Tradewind Voyages has been forced to cancel the first ‘dress rehearsal’ sailing of Golden Horizon – due to depart on Thursday – because of ‘operational issues’.
It announced the cancellation on Wednesday morning to passengers and agents who were due to leave Portland, Dorset, on a six-day trip.
A Tradewind Voyages spokesperson said the cruise was the first of two training voyages and not the cruise line’s official inaugural sailing.
“We have dealt with customers and agents – everybody was very understanding,” said the spokesperson.
“It’s lots of operational issues due to the pandemic and logistics.
“Even on the dress rehearsal, we wanted the guest experience as good as we can make it.
“For example, the teak furniture for the upper deck sun loungers had been delayed and not arrived this week.
“Tradewind Voyages felt the experience was not what we wanted to create due to the logistical impact of the pandemic so it was not viable for the guest experience.
“We have offered passengers a free alternative cruise of their choice and another cruise of their choice.”
She said the price for the rehearsal sailing was about a third of the usual fare.
“We advised everybody yesterday morning from 9am to 11am. Their response was overwhelmingly good and understanding,” she said.
“It was disappointing but we ensured all the guests came away with a cosy, warm feeling.”
Golden Horizon arrived in the UK last month ahead of its revised schedule of coastal voyages. It had to cancel another planned rehearsal sailing in June because of the delay in easing Covid restrictions.
The 272-passenger vessel is the world’s largest tall ship and has a limited capacity of 136 due to current government restrictions.
The six-night ‘dress rehearsal’ sailing on July 1 had been scheduled to visit Falmouth, Fowey, Dartmouth and Poole. The second ‘dress rehearsal’ departing on July 7 has the same itinerary.
Five voyages have been confirmed from July 15 with lead-in prices of £849.
UK-based Tradewind Voyages was launched in June 2020.