Global shipping is one of the biggest contributors to pollution, with cruise ships burning as much fuel as small towns as they chug their way round the globe. So is it possible to both be eco-minded and take a cruise? Well yes, if you embrace an alternative energy source that’s been powering the shipping industry for millennia. Wind.
So here are some cruise ships powered by the wind, making them as environmentally friendly as they are achingly glamorous.
Definitely not windsurfing
Windsurfing involves a sail, an ironing board and a near-miss with pneumonia. But Wind Surf, is a whole nother thing. Accommodating 310 guests in luxury the ship straddles the gap between traditional cruise ships and sailing ships, and does so with the maximum possible style. There are 121 staterooms and 31 suites and facilities include a pool, fitness suite and fine dining restaurant. Propelled by a hybrid combination of wind and engines, this ship is certainly a long way from the Mary Rose, but perfectly combines the romance of sailing with the luxury of cruising.
Royal Clipper is the apotheosis of tall ships sailing, a five masted ‘windjammer’ like the world hasn’t seen for a century. This is the first first five-masted sailing ship built since 1902, and only the second ever, and over 42 separate sails Royal Clipper is one of the most graceful and remarkable ships in the world. It’s also one of the most comfortable, with guests afforded every luxury, with its three-tierd dining room and well appointed staterooms. Welcome to the grand age of sailing.
Join the crew
And now for something completely different. The Grayhound Lugger is the perfect solution if you want a more hands-on sailing experience, and to do some work in the process. Built as a cargo ship, the Grayhound Lugger is Britain’s only regular cross-channel cargo service under sail, and takes paying guests too with tours of the Scilly Isles and further afield. Mind, you’ll have to earn your keep helping with day-to-day life onboard.
An age gone-by
Back to luxury! And onboard Sea Cloud you’ll not want for anything. With its panelled cabins and marble fireplaces, the ship harks to another age while retaining all the modern luxuries you’d expect, from massages and spa services to the two bars and a fitness studio.
Small and sweet
Or if you want something more bijou, then Vela, from Island Windjammers, is a great option. Travel round the Caribbean in supremely chilled out style with it’s complement of just 26 guests and a laid back approach. Relax on-deck with the sails billowing, waited on hand and foot.