The world’s largest sailing ship almost had its maiden voyage spoiled after it was “arrested” at the Port of Dover.
Monaco-based rival Star Clippers prompted the UK Admiralty Court to issue the order, claiming it was owed around $20 million by the shipyard that built the vessel.
Star Clippers had originally ordered the ship be built in 2015, but cancelled the order in 2019 after numerous delays and construction difficulties.
“Despite several attempts to collect, the Croatian shipyard Brodosplit refused to voluntarily meet its financial obligations, so stopping the ship became inevitable,” a Star Clippers spokesperson told Croatian media.
Tradewind Voyages said in a statement that the matter has been resolved and Golden Horizon was able to make her maiden voyage.
“In July 2019, Brodosplit Shipyard first offered a “buyers supply” payment, followed by several offers more, but each time it was declined,” the line said.
“Finally, on the 14 July 2021, at the request of the shipowner, 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.”
PC69 admiring the @TradewindVoyage Golden Horizon, the world’s tallest cruise ship, as he patrols the Western Docks Restricted Area today. RT #portofdoverpolice #portofdover pic.twitter.com/wuivbhiVQM
— Port of Dover Police (@portdoverpolice) July 15, 2021
The UK-based cruise line said the ship’s schedule will continue as planned and will embark on a series of cruises around the UK from 24 July, before kicking off a world tour including a circumnavigation of Australia.
“We are pleased that the UK authorities are not only efficient, but also expeditious and professional, and they completed the process quickly,” Tradewind Voyages said.
“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’.”
At 162-metre-long, Golden Horizon is said to be the world’s largest sailing ship, with capacity for 272 guests.
Featuring 6,300 square metres of billowing sails under the sole power of wind 70 per cent of the time, she is also Tradewind Voyages’ most eco-friendly vessel.