What is a clipper ship? They were fast, yacht-like vessels with three masts and a square rig, generally narrow for their length, and were used primarily for trans-Atlantic trade in the middle third of the 19th century. Later as they were used for the more rapid delivery of tea in the East. The boom years ended with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.
In 1902 the first full-rigged, five-masted sailing ship (Preussen, the world’s largest) was launched. It was gone in a few short years by collision with a steamer. Mikael C. Krafft, CEO and President of the line, launched his first ship, Star Flyer, in 1991 after dreaming of building such ships since his childhood.
LIFE ON BOARD
Mr. Krafft’s dreams become our reality! Star Clipper and Star Flyer are “true Clipper Ships reflecting their proud heritage in every inch of their polished brass and gleaming charm.” These unique vessels happily provide all the comforts and amenities you expect in today’s world. They were created for luxury-loving guests who seek the tradition and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships. Both are 379 feet long and carry 170 passengers. Sixteen sails billow in the wind, providing a relaxed life aboard.
Imagine delightful indoor and outdoor Tropical and Piano bars, a library with fireplace, and open-seating dining in an elegant dining room. It’s polished decks and mahogany rails gleam, reminding us of the proud nautical heritage. Your adventure will be far from ordinary!
Let’s paint the picture, with words straight from their stunning brochure. “Up on deck, watch the sun drop slowly into the deep blue ocean, as seagulls circle one last time in the sky. Gather around the Piano Bar and sing a few favorite tunes. In the Tropical Bar, the bartender mixes and shaker full of some delicious drinks, as guests happily chat about their day. Is there anything more peaceful than this? Clearly, this is not a cruise ship in the ordinary sense. On Star Clippers you will find that there are no rigid schedules and no overwhelming sense that there’s not enough time. You are free to do as you wish. For entertainment, we bring local performers on board to give guests an authentic taste of the local music and arts. The captain’s daily briefing on deck is captivating and informative…And there are other events and activities, such as knot tying and navigation classes, that have evolved from Star Clippers’ sailing tradition.”
You may rest assured that your cabin will be most comfy, equipped with all the luxuries of a fine hotel. With several categories to choose from, all but six cabins are with sea views. Culinary delights also await you, with delectable treats at every meal. No need for black tie, as casual elegance is acceptable day and night. There are even a few culinary cruise itineraries featuring some of Europe’s top sommeliers and chefs for those of you who are foodies!
One of the things that intrigued me most when learning more about the cruise company was the fact that in the Caribbean, the ships are able to sail without motor assistance around 80% of the time! The other companies with similar “sailing” vessels cannot compete.
The Royal Clipper (shown above), the only five-masted full-rigged sailing ship built since the Preussen, was launched at the beginning of the 20th century. She is 439 feet long and carries 227 guests in style. With three swimming pools, 19,000 square feet of open deck and state-of-the-art navigation systems, she’s all you could wish for! One very cool feature is the marina platform aft that gives access for water activities and toys. You may also climb the mast with harness to one of the “crow’s nests” 75 feet up for the grandest view of all! There’s even a Captain Nemo Lounge. Grin.
You can now meet the newest ship in the fleet, the Flying Clipper. This 300 passenger ship will sail her maiden voyage at the end of 2017, and is a near replica of the France II, ordered in 1911 and was the largest square rigger ever built.
INCENTIVES TO BOOK
- Low or free air-inclusive offers
- Free hotel packages with cruises
- Single supplement waived on Solo fares for many sailings
- Only five cabins make a group and 10th person is free!
- Only $100 deposit is required for a group
- 80% of guests are English speaking
- Cost for on board alcohol is very reasonable ($3 beers!)
- Kids sail free on certain itineraries
It’s worth noting that this company is doing their part to be gentle on our fragile planet earth by sailing under wind at every possible opportunity. This means so much to me. Also worth a mention…they have a 65% repeat guest rate! Goodness, that’s amazing. Once you go, you will want to sail with them again, my friend.
Star Clipper ships sail in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Transatlantic, the Far East, Indonesia and the Mediterranean. Check the website here for details. Cuba, Thailand, Spain, Greece, Croatia, Bali, Italy, French Riviera…what is on YOUR bucket list? From 3 nights to 25 nights, there’s an itinerary for you waiting.
And I have one for you if you act soon. I have a 7 night Barbados round trip on Royal Clipper beginning January 19, 2019 and until the end of June, 2018. Please let me know if you want pricing, as with my great connections I can throw in the gratuities, a one category upgrade, and a $75 on board credit per person! We have 15 fun people on board with us already.