- Fleet consists of three upscale sailing ships
- Informal classes in things like knot tying or celestial navigation
- Specializes in offbeat itineraries in Europe and the Caribbean
- Come Aboard My Cruise to the Exotic Eastern Caribbean
OnboardStar Clippers three tall ships are for savvy sailors looking for a one-of-a-kind seafaring experience. Clear skies, blue seas and billowing white sails add up to a romantic fantasy voyage. There's a sense of adventure, too -- though itineraries are mapped out in advance, the Captain follows the whim of the wind when it comes to the actual time you arrive in and depart from port. Flexibility and new experiences are what the Star Clipper fleet is all about.
Depending on the captain and the cruise director, informal classes in knot tying or celestial navigation may be on the daily program. The crew and passengers often star in the evening shows and games. Forget guest lecturers, nightclub-type floorshows, a casino, elevator, or round-the-clock room service. Water sports are a major component of each cruise, with a from-the-ship program featuring complimentary snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and other water-based activities. Diving trips and certification classes are also on offer.
The cabins offer yacht-type creature comforts -- compact in design with lots of doors and drawers to keep everything in place when under sail. Meals, except for dinner, are buffet style and feature an international mix of foods. Made-to-order eggs at breakfast start the day on a high. There's usually a pasta station or carving table for lunch, lots of salads and creamy desserts. Dinners are a la carte and served -- quite good, but not gourmet.
Though it's casual, this is far more than a cut above the Island Windjammers experience. It comes closer to Windstar Cruises, but with less emphasis on the amenities found below deck and more on the actual wonder of sailing under the power of the wind.
About Star ClippersFeel the wind fill the sails. Climb high in the rigging. Relax in the bow net. Life aboard a sailing ship appeals to adventurous travelers who are eager to explore unspoiled parts of the world in relative comfort. Leave conventional cruise formalities such as dressing up for dinner or rigid timetables to conventional cruise ships. Star Clippers' fleet of three vessels -- the flagship Royal Clipper, Star Clipper and Star Flyer -- does just that, and with great panache, aboard some of the fastest and largest clipper ships ever built.
The man at the helm of Star Clippers is Mikael Krafft, a Swedish entrepreneur who, at the age of 6, landed his first job at a shipyard near his home in the Stockholm archipelago. As a child, Krafft listened to the stories the old seamen told, and his love of sailing was born. When he was 12, he sailed his own 18-foot boat over 20 miles of open seas. Later, he practiced maritime law in Sweden and France. In 1986, Krafft relocated to Brussels where he founded the White Star Group, involved with real estate development. White Star Group is the parent company of White Star Clippers, which commissioned Star Flyer and Star Clipper. Krafft launched the Star Flyer and Star Clipper in 1991 and 1992 in Belgium. They were the first clipper ships since 1911 to be granted the certificate of highest quality by Lloyd's Register of Shipping. The even more ambitions Royal Clipper was launched in 2000 as the largest clipper ship built in a century.
Star Clippers FleetStar Flyer (introduced in 1991) and sister ship Star Clipper (1992) claim to have the tallest masts in the world, towering 226 feet above the waterline. Each ship is 360 feet in length, has four masts and 16 sails measuring a total of 36,000 square feet and carries 170 guests.
The 227-passenger Royal Clipper joined the fleet in 2000. She is 439 feet long with a beam of 43 feet. Her 42 sails boast an amazing 56,000 square feet of Dacron. The highest of her five masts is 197 feet. Of the three vessels, this one offers more -- more sails, more cabin space and more services (for top category cabins). This is the only ship in the fleet to have balcony cabins. And, the ride is smoother.
Fellow PassengersIn the Caribbean, about half the passengers are North Americans and half Europeans. In Europe, fellow passengers are primarily European: French, Italian, English and German. These ships attract adult passengers of all ages. You may be traveling with a group of 30-somethings and another group of 70-somethings. Children over the age of 8 or so can have a grand time, but don't expect full-scale children's programs or youth counselors. It's best if kids bring a friend along.
Star Clippers Member Reviews
The best part of the cruise was the fabulous staff. The food and the staff were wonderful. I thought we were in trouble when check was a terrible ... Read more
Boarding the Royal Clipper in Venice, we knew we were in for a voyage of a lifetime, such a magnificent sailing ship with its 5 masts standing ... Read more
This was our 4th Star Flyer cruise and for atmosphere on board was probably the best. Windy weather and fairly high seas meant a change of ... Read more
The finest sailing vacation ever, the Star Clipper cruise from Athens to the Greek Islands and several ports in Turkey afforded fabulous food, ... Read more
In booking our cruise aboard the Royal Clipper, I searched for any family reviews and found very few, prompting this review. Our cruising family ... Read more
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