A year ago, Germany-based Sea Cloud Cruises faced the possibility of being acquired by a luxury cruise company. However, the sale fell through, and now the tall-ship line is seeking a fresh start in the North American market. This summer, Sea Cloud Cruises appointed two new executives in South Florida to lead their reintroduction to travel advisors in the U.S., with a focus on their iconic ships, ranging from a more than 90-year-old vessel to one launched in 2021.
Mirell Reyes, the former president of Star Clippers Americas, now serves as the President of Sea Cloud in North America, overseeing sales, marketing, and communications. She describes Sea Cloud as “a very emotional product that kind of grabs your heart.”
The proposed sale to Yacht Portfolio, led by Douglas Prothero, was abandoned after Sea Cloud’s shareholders pulled out of the deal. The small-ship line had recently expanded its capacity with the addition of the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit in 2021, complementing its existing fleet, which includes the 64-guest Sea Cloud (built in 1931) and the 94-passenger Sea Cloud II (built in 2001).
Sea Cloud is unique in its preservation of the original style of sailing, offering a mix of original and modern cabins, and raising and lowering masts by hand. The line sails in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean and plans to expand its departures from Miami in the coming year before shifting to departures from San Juan in 2025.
While sailing ships like Sea Cloud are less widely advertised, they offer a quieter daytime experience due to their wind-powered nature, though they may have more motion than motor vessels, appealing to adventurous travelers. Sea Cloud, as a German company, may need time to translate its materials into English and establish a U.S. presence. Still, experts see potential for its growth in the niche market, similar to the rapid expansion of other cruise lines like MSC in the U.S. market.