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Royal Clipper Review

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Royal Clipper
Royal Clipper - Clipper Dining Room Royal Clipper - Standard Cabin Royal Clipper - Library Royal Clipper - Piano Bar
74% of cruisers loved it
47 reviews | Write a Review
  • Climb the rigging on the square-rigged sailing ship
  • Dramatic sailaway features 42 sails unfurling to music
  • Cabins have jaunty nautical decor, wood paneling
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Royal Clipper Overview

By Ginger Dingus, Cruise Critic contributor
Editor Rating
Royal Clipper, the largest square-rigged sailing ship in the world, joined Star Clippers' three-ship fleet of sailing vessels in 2000. Mikael Krafft modeled the striking five-masted clipper ship after the Preussen, which in its day (1902) was the largest, fastest, fully rigged sailing ship on the seas. Royal Clipper's blue and white checkerboard hull mirrors the pattern of this classic merchant sailing ship, with its faux gun ports painted to frighten away pirates.

It doesn't take much imagination to feel like a pirate onboard Royal Clipper, the ultimate sailing experience in today's cruise market. From our first sail away, it was obvious that our Captain loved to show off the ship's sail power. Watching 42 sails unfurl one by one is an impressive sight. The sounds of squeaking lines, hundreds of yards of Dacron flapping in the wind, and symphonic background music are the stuff of daydreams. I totally agree with the captain that feeling the wind propelling this large a vessel is truly an awesome experience. It was just as exciting on the last day as it was on the first.

The chance to sail (not motor) from port to port is what a cruise on this unique vessel is all about. If there's a downside, it's that you may not get to see your own ship under sail. The Captain tries to schedule a photo op via tender. Unfortunately, ours was canceled due to heavy swells.

Ultimately, Royal Clipper offers an experience that's a bit of a blend of casual barefoot sailing and Windstar's more upscale onboard vibe. Add to that a European feel -- the ship attracts an international passenger base and, indeed, not only issues announcements in three languages (English, German, French) but also uses the Euro as its standard currency.

Royal Clipper Fellow Passengers

Royal Clipper attracts a mix of ages, the average being 50-plus. On the whole, it's an active, energetic and physically fit group. Most are seasoned travelers. Many have a sailing background. Royal Clipper inspires passionate loyalty among past passengers, and there are usually a large number of repeaters (50 - 60 percent). On our cruise, about a third of the passengers were Americans with a substantial European contingent made up mainly of Brits and Germans.

Royal Clipper Dress Code

Shorts and T-shirts are not permitted in the dining room at night. The brochure encourages men to wear long sleeved shirts for dinner, but polo shirts are the norm. Women wear slacks or casual dresses. At all other times, shorts and T-shirts are the accepted sailor's uniform for crew and passengers alike.

Royal Clipper Gratuity

The ship operates in Euros, not dollars. A tip of 8 Euros per passenger per day is suggested -- 5 goes into the wait staff pool and 3 for your cabin steward. Tips may be placed in a box at the purser's office, or you can add the amount to your onboard account. A 12.5 percent tip is automatically added to bar bills.
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Royal Clipper Member Reviews

No Disabled and NO Children
5th time traveling with an old friendy crew. While the ship holds 220 we only had 155 guests on board with a crew of 110. On this ship you are special, as other cruise ship passengers photograph the majesty of this ship. But being the worlds largest ... Read more
Have never sailed on a ship like this. Have been on much larger cruises and smaller sailing ships. The Royal Clipper was just fabulous. The cabins are very nice ( ours was grade 3 with a nice bathroom and shower, TV, good hairdryer and comfy bed) ... Read more
First the good stuff: The service staff (waiters and barmen) were consistently excellent. The sailing experience was great especially when you could see the spectacular stars at night. The food was surprisingly good given the galley conditions and ... Read more
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Royal Clipper Ratings

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Caribbean - All

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