We said it sounded like an act straight out of a pirate movie. And we were right. We also said the only thing missing was Captain Jack Sparrow. But perhaps that mischievous character was there after all.
The Golden Horizon, the world’s largest sailing ship and currently expected to be in Australia later this year for a circumnavigation, was “arrested” in the British port of Dover last weekend at the request of another sail ship company which claimed it was owed up to $20 million.
Operated by Tradewind Voyages on behalf of its shipyard owners and represented in Australia by small-ship agency Cruise Traveller, the vessel was pictured behind a fence against the dockside amid reports that Monaco-based Star Clippers was claiming the money.
She was due to sail her inaugural voyage and had bookings for sailings tomorrow and July 31.
Then suddenly, as if Captain Sparrow had miraculously appeared, she was freed to continue sailing.
The owners and the yard in Croatia issued a joint statement to Cruise Passenger saying: “We wish to thank you for your interest in our beautiful ship, Golden Horizon, and confirm that we have continued our voyage from Dover today.
“As everyone who has already travelled with us will agree, sailing on the most luxurious and largest square-rigged cruise ship in the world along the spectacular English coastline is an incredibly exciting adventure. The schedule will continue, as planned. “
The statement the went on to explain that the courts had now allowed the ship’s owners to pay monies into a court deposit to make any mortgage “cease to exist”.
Said the statement: “In July 2019, Brodosplit Shipyard first offered a “buyers supply” payment, followed by several offers more, but each time it was declined. Finally, on the 14 July 2021, at the request of the ship owner, the Courts allowed the establishment of a Court Deposit to pay “buyers supply” after the mortgage was taken out. This meant that a mortgage ceased to exist (the reported proceedings commenced a day after the opening of a Court Deposit). The payment was offered voluntarily, as evidenced by the opening of a Court Deposit.
“We are pleased that the UK authorities are not only efficient but also expeditious and professional and they completed the process quickly. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to inform you that Golden Horizon has continued its voyage today and will be able to sail free of mortgages, across all the planned seas of the world, wherever it is carried by the ‘trade winds’. “