breathtakingly elegant ship offers a true sea adventure, a deep connection with the sea, a celebration of seafaring heritage and an authentic, nature-powered maritime experience,” Mr Bowen said. “After the year we’ve had, so many Australian cruise lovers are warming to this unique and special offering, which is why November, 2020, was Cruise Traveller’s busiest and most successful month all year following the opening of sales on November 2 of Australian voyages aboard Golden Horizon.
“Golden Horizon brings romance, tradition and grace back to cruising. She’s kind to the environment and resembles a historic barque but she’s brand new and doesn’t compromise on luxury, with her 272 guests pampered by contemporary facilities, fine cuisine, personal service and a bounty of space, fresh air and freedom. The true essence of slow travel.”
The 162m-long Golden Horizon will fuse contemporary luxury with the charm and adventure of a traditional sailing ship, offering a grand, two-deck dining room, three pools, gym, library, spa sanctuary, four inside and outside bars, a marina platform and a collection of kayaks, waterskis and wakeboards for guests to use. All 140 cabins will offer ocean vistas, with 38 cabins offering private balconies.
Golden Horizon will visit a record 35 destinations around Australia during her debut visit, including a host of small and remote places not visited by larger ships, again delivering the riches of slow and more specialised travel.
Exclusive Golden Horizon packages from Cruise Traveller
For Golden Horizon’s inaugural circumnavigation of Australia, Cruise Traveller is offering 14 exclusive cruise and stay packages around Australia from December, 2021, to February, 2022, ranging in length from 14 to 73 nights. Fares start at A$7760 pp, twin-share, for a 14-night package from Adelaide to Perth.
Cruise Traveller has also now released new, transcontinental Rail and Sail packages which combine journeys aboard the tall ship and the iconic Indian Pacific train – two showpieces of slow travel. Rail and Sail packages in January, 2022, start at A$9995 per person, twin-share, for 17-nights.
Australians can also book with complete peace of mind, with funds paid kept safe in an independent trust account until the sailing date. Furthermore, if Tradewind Voyages has to cancel a voyage due to Covid-19, it guarantees customers will be able to transfer to another voyage or receive a full refund of monies paid.