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Fall under the spell of the Caribbean trade winds aboard Sea Cloud
Return to the romantic era of tall ships on an expedition among the idyllic islands of the Caribbean—a place perfectly suited to the aesthetic beauty of sailing aboard an authentic square-rigger. Our iconic ship Sea Cloud will be a movable feast and your base for exploring some of the Caribbean’s gems and lesser-known sites. This historic sailing yacht, a souvenir of a golden age of sailing in the 1930s, is full of the glamour and the sophistication of her era. From the moment you step aboard you’ll feel the soul of the ship—as surely as you’ll feel the trade winds filling her sails.
Discover the enchanting harmony of wind and sail. With reliable 10- to 15-knot trade winds at your back, you’ll trace the history of the islands from native settlers to colonial expansion to modern life. An integral part of what makes them so interesting is how each has settled in with some French, Spanish, and Creole mix of its own. On islands that still belong to France you’ll find everyone speaking French and shops accepting only the euro. Hike the islands and swim and snorkel the Caribbean’s colorful reefs.
Enjoy the daily ritual—each evening the entire community gathers on the Lido Deck for an expedition ritual we call Recap. As you enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, your naturalist or historian will give talks and your expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule.
The Sea Cloud is fabulous, and being on board and sailing is a real privilege!
Explore with top expedition teams
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades. Go with an expedition leader, naturalist, historian, Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and more.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Our naturalists, passionate about the geographies they explore (and return to regularly), illuminate each facet through their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
Our historians will share the stories, tumults, and triumphs of the people and places we explore. Their colorful personalities and passion for history, from the minutiae to the big picture, make them engaging travel tour guides and companions.
Every expedition aboard Sea Cloud offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings and the basics of composition and to help you become a better, more confident photographer.
What a way to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day! What could be more romantic than sailing on board Sea Cloud , a 91-year-old, four-masted barque, the most beautiful sailing yacht ever built? We experienced winds from the north and northeast, perpendicular to our course. We were aiming for Bequia, the “island of the clouds,” or Becouya in the Arawak language. Captain John Svendsen took guests around the ship to show off every restoration detail. We are on a floating museum, a beauty that is kept alive thanks to the quality of her construction, the care and constant maintenance of her sailors, and because of our guests who keep exploring the world. If the morning was for sailing, the afternoon was for Bequia, which is seven square miles in area and part of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. After lunch, we dropped anchor in Admiralty Bay in front of Port Elizabeth. We visited the Sargeant Brothers Model Boat Shop. Here, artisans spend their days carving and building replicas of vessels in Port Elizabeth. They shape the wood with tools that have been utilized for decades, and they work with the same gumwood that the Caribs used to build the canoes that brought them from the Orinoco region into the Lesser Antilles centuries ago. Some of us walked a little farther to the boat museum where Mercy, the wife of the older Sargeant brother, explained the evolution of boat building in Bequia with tenderness and a big smile. The museum is alive because of Mercy’s dedication and passion. It is love that keeps things bright and thriving, as is the case with Sea Cloud . And today we celebrated love with all our senses. >We enjoyed rum punches and piña coladas from Jack’s Bar, where we gathered for swimming and relaxing. After this, we had a brief green flash experience. Hotel manager Simon surprised us twice today. He amazed us with an enormous, heart-shaped cake for lunch. At night, he amazed us again with roses while we enjoyed the local band “Kings of Strings.” And so the night went on with singing, dancing, and calypso rhythms played by four smiling musicians from a town that will stay in our hearts.
We woke to Caribbean skies and a fresh easterly breeze. As we finished breakfast, Captain John Svendsen met us on the spanker deck to give us a play-by-play of setting the sails, sprinkling some Sea Cloud history here and there. While watching the sailors “hit the rig” and scale up the tall masts, we were transported back to a simpler time. The captain even allowed willing guests to help with a few of the lines. The rest of the morning was spent soaking up the sun on deck. After lunch, our Lindblad Photo Instructor gave us tips on taking great photos with smart phones. Our evening started with the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party, where Captain Svendsen welcomed us all into the Sea Cloud family. Next, we enjoyed our first taste of the fine dining the Sea Cloud is known for. For a fabulous end to the evening, our pianist Mario played relaxing melodies as Expedition Leader Paula pointed out constellations in the sky.
We were greeted by the Pitons of Saint Lucia this morning as Sea Cloud dropped anchor in Soufriere Harbor. We planned to visit Soufriere Volcano and Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, followed by a pre-lunch snorkel. The lush botanical garden is home to an impressive range of plant and bird species, offering guests up close views of stunningly beautiful flowers and birds. We were lucky to spot an American kestrel, purple-throated and green-throated caribs, and a lesser Antillean bullfinch. We returned to the ship for a final lunch. The sun was shining upon the ship as the captain positioned her for a final photo under the Pitons and a toast to our wonderful journey. Sea Cloud then sailed off towards Bridgetown for our morning departure. It has been a magnificent journey. We are lucky to be a part of the ship’s rich history, and we have been well taken care of by the amazing crew.
Our day aboard Sea Cloud began with a walk-through of the engine room for our guests to experience the power that propels the ship when not sailing. Following the walk-through, Fabio presented a brief history of the art and archaeology of the Lesser Antilles. After lunch, we boarded the tenders and made our way across Tyrell Bay to Carriacou Island. Some guests went on a bus tour of Carriacou Island to explore both the Caribbean and Atlantic sides of the isle. They visited various landmarks, including the hospital, historic plantation locations, and a windmill. Other guests snorkeled at Sandy Island. Both groups came together at the end of the day on Paradise Beach, where we were delighted to experience the traditional drums and dance of the Carriacou people. During dinner on board, guests experienced Sea Cloud’s lively shanties followed by great music and dancing.
Our expedition continued to be filled with excitement and activities as we traveled to St. Vincent and the Isle of Bequia. The morning began with Aaron Raymond’s talk about expedition photography. He demonstrated various functions and camera settings and shared technical information and methods with guests to help them enhance photographic images when capturing memories of their voyage. Following Aaron’s presentation, the captain gave a tour that focused on the restoration efforts that keep historical Sea Cloud functioning and in pristine condition. After lunch, we disembarked on the Isle of Bequia in Saint Vincent where our guests had the opportunity to visit the model boat museum and workshop. This workshop is important in creating replicas of the historic sail ships owned by celebrities and the Royal family of England. The museum provided a background on the whaling activities that once provided a source of income for the local community. In the late afternoon, guests had a chance to swim on the beach and enjoy some drinks while watching the beautiful sunset. We ended the day on the ship with our local guide and a musical group that delighted guests with local interpretations of American songs.
There’s nothing sacrificed by having this traditional relationship to sailing. This is the height of luxury—and the height of luxury these days in many ways could be the ability to get away from it all.