Sea Cloud Cruises announced its plans for "restarting" cruises. On March 17, 2021, Sea Cloud II will set sail from Las Palmas on seven-day trips around the Canary Islands. Two weeks later, Sea Cloud will begin Greek Island cruises. The Hamburg-based company also says its new-build, Sea Cloud Spirit, which is under construction in Vigo, Spain, is back on schedule. The exact start-up date for that vessel will be announced later this year.
With the restart, Sea Cloud's ships will return to operation almost one year to the day after they ceased sailing with passengers due to the pandemic.
In its press statement, the line said that demand has been strong the past few months but "Sea Cloud Cruises made a conscious decision to resume voyages later than other operators."
Daniel Schafer, managing director, Sea Cloud Cruises. noted that reliability and safety are the line's top priority and all COVID-19 safety and hygiene measures will be in place on the ships.
Sea Cloud II will become the first ship to set sail from Las Palmas on March 17. The seven-night cruise will feature some new "active" options for guests, including island excursions on Lanzarote with environmentally friendly electric vehicles, whale watching off La Gomera and catamaran tours off Fuerteventura.
"We have received growing interest from guests who no longer want to travel on larger cruise ships, but do not want to forego sea voyages," explains Schafer.
Celebrating nine decades of sailing in 2021 is the line's flagship Sea Cloud. On April 2, that sailing ship will begin a series of roundtrip Piraeus (Athens) voyages with two different routes into the Cyclades.
The line opted to only roundtrips for the start of the season and not the usual trips with different ports of departure and destination. That way, "in the event that there will be COVID-19 related restrictions for a longer period of time in the coming year, we can already meet all applicable requirements from the moment we arrive,” according to Schafer.
Sea Cloud Cruises has developed an extensive hygiene and safety concept for the restart next year. In addition, "on a tall ship, a significant part of the daily life takes place in the fresh air,” he says.
In addition, the cabins and the public areas on the ships are ventilated with fresh air from the outside and occupancy will range from 64 to 94 guests.