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8 Star Clippers Star Flyer Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We had never cruised previously because we did not like the idea of a floating city, so the smaller tall ship made sense, especially when it had a cruise that included our bucket list of places to see in Greece. We did our research and ... Read More
We had never cruised previously because we did not like the idea of a floating city, so the smaller tall ship made sense, especially when it had a cruise that included our bucket list of places to see in Greece. We did our research and knew what to expect, and the Star Flyer exceeded in most regards, especially the food! If tons of activity and entertainment is your goal, this isn't your best bet. If peaceful evenings on deck with no sounds but the wind thru the sales, and an intimate, yet casual setting for meals is what you like, this is for you. The group on board is small enough that mutual respect wins out over fighting for the best deck chairs or tables at dinner. The majority seemed to be seasoned travelers that know how to act in this setting and very friendly when sharing a table or space at the bar. So nice when the cruise director can address EVERYONE at the same time regarding excursions and ship-board fun. I don't think we'll ever take a trip on a large mega-ship! This setting was too perfect for us Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
.We chose to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on Star Flyer. The real let down was our cabin no.301 (300 would be the same). So small, only suitable for one person. Had to get out of bed at the bottom as bed fixed both sides. Bed ... Read More
.We chose to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on Star Flyer. The real let down was our cabin no.301 (300 would be the same). So small, only suitable for one person. Had to get out of bed at the bottom as bed fixed both sides. Bed was comfortable but difficult getting out as there was a metre drop to the floor. Quite dangerous at night! We feel this aspect really was not value for money as we paid nearly £5,000 not including flights for a small room cupboard. Did have a port hole but very small and high up on the wall. Better cabins are available but at a huge price hike. Enjoyed the food, varied and plentiful and the drink prices very reasonable, 3.50 euros for glass of wine/beer and 16 euros for bottle of wine. Cocktails around 5 euros. No problem with sunbeds, two very small splash pools which were fine with us but not so good if you you wanted to swim. The excursions were incredibly expensive for what was on offer and many people felt poor value for money. We did our own thing at each port which we preferred. Entertainment is patchy to say the least so if you want full on entertainment a Star Clipper would not be for you. Mr and Mrs contests, fitness programme in the morning etc. all very low key. Mainly tenders were used which surprised us and very dangerous for people with disabilities trying to get on as the ship was rocking plus the tender - pretty scary sometimes! Staff friendly and helpful but we would not do this again as we do not feel it was value for money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
All in all, this was a superb experience especially when the ship was at full sail. The food was excellent, the cabin small but adequate and very well-maintained, cabin and restaurant staff were very helpful and obliging. The bar menu was ... Read More
All in all, this was a superb experience especially when the ship was at full sail. The food was excellent, the cabin small but adequate and very well-maintained, cabin and restaurant staff were very helpful and obliging. The bar menu was reasonably priced and hot drinks and water were always available. However, I need to make some comments which I hope will be addressed in the future: There was no map included in our pre-cruise information, nor was there one in our cabin. The only map, apart from atlases in the library, was the maritime one on the bar deck which was not easy to read. When asked for names of the islands we were passing, the senior deck crew -(apart from the captain who was always charming ) - were very dismissive and quite arrogant e.g. one response was "it is all sea to me"! Another simply said " I don`t know". The sports staff were very new and lacked charisma - the stretch class was exactly the same each day with instructions delivered in a very quiet monotone so that one had to keep looking to see what the exercise was as it was impossible to hear clearly. The cruise director was full of energy and enthusiasm but it seemed that she was having to find her own maps and information on each port - surely she should have been given a pack with all the necessary info sheets before the departure of the cruise. I only took one tour which was fine but I know that there were complaints about these tours. We thought that, as the ship was small, we would dock at most ports so were disappointed to find that tenders were used on all but one occasion whilst the enormous ships were in the dock without having to tender. As the ship was self-contained regarding fresh water production and waste treatment, it did not need to dock so saved a lot of charges from the port authorities but tendered. These comments are all easy to put right in order to enhance a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were in Athens a few days before we left, which helped us get acclimated both to the time zone and to the heat/humidity of Greece (and the Greek islands we would visit). Embarkation was not well organized in Piraeus, and we had ... Read More
We were in Athens a few days before we left, which helped us get acclimated both to the time zone and to the heat/humidity of Greece (and the Greek islands we would visit). Embarkation was not well organized in Piraeus, and we had little guidance as to what to expect, but once we were aboard ship all was well. Disembarkation in Venice was very smooth. I've been on a couple of standard cruises before (Disney, Royal Caribbean). What stood out most about this trip was the sense of actual *sailing*. This was not just getting a small hotel room on a floating luxury resort that ended up in a different place each morning. The feel of the ship, the ability to stand on the deck as sails were let out or taken in, listening to the music play as we left each port ... it all felt like we were actually sailing (which we were!), not just being transported. Going up on deck in the evening and seeing the sea passing around us, the star fields above us, the wind blowing past us -- it was all a remarkably special experience, and one that I will seek to repeat in the future. The cabin was comfortable and well-appointed. The dining was tasty, upscale without being hoity-toity, and quite satisfactory. The nature of the Star Flyer is such that evening entertainment was a bit constrained -- some DJ dancing, some occasional talent show stuff -- but, honestly, I spent my evenings up on deck, enjoying the air and the sea (and the cocktails). Shore excursions were generally good. Lots to see, usually multiple options, and guide selections ran from fair to excellent. We actually enjoyed just visiting some towns on our own, without doing a formal excursion. Service was efficient and friendly. The passenger count (around 150 on our cruise) was small enough that the bar and dining room staff got to know us ad our preferences. The entertainment director, Simona, was dedicated and excellent. The ports we visited were highly varied. I particularly enjoyed Corfu, Kotor, and Hvar, but they all had something to recommend them, depending on what you were looking for, and, as noted, instead of the excursions either just self-directed wandering at the ports or hanging out on the ship and relaxing were both fine alternatives. A few things I could have asked to be better: - The shipboard Wifi was pricey and spotty in coverage around the ship. - The "drink of the day" at the bar was usually pretty mediocre (the bartenders could make much better cocktails or straight pour drinks). Honestly, sailing the Star Flyer has spoiled me for hotels-with-a-keel style cruising. I will definitely be looking to them for further experiences. It was a memorable and wish-I-could-repeat-it experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had previously sailed with Star Clippers aboard the Royal Clipper in the Caribbean --one of our best cruises. We were intrigued by sailing the small clipper ship in the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas and chose this back-to-back ... Read More
We had previously sailed with Star Clippers aboard the Royal Clipper in the Caribbean --one of our best cruises. We were intrigued by sailing the small clipper ship in the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas and chose this back-to-back cruise from Venice, allowing us to spend time seeing that port first, and disembarking in Malta, a port not found on a lot of itineraries due to its out of the way location south of Sicily. Ports for this cruise after sailing from Venice included Mali Losinj, Hvar, and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Katakolon (for Olympia), Santorini, Mykonos, Athens (end of first leg), Monemvasia, and Pilos, Greece; Syracuse, Sicily, and disembarkation was in Valletta. We took two private tours during the day in Venice, having arrived the day prior, arriving for embarkation (which began at 4 pm) at the terminal at 4:45 pm and being exhausted already, having arrived via a water taxi with 2 suitcases of 50 lbs.+ each which we dropped off at a different point of the terminal (to be scanned and sent to our stateroom), 2 roll-on carry-ons, and two backpacks, we found quite a few fellow passengers were in line, so we had a fair wait to go through security before boarding which also was compounded by another ship embarking in the same terminal. Upon embarkation via gangway to the Tropical Bar, we were met by the Captain and Hotel Manager with an alcoholic beverage. We elected to complete check-in in the piano bar and take carry-ons to our cabin, then return for snacks being provided at 5-6 pm that night as well as every evening on deck at the Tropical Bar. Muster drill was at 6:30 and was very comprehensive (with life jacket on and detailed instructions), compared to most cruise lines' drills nowadays. Second muster drill was the following morning (without donning life jackets). Sail away party was at 7:30 on Sundeck (top) to views the sails being raised. Dinner was served by waiters most evenings 7:30-10 as previously mentioned, open seating style (come at any time and join others at a table). The "tall ship" Star Flyer was built in 1991, is 360 feet long, and can accommodate just 170 guests. She spends her summers in various parts of Europe and her winters in the Caribbean. Life aboard is blissfully relaxed, much like traveling on a private yacht. You’ll never feel confined on Star Flyer. The ship offers spacious accommodations and expansive teak decks with ample space and not one, but two swimming pools. In fact, you’ll find that the ship offers more outdoor space per passenger than most conventional cruise ships. The décor of Star Flyer and her sister Star Clipper is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage. All Star Clippers ships feature open-seating dining in an elegantly appointed dining room where formal wear is never required (but country club casual in the evening is the norm), their convivial indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, and an Edwardian style library where a Belle Époque fireplace glows with a warmth that reflects the friendliness and enthusiasm of Star Clippers’ hospitable officers and crew. I enjoyed climbing the Crow's Nest and had I been inclined, I could have manned the winches and raised or lowered sails. The bridge is open more than 95% of the time and passengers are encouraged to learn about sailing on this vessel. All crew (72 staff) "wear several hats", assisting in multiple tasks when needed, especially on embarkation & disembarkation day. Service in the dining room was erratic, depending on the number of patrons already there upon our arrival; we also felt that total number of waiters was insufficient, given the number of tables. We were privileged to "watch" provisions be lowered through several decks in an opening starting on the main deck not much larger than 10 feet X 10 feet, if that, (while eating lunch in the dining room) to the storage bulkheads in the lowest level of the ship during one such embarkation day mid-cruise. We wish to alert you that this type of cruise is not for everyone as it has no casino, entertainment is limited, and activities on board are minimal, but the benefits of feeling like you are a part of the sailing, and not one of thousands of people, and the staff and passengers you meet, endears it to your heart forever. Most days of the cruise were spent in a charming port where one could explore on their own or participate in a ship-sponsored cruise which were limited for this small cruise line, and in some cases were canceled if not enough participants signed up. About half the ports allowed for evening exploration as well, as sail away could occur between 6 pm and midnight. Local entertainment similar to a barbershop quartet was brought on board in Dubrovnik, while most nights the entertainment was provided by the crew (or passengers in a fashion show or talent show) or a movie was shown. Most mornings we continued sailing awhile before arriving into a port and our first morning was no exception. Gymnastics class was available at 8 am (most mornings). Early Bird Breakfast (continental) is available 6:30-10:30 in the Piano Bar with coffee, tea and juices as well. Full buffet breakfast was usually from 8-10 with an egg station, fresh fruits, numerous bread options, and several hot offerings ranging from bacon and sausage & potatoes to crepes, french toast, pancakes, dry cereal, and oatmeal. Yogurt, juices, cold cuts, cheeses and a smoothie were also available daily. Lunch buffet was usually 12-2, but varied slightly depending upon arrival in port. There was always a daily meat at the carving station as well as hot meat options and various potatoes, vegetables, breads, fruits and desserts at all lunch buffets, each of which featured a specific theme. We visited the small Croatian port of Mali Losinj on our first stop (Sunday) and there was not a lot to do, but it was an enjoyable relaxation port. If one stayed aboard in port, the Sports Team had offerings of Shuffle Board and deck golf most days. This night there was a cocktail demo and the passenger/Sports Team fashion show. Dancing on deck in the Tropical Bar was always available at 11 pm or so with music by the keyboardist who also played on deck during evening snacks (5-6 pm) and other times. There is a small Sloop Shop selling a variety of logo items (some of which were modeled in the fashion show). There is no gymnastics equipment, but the sports team did off activities daily. The ship then stopped in Hvar, Croatia where we arrived at 11:30 am and sailed at 6 pm. There were quite a few optional excursions in this port. Evening entertainment was a Dance Night on deck. The next morning, our next "sea stop" was for two hours allowing those who were inclined to swim from the ship via gangway from 9-11:30; other optional equipment included floaties, kayaks and paddle-boards. Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm brought our return to Dubrovnik, Croatia, one of my favorite culturally enriched and quaint ancient ports, and several excursions were offered by the ship as well. Water sports activities from the gangway were available late afternoon for those on board. The evening entertainment after dinner was provided by a local folklore group similar to a barbershop quartet, followed by sail away at 11:45 pm. We had been informed by the Captain the previous night that we would be entering the Bay of Kotor before daybreak, and arose to view the calm waters and tall mountains of the Dalmatian Coast forming fjords as we sailed towards Kotor and arrived at 7 am. We participated in a short excursion (the other biking option was canceled due to lack of participants), with no free time and definitely not enough time in Montenegro. We sailed at noon with a deck lunch which afforded us a chance to view the beautiful scenery and the afternoon was spent sailing towards our next port of Corfu, not reached until the following afternoon. Available activities after exiting the Bay of Kotor included mast climbing, knot tying and deck golf. After dinner, a virtual tour on the operations of the hotel department was available. Our arrival in Corfu, Greece, was at 2:30 pm and several ship excursions were offered. Sail away for the next Greek port of Katakolon was 8 pm. Friday morning offered mast climbing as our arrival at this port was not until 2 pm; most passengers took the tour to Olympia, a definite highlight for this port. We, however, enjoyed shopping through several small blocks on the main street, one block off the shore and relaxing, as we had visited Olympia previously. We did not sail until 10 pm, allowing passengers to watch two other ships in port sail away ahead of us, and a movie was featured after Star Flyer sailed onward towards Santorini, but first a sea day in the Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Crete, and a chance to view the Star Flyer from tenders with sails raised. Days at sea are usually very relaxing, and like the large cruise lines, the chair hogs have "reserved" their lounger for the day by 9 am. Gymnastics at 8, followed by a sea stop to view the ship sailing as we followed in tenders. Upon reboarding, mast climbing, a treasure hunt, a "tour" of the wheelhouse/bridge, deck golf, shuffleboard, walk-a-mile fitness, knot tying class, water gym, and creating towel animals were options to keep one busy if not occupying a lounger all day. Captain's dinner was this evening; however, he was kept busy determining whether Star Flyer would actually sail into Santorini, due to extreme winds and rough seas to traverse during the night. Once the ship passed into naturally sheltered waters around Santorini, the swells diminished and it was determined we would be able to tender ashore to this beautiful Greek island. The excursion to Akrotiri Archaeological site began once we anchored before noon for most passengers. We had visited that site previously and decided to see a few sites in Fira not explored on past cruises, including the Archaeological Museum, where some of the larger pieces from Akrotiri are housed. We also enjoyed a leisurely lunch of locally caught and superbly prepared calimari while I caught up with my wi-fi work. While back on board, sunset occurred behind Nea Kameni, the island in the middle of the caldera, just prior to our sail away for Mykonos at 7:30. I had signed up for the volcano hiking scheduled there, but I was disappointed as not enough participants forced a cancellation. After another rocky night sailing, we anchored off Mykonos at 10 am. Tender rides were rough and a bit wet. This was to be another port to explore on our own as we had visited once before and there were no ship sponsored excursions. We climbed up hills to a vantage point for many beautiful photos and then walked down to the 5 windmills and Little Venice which we had not explored during our previous visit. Walking kept us in shape and we spent some leisure time at a local bar in Little Venice. Our return tender trip was even more of a sea christening with a lot of bobbing/rocking/dousing with water. Sail away was at 5 pm, after which options included an engine room visit and napkin folding demo. Movie at night was "Around Cape Horn". October 17 brought the end of the first leg of our back-to-back cruise, with many disembarking in Piraeus, the port for Athens. Since we had seen most sites in Athens on previous visits, we had booked online an independent tour to visit Cape Sounion, home of the Temple of Poseiden located at the tip of the Pelopennese peninsula with fabulous views, for the afternoon after exploring the port during the morning. There were a number of ships in port and a shopping mall there. After reboarding our home for another 5 day cruise, we noticed many new faces, but continued our meal time gatherings with friends we made on the first leg of the cruise. Sail away was at 9:30 towards Monemvasia, Greece, arriving at noon the next day. This was a very unique small port with lots of history built on a hillside where there was a recently restored (exterior, with the interior restoration just beginning) Church of Agios Sophia at the top. No roads or vehicles are allowed in the small town, necessitating climbing to the top taking more than 1/2 hour where one traversed a very craggy uneven rock path, but the views were amazing, as was the church. Water sport activities were available for those staying on board. The second fashion show was presented following our sail towards Pilos at 6 pm. Our last port in Greece was Pilos where we anchored at 10 am, another port built on hills with a protected fort. There was a ship-sponsored excursion, but we elected to climb the hills of the town which  afforded great views once again. On board options featured walk-a-mile and mast climbing with the sports team. We raised the anchor at 6 pm, sailing towards Syracuse, Sicily. Evening entertainment provided by the passengers was a game show with three teams competing. Our sea day in the Ionian Sea offered another opportunity to view the ship from tenders sailing and the usual events with the sports team plus another bridge visit option. Another talent show after the Captain's Dinner for the second 5-day sailing. Our last day arriving in Sicily at 10 am was bittersweet as usual. I spent an hour of the morning walking around town and later our excursion (one of two offered) took us to some of the same spots, but included others as well. Shuffle board, deck golf, and another engine room tour were available late afternoon prior to our final sail away at 6 pm. Evening movie shown was "Around Cape Horn" again. Thanks to Capt. Yuriy Slastenin and all the staff and crew for wonderful memories sailing the Dalmation Coast, Greece and the Ionian Sea. We arose early Sunday, October 21, so as to view the entrance into the port of Valletta, Malta and have a relaxing breakfast before disembarking at our leisure around 9:30. We then got a taxi to our hotel, followed by a day exploring Valletta. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
A small ship able to visit the smaller, uncrowded islands, excellent food, fantastic and reasonable shore excursions with a wonderful cruise director, and pleasant company. What more can one ask? Well, maybe rolling out of bed and ... Read More
A small ship able to visit the smaller, uncrowded islands, excellent food, fantastic and reasonable shore excursions with a wonderful cruise director, and pleasant company. What more can one ask? Well, maybe rolling out of bed and walking 20 feet to a buffet breakfast, basking in the sun on the webbing slung from the bowsprit, climbing to the crow's nest for a fantastic view, or listening to the captain of the ship play classical guitar on the amateur entertainment night. We always wanted to try a sailing cruise and to see the Greek islands. The Star Flyer (or its sister ships in the Star Clipper line) was the ideal way to satisfy both desires for a reasonable price. We've done many large ship cruises but now we're sold on the intimacy and informality of the Star Clipper approach. It's great not to have any queues boarding, eating, visiting islands, or disembarking. While the dining was informal dress the food was great and the service elegant and attentive. The big name visit was to Mykonos, which we preferred least because it's too touristy and it was crowded with other cruise ships in port. We loved Amorgos: We were the only ship visiting this small Greek gem. We did a cruise tour to a monastery overlooking the beach where a famous diving movie, Le Grand Bleu, was filmed. Our guide was a local Greek woman who knew well the history of the monastery and the island. After the tour we spent the remaining hours in the small town and ran into the guide at her sister's patisserie. We then enjoyed watching the boats and locals at a port front restaurant while sipping wine and ouzo, for a few Euros each. Once again the guide appeared because her parents owned the restaurant. Our experiences on another small island, Patmos, where we visited the cave where St. John dictated the Apocalypse, was similar. For Monemvassia the cruise director Monica had the sports team organize a free walking tour to the fort at the peak of the island with a commanding view of the walled town at its base, the port, and the Peloponnese peninsula. Visits to the Greek ruins at Ephesus and Melos (an island just across from Mykonos) provided the cultural enrichment for the trip. We now understand why the majority of our fellow sailors were multiple repeat customers. One of them had been on 20+ Star Clipper cruises. But he's far from the record: One lady has sailed with the Star Clippers 190+ times. Well, we're on our way to compete! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our fourth cruise via Star Clippers and a disappointment. Our accommodations were fine and the overall service was great, especially in the dining room. The Hotel Manager (Arnold Deutchl) was exceptionally helpful and competent. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise via Star Clippers and a disappointment. Our accommodations were fine and the overall service was great, especially in the dining room. The Hotel Manager (Arnold Deutchl) was exceptionally helpful and competent. Unfortunately the Cruise Director (Monica) was only interested in promoting excursions and next year's cruises. She was unwilling or incapable of providing information about the ports of call along the way. As a result, available shore activities had to be scouted out after docking, limiting enjoyment of the ports. Expensive access to low speed internet service made it difficult to research destinations in advance. (The cost and availability of internet access on board is a disgrace in this connected age). The ship Captain was ill most of the time and remained aloof. The Sports Team did very little except conduct morning yoga exercises and mast climbing events. The crew in general was not as friendly and happy as we have experienced in the past. We will avoid this cruise line in the future since the quality of the service has apparently deteriorated. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I have just returned from a wonderful holiday on the Star Flyer in the Mediterranean, overall it was a memorable trip, but marred slightly by things which could be improved so easily! I estimate that 80% of the passengers were non ... Read More
I have just returned from a wonderful holiday on the Star Flyer in the Mediterranean, overall it was a memorable trip, but marred slightly by things which could be improved so easily! I estimate that 80% of the passengers were non smokers, and although you have a smoking policy it is was not adhered to, in fact one day in the tropical bar 3 German passengers were smoking cigars in full view of the Captain, The Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director! even though cigars and pipes were only to be smoked on the upper sun deck. Several of the British passengers I spoke to avoided the Tropical bar area because smoking was allowed! Perhaps you could consider changing your policy to "Smoking ONLY allowed on the upper sun deck or even no smoking at all!! The chafing dishes used in the dining room did not keep the food hot, even going in for breakfast at 08.00 the food was at best luke warm, and some days cold! I did point this out to the head waiter but he was extremely offhand about it and couldn't see "my problem". As to being advised the level of tipping (because according to the Cruise Director cabin & catering staff do not get paid!??) I feel that tipping should be discretionary, and only for exceptional service, and I personally felt no one on the ship did any more than they were actually paid to, so perhaps you should change the charging structure to include this in your overall costs and stop the begging!! Internet access charged at 12 Euros for an hour! That's the equivalent to what I pay monthly at home, when you are spending £4000 on a holiday, it should be included! Why is diving an additional cost when other water sports are included? Charlie the entertainer was very good, but did not know any Scottish tunes so we couldn't demonstrate a Strip the Willow or Eightsome reel to the non Scottish passengers , perhaps you could supply each ship with an appropriate CD of tunes. Mail posted on the ship, which I was assured would be posted in the next port, did not get posted until 11 days after we disembarked!! On a positive note, the ship was kept immaculately, The "sail away" experiences with Vangelis playing were very emotional, the deck/tender crews were very courteous and cheerful and overall it was a very memorable holiday which I have already recommended to friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Star Flyer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 2.0 N/A
Family 2.0 2.7
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 2.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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