The 170-passenger Star Flyer, a clipper ship, will begin its seven, 10- and 11-night cruises on December 16, 2007. Yes, you read that right -- 2007.
While it's unusual for a cruise line to announce a new itinerary so far in advance, the news is nevertheless a big boon to fans of what is easily one of the world's most romantic cruise destinations. At this point, only two other lines -- Princess' Tahitian Princess and Regent Seven Seas' Paul Gauguin -- maintain an all-year-round presence.
Star Clippers, which traditionally sails two ships in the Caribbean (and one in the Far East) will still maintain a presence in the former; Royal Clipper will assume that seasonal itinerary. The self-named Star Clipper is likely to get the Far East assignment though nothing has been confirmed.
Star Clippers' three ships offer a unique sailing/motorized yacht-type experience that, reports Cruise Critic reviewer Steve Faber, falls somewhere between the funky Windjammer and the elegant Windstar. "While the rest of the cruise industry marches to the drumbeat of bigger, faster, 'pizzazz-ier' drummer, on Star Clippers' ships the only bells and whistles are literally bells and whistles," he noted in a recent review of Star Clipper. "That is because Star Clipper -- and its two sister ships in the Star Clippers fleet -- were built to fulfill company owner Mikael Krafft's vision of recreating the golden age of tall-masted clipper ships driven to their destinations by the power of the winds and currents."
Sounds like a great match for Tahiti.