Is it possible to create something totally new, but at the same time maintain the essence of something that has, for decades, set the standards for beauty, elegance and comfort? Yes, is the short answer. The design team at Partner Ship Design in Hamburg have managed exactly that. With the SEA CLOUD SPIRIT, they have created a timeless reiteration of the legendary SEA CLOUD. The new three masted square-rigged vessel is already raising the bar for standards in the cruise sector whilst upholding, literally, the spirit of its older sister ships.

Some moments in life simply stay with you. The first step you take on board the newest addition to the SEA CLOUD CRUISES fleet is such a moment. With her 138m length overall and masts reaching a lofty 57m above the deck, the SEA CLOUD SPIRIT is certainly not a small ship. However, as soon as you step aboard, the feeling of awe is quickly supplanted by one of supreme comfort. The essence of the original SEA CLOUD can be felt, like a summer breeze, through the entire vessel, confirms René Kronsteiner, hotel director on board. René has for many years admirably fulfilled the role of hotel service director on the SEA CLOUD. He is now looking forward to bringing his skills to the newest addition to the fleet.

“The designers behind this newbuild have certainly managed to create a unique ship which maintains the atmosphere of the original vessel whilst at the same time lovingly and painstakingly introducing many new and timeless elements”.

It was indeed the remit of Partner Ship Design to create a ship which is a timeless interpretation of what has become a legendary sailing ship. The Hamburg based company, an internationally renowned interior design company with a long list of clients within the cruise industry, was a logical first choice for this most challenging project. The founders of Partner Ship Design, Siegfried Schindler and Kai Bunge, were instrumental in the careful restoration and conversion of the original SEA CLOUD back in 1992/93. They were also heavily involved in all interior design aspects of the second vessel, the SEA CLOUD II and so it was not a difficult decision to bring the team on board for the third vessel in the fleet.

The project manager for the SEA CLOUD SPIRIT was Stefan Seidenschneider, who cut his teeth as a trainee on the interior design for the SEA CLOUD II and is now a partner at the company. The remit was to recreate the exquisite maritime styling of the original SEA CLOUD in the new vessel such that it would be evident to all guests that these were true sister vessels. This underlying concept is what gave the team at SEA CLOUD CRUISES the idea for the name of the new ship. The original SEA CLOUD was originally christened HUSSAR V. However, when the owner, Marjorie Merriweather Post, divorced her husband, she decided to rename the four masted barque SEA CLOUD. As much of the of the original ship can be felt aboard the new vessel, it was decided she should carry the suffix SPIRIT.

In homage to the original, Partner Ship Design chose luxuriant veneers and profiles with inlays for the woodwork in the cabins and public areas. Marine woods such as Teak, Mahogany and Walnut were used extensively and the lighting concept was especially designed for maximum special effect. “As with the lights, all furniture has been specifically designed for the ship” explains Stefan Seidenschneider. “Classical and modern elements combine to create what is a timeless design”.

To create a jewel such as the SSEA CLOUD SPIRIT is not only a challenge from an interior design aspect. We should not forget, she is first and foremost a sailing ship, and that meant specific rules had to be followed when it came to the form and measurements of the hull itself. Furthermore, the interior design of the ship had to take into account the fact that the mast bases extend down to the keel of the ship. Unlike most other large cruise vessels, each cabin has an individual geometry. This is partly due to the hull shape itself. The bow and stern of the three-master are between 50 and 100 cm higher than the midship section of the ship. This meant that each of the 69 cabins had to be individually planned and that each piece of furniture hand crafted to fit the available space.

The result speaks for itself. The SEA CLOUD SPIRIT is simultaneously a traditional “Windjammer” and a modern cruise ship with all the expected trimmings (for example a fitness and wellness centre with an ocean-view sauna). Maritime The result speaks for itself. The SEA CLOUD SPIRIT is simultaneously a traditional “Windjammer” and a modern cruise ship with all the expected trimmings (for example a fitness and wellness centre with an ocean-view sauna). Maritime atmosphere and the feeling of luxury on board go hand in hand. In summary, a voyage aboard the SEA CLOUD SPIRIT is much more than a cruise – it is a journey for all the senses.

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