Master of the Sea

SINGAPORE - She is quite a looker.

That applies to both luxury sailing ship Royal Albatross and the ship's officer Oriel Marshall.

Ms Marshall takes charge of navigation, diving, sailing and hospitality, among other things. One of those other things include climbing a 28m-high mast.

She helped photographer Mohd Ishak climb it so he could take this picture.

Ms Marshall, who is British, joined the ship in September 2009, armed with experience as a captain of small craft.

"This is my passion. I enjoy being on boats and sailing, having the wind in my hair and the sense of freedom it gives," she said.

The other looker, the Royal Albatross, can take 149 passengers at sea and more than 200 passengers when docked.

The Barquentine Topsail Schooner is 47m long and is the world's only four masted luxury tall ship available for charter, said its owners.

The 22-sail yacht boasts two bars, a 270-degree view grand salon, restaurant-grade galley, spacious open decks with retractable awnings and five large en suite cabins that can hold up to 10 guests.

She is fitted with over 650 sqm of canvas and has an advanced satellite system and over 60,000 lights.

The ship also has stone hearth pizza ovens and a granite chilled pizza preparation table and the kitchen is famous for its delicious thin-crust pizzas.

The vessel was built in Chicago, US, in 2001.

Originally a training ship for cadets and sailors, she cruised the Great Lakes in the US before she travelled over 15,000km to dock in the waters of the Puteri Harbour in Nusajaya, Johor. There, in 2009, she was transformed into a luxury vessel.

REFITTING

The refitting of the ship took more than 360,000 man hours, with up to 56 people working on it at once.

Captain Mark Rothwell, 56, picked 12 of the workers refitting the ship to join his crew.

"The Royal Albatross, the largest and most majestic sea bird, travels across the globe. It represents the romanticism of the oceans. We hope our ship can do the same," said Captain Rothwell.

Chartering the ship starts at $10,000 for an alongside charter and $15,000 for a sailing charter.

Guests will be able climb the rigging of the ship when she makes her public debut at the Singapore Yacht Show in April.

ahwarng@sph.com.sg

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