When holidays return in 2021, many of us will be looking at ways we can be more eco-conscious when we start exploring again.
While we love the sense of adventure that comes with experiencing the culture, customs and landscapes in faraway places – or even remote parts of our own country – for environmentally-conscious travellers, traditional flying and sailing long distances is simply hasn't been an option.
Enter new cruise line Tradewind Voyages, which is here to bring you unique travel experiences with sustainability at its core.
A cruise ship powered by nature
Using the currents and prevailing winds, Golden Horizon takes 70% of its power from natural sources. Its sailings from British and Australian ports mean that passengers living there can avoid flying altogether.
As the world's biggest square-rigged ship, the facilities on-board are still extensive and you don't have to compromise on luxury. It offers three swimming pools, a beauty salon, gym, spa with sauna, hammam, snow room and Jacuzzi, as well as five bars (two outdoor and one piano bar).
The special two-floor dining room serves up delicious food using local, sustainably sourced produce wherever possible. You’ll find no plastic straws or water bottles being used anywhere on the ship, either.
Because there's still so much we can learn about living sustainably and caring for our beautiful planet, those lucky enough to experience the ship can attend educational talks, too.
Eco-conscious experiences on and off the ship
Along with the programme of talks about the natural world, there are stop-offs that focus on the local flora and fauna in the places you visit. You can also expect excursions with the environment in mind: think trips to organic farms and vineyards.
What’s more, while there’s been no compromise on fantastic facilities, the removal of all inside cabins not only means you’re guaranteed spectacular views, but carrying fewer passengers than ships of a similar size reduces the overall carbon footprint even further.
Small-ship cruising also means travellers sail into smaller ports and spend less time moored at sea with unnecessary engine use and pollution.
Learn from wildlife experts
To emphasise its eco-ethos, Country Living has partnered with Tradewind Voyages to create two exclusive holidays with celebrity experts.
The first sets off from Scotland in May 2021, travelling to Iceland where you can learn about volcanoes with wildlife presenter Kate Humble, who fronted the BBC’s brilliant Volcano Live from Katla.
While there, you’ll see the Eyjafjallajökull, Katla and Hekla volcanoes, and get the chance to step inside a real lava tunnel. As well as awe-inspiring sights, you’ll return to Scotland feeling relaxed and restored, with excursions including bathing in restorative geothermal pools, riding Icelandic horses and enjoying the ship’s library and pools while sailing through beautiful fjords.
The second is closer to home and allows you to learn about some of Britain’s most beautiful landscapes on a June 2021 sailing around the British Isles. You'll head for Belfast, the Giant's Causeway and dramatic Antrim Coast, as well as the Isle of Man, where you can board a vintage train to the top of Snaefell mountain.
This special cruise also takes you to Dublin to see Malahide Castle and Dublin Bay, along with the wonderful Isles of Scilly.
Once there, broadcaster and environmentalist Liz Bonnin will give a talk entitled 'The Problem with Plastics' and take part in an exclusive Q&A on board. Liz will also join you on a visit to Tresco Abbey Gardens to see the colourful plantlife of the unspoilt Isles of Scilly, and on a magical boat trip around the eastern islands to spot wildlife.
Experience Golden Horizon from £829
If you’d like to enjoy mesmerising views and the indulgent facilities of Golden Horizon on a shorter itinerary, you can join a six-night sailing from Portugal to Portsmouth in April 2021.
At £829 per person, or £699 with no flight out to Portugal, this full-board cruise offers a taste of the luxurious ship on its delivery voyage. You'll head off for an amazing sailing adventure and have the chance to assist the crew in fine-tuning the experience.
As the dress rehearsal for Golden Horizon's inaugural season, it will give you a preview of one of the most exciting ships to launch in the UK, as well as take in some fantastic destinations during springtime: Lisbon, Leixões, Vigo, La Coruna and Portsmouth.
Modelled on a traditional sailing ship, with elegant features across its small collection of 140 cabins and gorgeous bars, restaurant, library and spa, Golden Horizon is utterly modern in its sustainable design and mission.
If you're looking for a 2021 holiday like no other, this new sustainable cruise ship is worth considering.
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