A group of well-known travel industry professionals has launched Tradewind Voyages, a UK-based cruise line which plans to start sailing in May 2021.
Tradewind Voyages will operate cruises on Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square-rigged sailing vessel, which was built and is owned by Brodosplit, a subsidiary of Croatia-based DIV Group.
Tradewind Voyages will be based in Hadleigh, Suffolk, and will be led by chief executive Stuart McQuaker, former chief operating officer of Saga Cruises.
McQuaker will be supported by sales and marketing director Jeremy McKenna, formerly of P&O Cruises and NCL; head of marketing and distribution Amanda Norey (formerly Darrington), who previously held roles at Royal Caribbean and Kuoni; and product director Oliver Hammerer, formerly of Carnival UK and Holland America Line.
Other well-known professionals joining the team include business development managers Rachel Healey, formerly of Uniworld, and Mark Schmitt, previously at SeaDream Yacht Club. The line aims to recruit a team of 15 staff initially and plans to extend its fleet in the coming years.
The five-masted tall ship Golden Horizon will carry up to 272 passengers and will sail an initial nine northern European voyages from Harwich and Glasgow in 2021, before transferring to Asia in the autumn.
The ship, which has a polar class classification, is then expected to feature destinations including Australia, the Indian Ocean, Japan, Alaska, the Americas and the Pacific Islands in late 2021 and 2022.
McKenna said Tradewind Voyages would focus on the UK and Irish source markets and expects to sell 95% of its sailings via the trade. He said the ship would appeal to all ages, and particularly to those with an interest in sustainability.
He added: “We have been planning the launch of the ship well before the current crisis and believe that people will definitely want to travel – even more so than before.
“The plan is to sell this beautiful ship 95% through agents. We are hoping they will be excited by something new and fresh coming to market, and hope to invite as many as possible to see her when she is in the UK next year.”