Sea Cloud has more or less doubled capacity with the new Sea Cloud Spirit and is focusing on a push into the North American market.
“People love it and it fits perfectly into the company,” said Daniel Schaefer, CEO. “The Spanish yard did a great job. We had to postpone it several times, but we did not rush like others to get a ship out, and from a marketing point of view, that gave us a buffer (during the pandemic).
“You feel the spirit of the original Sea Cloud aboard and it’s a unique piece of work. It’s not a copy and paste and it allows us to bring in new destinations.”
Those new destinations include Miami, where the company homeported in late February for a cruise to the Bahamas.
A previously announced acquisition of the company by the Yacht Portfolio, which also controls the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, did not come to fruition, said Schaefer.
The company offers theme cruises, bringing in Michelin-star chefs, for example. There’s also a Nordic cuisine and whiskey cruise on the Sea Cloud Spirit in the Baltic, which has done well in the American market, said Schaefer.
Sea Cloud has a large charter business, splitting its schedule between chartering out its ships and running regular revenue sailings.
Schaefer called it the company’s magic formula. Clients range from specialized groups, such as religious organizations or alumni groups, to golf-themed sailings and even family charters.
“We collect all the charter requests and it’s a puzzle. We have to find a way to accommodate them and also have the right departures and dates for both sides of the business,” added Anja Ringel, director of international marketing and sales.
In February the company had finished its charter scheduled for 2024 and was in the process of putting together its deployment for the rest of the year. Among new itineraries will be a visit to the Azores next summer.
For 2023, however, momentum has been building.
“May and June are selling better, and the summer is really well sold right now,” said Schaefer. “We market the October and November sailings more, but we know this up front, and this is why there may be special themes and topics for cruises then.”