The U.K. detained the world's largest shipping vessel at the Port of Dover a few hours before the passenger cruise ship was ready to set sail for its maiden voyage today. The vessel detention was the latest outcome of a long-winded legitimate conflict between Brodosplit Group in Croatia (the vessel builder) and the cruise line that ordered the construction first.
The Golden Horizon is the world's largest five-masted square-furnished sailing ship with a length of 531 feet and weighs 8,770 gross tons. She is a near-replica of France-II built-in 1913. Design features offer more than 6,000 sq. meters of cruise area, over double that of the famed Cutty Sark sailing vessel, to keep the vessel below sail nearly 80% of the time. She can touch a speed of 16 knots as per her design.
She complies with every safety requirement, as do most modernistic, up-to-date passenger vessels, including safe port returns. Having an ice-class hull, she can accommodate 300 deck passengers and 140 crew members. The vessel also has bars, pools, a spa, a gym, and a restaurant.
According to the Croatian media, the U.K. Admiralty court decreed the vessel after it reported its arrival at the Port of Dover from a pre-inaugural voyage enterprise event. The order resulted from a financial disagreement between Star Clippers of Monaco and the builders, who maintained ownership of the vessel and chartered it to Tradewind Voyages. Golden Horizon was scheduled to initiate a sequel of cruises under the UK's domestic cruise re-commence program prior to proceeding on a world tour.
"Despite several attempts to collect, the Croatian shipyard Brodosplit refused to voluntarily meet its financial obligations, so stopping the ship became inevitable," said executives of Star Clippers to a Croatian media outlet-Vijesti.
Star Clippers ordered the vessel for building by Brodisplit in 2015, hoping to get the vessel delivered by 2017. However, due to constructional complications, the launch was delayed until June 2017. With increasing problems between the construction yard and the shipping line, the delivery fell way behind schedule. By the 2019 summer end, each party was accusing the other, and ultimately the order got canceled.
A successive lawful conflict between the cruise line and Brodosplit was resolved by negotiation in the spring, with the shipyard charged with paying €6 million plus interest to the cruise line. However, the cruise took out a "hold on property" against the vessel and declared that it would only release the ship once the debts got cleared.
Later, Tradewind Voyage notified the U.K. voyage society that it was a meager misinterpretation between the firms, and things, for now, are resolved. Furthermore, they contended that there were no claims left against the vessel and that the voyages would proceed as scheduled. The Golden Horizon was planned to cruise for a 4-day weekend beginning today to Cowes and Torquay. But, the vessel appears to be still docked at Dover until further notice.