Stuart McQuaker, boss of new cruise line Tradewind Voyages and its prized five-masted sailing ship has three passions – the sea, sailing and cooking.

His love of the sea first lured him to Australia – he joined the Royal Navy and was commanding officer of the frigate, HMS Northumberland when he first visited Australia calling at Darwin, Cairns and Sydney.

Two decades on, the luxury five-masted Golden Horizon will retrace almost the same route next December.

She will spend two months circumnavigating Australia, offering various itineraries including celebrating Christmas on the Great Barrier Reef and New Year on the Gold Coast.

The five-masted Golden Horizon is the world’s largest square-rigged sailing ship at 162m long and boasts some 6300 sq metres of sail.

Built to be almost the exact replica of France II, a 1913 ocean ship, she can accommodate 272 passengers with no inside cabins.

“We have taken out all the inside cabins and made them outside cabins with ocean view windows. This has also allowed us to put on more crew members,” Mr McQuaker told Cruise Passenger from his UK office in Ipswich.

Golden Horizon has on-board luxury and facilities of a boutique cruise ship whilst retaining the charm, adventure and romance of a truly historic sailing vessel. It is also an eco-friendly sailing ship.

“Our philosophy is to follow the sun, using the winds and currents, to take us to magical beaches and port destinations in the luxury of a classic but contemporary ship.”

He said that sailing on the Golden Horizon will be a luxurious experience with fine dining at the two-level restaurant and an informal lounge and bar on the upper deck for light, barbequed lunch and dinner. Wine and beer are included in all meals. Beverages at the bar and lounges will be extra. The ship will also have a gym, spa, library and a water sports platform with a collection of kayaks, sailing boats and paddleboards.

The Golden Horizon will embark on her maiden voyage in May next year from Harwich in England to Glasgow in Scotland and offer eight itineraries in Northern Europe before heading to Asia in autumn on her inaugural world voyage.

From Europe, she will sail through the Suez Canal, call at Muscat before heading to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Bali. She will offer a 14-night itinerary from Bali to Cairns departing on 8 December 2021, a 15-night voyage from Cairns to Sydney departing on 22 December 2021, a 16-night itinerary from Sydney to Adelaide, a 13-night from Adelaide to Fremantle and a 14-night journey from Fremantle to Bali. Prices start from stg3149 pp ($5687).

Cruise Traveller has been appointed exclusive agent for Tradewind Voyages and will open sales for Golden Horizon’s Australian circumnavigation itineraries on 2 November.

For more information about the circumnavigation itineraries visit or call Cruise Traveller on 1800 507 777.

Mr McQuaker said that he is now inspired to acquire a small sailing boat.

“I will probably end up with a traditional wooden hull, long keel, 40ft sailing boat built in the 1930’s.”

Golden Horizon Cruise
The five-masted Golden Horizon