Enjoying a unique sailing adventure on the tall masted ships of Star Clippers takes a bit of work. Small ships with sails bob up and down in the ocean like you feared that first big ship might, with gusto. Without elevators, passengers on Star Clippers’ ships walk more and step over thresholds not normally seen in guest areas of cruise ships. In the one dining room, everyone eats about the same time; although life at sea on a ship with sails usually brings plenty of current events tabletalk- not so much work there. Among the unique experiences possible on a Star Clippers cruise, all look to be amazing, memorable events. Some we experienced on an 8-day Windward Islands sailing earlier this year, others we saved for the next time. Along with a description of each experience are some upcoming sailings to consider, curated directly from Star Clippers.
Learn to tie knots like a sailor
Guests can fine-tune their sailors’ knots with a complimentary lesson on deck from the crew and master the art of tying a bowline and a clove hitch. The Balearic Islands are a fine inspiration for sailing fanatics, as the region has some of the Mediterranean’s most popular sailing areas among yacht owners, including the Spanish royal family.
Where and When: A roundtrip voyage from Palma, Mallorca, on Star Flyer starts at $1,575 per person, double occupancy, and calls at Ibiza, Formentera, Valencia, Mahon and Port de Soller, all in the Balearics, departing June 27; July 4, 11, 18 and 25; and Aug. 1 and 8.
Shin up the mast of a tall ship
One of the most popular activities is when guests get harnessed and shin up the steel rigging supporting the ship’s mast to the first Crow’s Nest like a professional deck hand. The 360-degree views and photo opportunities from aloft are spectacular, looking down onto the teak decks and up into the mass of rigging and billowing sails. There’s a chance to climb the mast — no experience required — on every voyage, weather permitting.
Where and When: A seven-night cruise on Royal Clipper roundtrip from Rome, Italy, starts at $1,740 per person, double occupancy, and calls at Ponza, Sorrento and Amalfi, Italy; Taormina, Sicily; and Lipari, Aeolian Islands; departing May 16, 23, 30 and June 6, 2015.
Water ski in the Greek islands
Each of the three Star Clippers ships carries watersports equipment and a fleet of powerful inflatable Zodiac craft. Water skiing and wakeboarding are complimentary activities, subject to sea conditions, in every port where the sports team is able to set up on the beach. This is a great opportunity for guests to have a free go at a sport that would be expensive at a shoreside hotel.
Where and When: Fares for a voyage on Star Clipper between Istanbul, Turkey, and Athens, Greece, start at $1,575, calling at Canakkale, Turkey; and Limnos, Athos, Ouranopolis, Skiathos, Skopelos and Poros, Greece, with plenty of opportunities for watersports from the islands’ beaches, especially Poros, which has a sheltered bay perfect for water skiing. Departures are May 2, June 20, Aug. 1 and Sept. 5, 2015.
Enjoy a fantastic beach barbecue in the Caribbean
On every Caribbean cruise, weather permitting, a special day is set aside to feature Star Clippers’ popular beach barbecue. Culinary delights are prepared ashore and guests can relax on golden sands and lounge in hammocks while enjoying delicious barbecue favorites prepared by Star Clippers’ acclaimed chefs.
Where and When: A voyage on Star Clipper roundtrip from St. Maarten costs from $1,510. The seven-night cruise calls at Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barts, departing Jan. 10 and 24; Feb. 7 and 21; and March 7, 2015.
Master the art of paddleboarding…or driving the ship
A relatively new craze, paddleboarding is peaceful, has zero environmental impact and is great for strengthening core muscles. Each of the three Star Clippers ships carries boards. Guests start by kneeling, and once balanced, stand up. Relatively flat sea is required for beginners, but paddleboarders often can be seen in Croatia and Montenegro, both excellent locations for gentle watersports.
Where and When: A 10-night voyage on Star Clipper from Venice, Italy, to Athens, Greece, starts at $2,140 per person, double occupancy, with calls at Hvar and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Santorini; and Mykonos, Greece; departing July 8 and Sept. 23, 2015.
Admire the underwater world in the Grenadines
Each of the three ships has a large supply of masks, fins and snorkels, all free of charge for guests to use. Where possible, a guided snorkel safari is offered by the watersports team. There’s no better place to snorkel in the Caribbean than the Grenadines, where marine life teems in the crystal-clear waters of Tobago Cays National Park where Royal Clipper spends a day.
Where and When: A seven-night voyage on Royal Clipper roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados, starts at $1,560 per person, double occupancy, and calls, Grenada, Tobago Cays, Bequia, Martinique and St. Lucia in the Grenadines, departing Jan. 10 and 24; Feb. 7 and 21; and March 7 and 21, 2015.
Navigate the Atlantic using the stars
Every day Captain’s Story Time on the ship’s bridge provides insight into a different aspect of sailing, including an introduction to celestial navigation, a talk on wind and explanation of the different sails and their function. Guests are welcome to help the crew raise the sails and practice sailing maneuvers as well. On a trans-Atlantic voyage, there are plenty of opportunities for guests to take the helm, as the ships depend largely on the warm trade winds to make the crossing.
Where and When: A 15-night trans-Atlantic crossing on Star Flyer from Las Palmas, Grand Canary Islands, to Bridgetown starts at $1,790 per person, double occupancy, calling at Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, departing Oct. 24, 2015.
Chill out on deck with sunrise yoga
Several times a year Star Clippers offers themed yoga cruises with a highly qualified instructor onboard who conducts classes in the morning and evening, free of charge, as well as meditation sessions. Instruction is in English and German, and no experience is required.
Where and When: In 2015 yoga cruises depart Jan. 24 and 31 (roundtrip St. Maarten from $1,510 per person, double occupancy); May 16 and 23 (roundtrip Rome from $1,740 per person, double occupancy); May 30 and June 6 (roundtrip Athens); Sept. 7 (from Malaga to Las Palmas); and Aug. 1 and 8 (roundtrip Palma) from $1,575 per person, double occupancy).
Learn from a master mixologist
Learn how to make cocktails with a dash of panache through demonstrations by the friendly and talented bartenders in the Tropical Bar. There’s no better time to study the art of the perfect rum punch than late afternoon in the Caribbean as the sun begins to set and cocktail hour approaches.
Where and When: A voyage on Star Flyer through the Panama Canal from Bridgetown to Balboa, Panama, starts at $2,910 per person, double occupancy. The 14-night cruise departs Nov. 8, 2015, calling at ports in the Grenadines, Grenada, Venezuela, Bonaire, Curaçao, Aruba, Colombia and Panama.
Cultural immersion in the Mediterranean
Star Clippers offers optional shore excursions in every port, and this 14-night Grand Mediterranean voyage from Athens to Malaga, Portugal, takes in some of the great historical sites of the region, including Syracuse in Sicily; the Maltese capital of Valletta; Cartagena in Spain, a magnificent port more than 2,000 years old; and Tunis, a mélange of ancient and modern cultures. Late October, when the temperatures cool and the summer crowds are gone, is the perfect time to explore.
Where and When: The 14-night Grand Mediterranean voyage on Star Clipper from Athens to Malaga starts at $2,925, departing Oct.17, 2015.
Planning, Booking, Enjoying Star Clippers
For more information, call Star Clippers at 800-442-0551.
To make a reservation, contact a travel professional.
To see the current Star Clippers brochure, click here. To request a coffee table quality brochure, call 800-442-0556 or email email@example.com.
Visit www.starclippers.com to take a virtual tour of Star Clippers’ tall ships and see the video below for a real feel for the experience:
- A Ship With Sails Brings Memories Full Circle
- Star Clipper Ships Offer Some Distinct Advantages
- Sister Ships Meet In The Caribbean
- A Tour Of Cabrits Dominica Brings A Different Outlook
- Antigua Welcomes Star Clippers, Royally
- Ship With Sails Stops Two Times A Day
- Star Clippers Attention To Detail: On And Off The Ship
- A Day In Terre de Haut Via Royal Clipper
- Unique Features Of The Star Clipper Experience
- Unique Caribbean Islands Visited On A Ship With Sails
Facebook Photo Albums
- Royal Clipper Windward Islands Sailing
- Royal Clipper Cuisine
- Royal Clipper Crew
- Royal Clipper Ports Of Call
Photos: Chris and Whitney Owen