Historical ships and sport boats accompanied the arrival of the “Spirit of the Sea Cloud”. A welcome that only a few ships experience in Hamburg. The environmental organization NABU praises the ship for using wind energy to propel it. However, engines must also be running in the port, because according to NABU, the seafarer does not have a shore connection. In 2022, the “Spirit of the Sea Cloud” can be seen three more times in the port of Hamburg, before it sails towards the Mediterranean Sea at the end of August.
Ship sets depart ten years later than planned
It is the third ship of the Hamburg shipping company Sea Cloud Cruises, as well as their largest to date: The three-masted, fully sailed ship “Sea Cloud Spirit” is 138 meters long, just over 17 meters wide and can carry up to 136 passengers. The bankruptcy of the shipyards and the pandemic meant that the ship was not allowed to sail until a good ten years later than planned.
An exciting story – now
It all started in 2007. It was then that the Hamburg shipowner Hermann Ebel, owner and co-managing director of Sea Cloud Cruises, decided to build the third ship in the fleet. Until now, the shipowner had been using the “Sea Cloud” built in 1931 and “Sea Cloud 2” commissioned in 2001. Now Sea Cloud Hussar is to be built at the Factoria de Naval Marin shipyard in Vigo, Spain. Construction starts in 2007. In 2010, the shipyard went bankrupt and the project stalled. An unfinished ship remains in the yard: a partially completed hull. It wasn’t until eight years later, in 2018, that a Hamburg-based consortium managed to buy it, eventually turning it into a ready-made vessel for Sea Cloud Cruises.
“Sea Cloud Spirit ”- a new name
The vessel is being built at Metalships & Docks, also based in Vigo, Spain. The shipping company decided on a new name: the sailing ship will now be called “Sea Cloud Spirit” – a new vessel with a new spirit.
Twice the sail area of the “Gorch Fock”
The three-masted vessel with full sails has about 4,100 square meters of sail – more than twice the size of the 81-meter German training sailing ship “Gorch Fock”. In August 2020, 13 years after construction has started, the “Spirit of the Sea Cloud” will finally be baptized. But a pandemic is ruining that date. The launch of the ship is postponed to the next year. The ship will be baptized in the port of Palma de Mallorca on September 3, 2021.
Ship baptism with blessed champagne
And here, too, not everything is going smoothly. The godmother, Princess Elena of Spain, sister of King Philip VI, soon canceled her participation. Gabriela Toran, wife of the ship’s designer, takes patronage over the ship “Sea Cloud Spirit” and baptizes the ship with a special champagne. The legal representative of Sea Cloud Cruises has kept his promise from the early stage of construction: after the successful completion of the construction of the sailing ship, he will personally and on foot bring champagne for the baptism on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and bless him there. This is how it happened. One of the two bottles breaks on the hull at baptism, the other is put up for auction on her maiden voyage.
Maiden voyage in the Mediterranean Sea
The new 138-meter-long building will begin its maiden voyage from Rome on September 14. Sea Cloud Spirit is designed for a maximum of 136 guests. 85 crew members look after the ship and guests.
Like the other two Sea Clouds, the ship is traditionally a sailing sailing ship. The sails are modeled on the fast merchant ships from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Under optimal wind conditions, Sea Cloud Spirit can travel up to 12 knots (approximately 22 kilometers per hour). When the wind is calm, support is provided by a low-emission diesel-electric drive with a total power of 3,400 kilowatts. After visiting Hamburg on June 16, the Sea Cloud Spirit will sail the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast of Spain until it sets off for the Caribbean in November.
Sea Cloud Spirit is expected to stay in Hamburg until Friday
Sea Cloud Spirit is expected to be in Hamburg at least until Friday. On Sunday, the concert in the port of Hamburg will be devoted to the full program of the history of the extraordinary ship. It will also be available as a podcast episode from Friday night.