Sea Cloud in full sail
Cliffs of Bonifacio
The Lido Deck on Sea Cloud
Owner's Suite No. 1 Decorated by Lady Marjorie
Dining area on board Sea Cloud
The stunning Sea Cloud in full sail
Fresh foods in Italy
Arblaster & Clarke's SeaCloud Wine Cruise
8 - 15 July 2012
Arblaster & Clarke’s Small-Ship luxury Wine Cruise on SeaCloud, Rome to Nice 2012
Just 48 participants (no, this is not a mis-type, this is a genuine small party experience) can join Arblaster & Clarke’s 2012 Wine Cruise on the incomparable Sea Cloud. Sail with us on the stunning Sea Cloud, an authentic square-rigger built in 1931. She is quite simply, the world’s most luxurious sailing ship. She was designed and built to an immaculate level of luxury for Marjorie Merriweather Post, an American heiress. At the time she was the largest private yacht ever constructed. In 1979 she was renovated to her original glory and further work was carried out recently.
Our route takes us south from Rome to Ischia and Amalfi, on to Corsica and Elba, then the chic resort of St Tropez. We’ll be enjoying the wines from the regions we are visiting over informal on board tastings hosted by the wine guide and at the gourmet dinners where we may also be joined by wine-makers. Although she can sleep 65, A&C’s cruise will be restricted to just 52 passengers. As always on an Arblaster & Clarke wine cruise, you’ll feel like a guest at a private party rather than a passenger on a mega impersonal cruise ship!
SeaCloud’s 4 huge masts support 29 sails when fully unfurled in all their billowing glory and these are fully manually operated (none of this mechanical cheating that goes on more modern versions!). The engines are used as little as possible whenever the itinerary and the wind allows.
SeaCloud has three meticulously maintained decks and public areas that include an elegant wood-panelled lounge, with chandeliers and original oil paintings. In the intimate dining room, where you all dine at one relaxed sitting, gourmet Mediterranean menus (with choices available) are served along with our selection of wines each evening.
There’s plenty of outdoor deck space including a cushioned area at the aft called the “Blue Lagoon”, a popular place to stretch out and enjoy the sunset. The open-air Lido deck and bar are the centre of the social life on board where the buffet lunches and the occasional informal dinners are served, it can also be used for pre and post dinner gatherings. Entertainment on board is kept to a minimum to allow you to enjoy the sound of the sea and chat to your fellow passengers after dinner.
Our Ports of Call…
Ischia, “The green island”
The largest and arguably most beautiful of the islands in the Gulf of Naples, Ischia is a volcanic island, whose fertile soil produces earthy red wines from unusual grape varieties such as Guarnaccia, Per’ e Palummo, S. Lunardo and fruity whites such as Biancolella, Forastera and Arilla. We have been exploring these wines since the early 1990’s.
The coast line is rated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its unique natural landscape, and the beautiful small town was the first of the four Maritime Republics in Italy, with its imposing Cathedral approached by a steep staircase, and protected by the ancient arsenals of the Republic. The wines of this coast are a delight and hugely exceed expectations. The steep terraced vineyards planted with local grape varieties have a great historic reputation dating back to Roman times. There are just a few wineries, little more than ‘garagistes’ here. The aromatic whites are particularly enjoyable with an almost tangerine-like flavour.
At Corsica’s southernmost point, a narrow peninsula of dazzling white limestone creates a town site unlike any other.
The sheer cliffs have been hollowed out by the wind and waves whilst on the landward side a deep inlet forms a perfect
natural harbour. Climb the steps up to the “haut-ville”, a maze of narrow streets flanked by tall Genoese tenements. Being
just across the straits from Sardinia, the atmosphere is more Italian than French. Its inhabitants have their own dialect
based on Ligurian, a legacy of the days when this was practically an independent Genoese colony.
We call in at the beautiful Island of Elba, just off the Tuscan Coast. The Island is, of course, famous as being the place of Napolean’s exile and there is a museum about this which is worth a visit, as well as an attractive town to wander around. The island is the third largest of Italy after Sicily and Sardinia and is part of the National Park of the Tuscan archipelago.
There is no better way to arrive into the glamorous fishing village of St Tropez than on the Sea Cloud! Relax in the chic
cafes of the Vieux Port watching the world go by, or explore the Citadel and the over-grown remparts, from where you’ll
see the views made famous by the Impressionists who settled here.
The Sea Cloud is absolutely not suitable for anyone with mobility issues. As a sailing ship, there are ropes on the decks, flights of steps, changes in deck height, and no lift or wheelchair access.
The sun deck above the bridge can only be accessed by climbing a vertical ladder, though there are other areas to catch the sun! On three days during our cruise we are at anchor so in order to get ashore you have to be able to climb up and down the ships’ steps and into tenders.
Pre and Post-trip
You may want to treat yourself to a few nights in Rome pre-tour or Nice after the cruise. We will be happy to put you in touch with our travel partners who specialise in luxury hotel bookings. They can also book your flights for you at the same time if you wish.
There are only 29 passenger cabins and all are in limited supply on this outstanding luxury ship and only 5 for sole occupancy so early booking is essential especially if you are travelling alone.
A&C never discount any of our holidays at the last minute to be fair to those who commit in advance. The price is valid as of June 2011 and is subject to increase due to currency or fuel or other fluctuations, so early booking is strongly advised as once you have confirmed your booking your holiday price will be guaranteed and will not increase. You will be advised at booking stage if the price has increased.
The earliest bookings would be those considered for upgrade should the superior cabins still be available at the last minute (which is unlikely!) or if one is cancelled.