Friday, June 20, 2014

The largest private yacht of its day!

image from pinterest

"When the sails of the "Sea Cloud" unfurl and her gilded bow points into the wind, passengers know that they have embarked on a journey like no other. For the "Sea Cloud" is more like a floating palace than a yacht"  (Claire Whitcomb) 

image from pinterest
This one of a kind 316'  vessel was built in 1931 by Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel, Germany for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the General Foods fortune. 

Marjorie spared no expense in the construction or the design. It was fitted with fireplaces, canopied beds and every conceivable luxury. The original solid gold faucets in the marble bathrooms are still functioning today. It was reported that Mrs. Post never bothered to ask the price of anything.

image from pinterest

"Sea Cloud" was Mrs. Post's private yacht until 1955, entertaining diplomats and royalty. An invitation to board her was highly prized.

During World War II, and against President Roosevelt's objections, he felt she was too beautiful to be sacrificed, the ship was used by the U.S. Coast Guard. Painted gray and  fitted with anti-submarine guns she was used as a weather observation platform in the Atlantic.

After the war she was sold to the dictator of the Dominican Republic and had a checkered past, including being used as a floating brothel. Finally she was purchased by a group of German investors who valued her as Mrs. Post did. With great care she was refurbished, keeping as many of her original details as possible, including the teak decking. Today she is a cruise ship with the capacity for 65 passengers. 
image from pinterest
Her crew members perform dazzling acrobatics as they scamper up the rigging to unfurl her 29 sails. Adding to the unique experience, the engines are used as little as possible, allowing the sails to pull the ship gently into the wind.

With enough mystique to still turn heads when she enters a port, sailing on the "Sea Cloud" is a once in a lifetime experience. It combines the luxury of a private yacht with the history and romance of a sailing ship. 

Want to cruise on the "Sea Cloud?" Check it out here...

What movie star spent six months each year on the Sea Cloud?