I have enjoyed cruises on many exceptional ships over the years, but my recent Aegean journey aboard Sea Cloud II was a standout. Built on the model of the original Sea Cloud, a gift in 1931 from financier E.F. Hutton to his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the second ship, launched in 2001, is a beautiful craft with three masts and 23 sails comprising 32,000 square feet of canvas. At 384 feet, she has 29 cabins and 16 junior suites on the Cabin and Promenade decks, plus two owner’s suites on the Lido Deck, and carries a maximum of 94 passengers attended by 65 crew.
The ship’s public areas come with wood accents, polished brass fittings and contemporary art, creating an atmosphere of understated luxury. Our air-conditioned cabin provided a small sitting area adjacent to two large portholes, dark-blue carpeting and well-placed lights. The spacious bath was clad in sienna-colored marble and had a high-pressure shower with abundant hot water. The food was reliably excellent, and the service could not have been more pleasant or attentive. Sea Cloud II has programs in the Caribbean and Central America early in 2013, and returns to the Mediterranean in May.