Helen McNamara sent us this photo collage taken aboard Star Clipper in the Indian Ocean:
Mike Rech sent us his photos of Laura climbing Royal Clipper's mast:
We had an amazing trip! The entire trip was just perfect from start to finish and we did not want to get off the boat and come home. The staff and crew of the Star Flyer were five-star all the way. And what a way to see the islands of Tahiti ... We hope to join your ships on another journey through some exotic port soon.
We saw two rainbows next to one other sailing away from Taha'a on August 21. The one on the right is a little faint, but it was a great experience.
Rachel & Bryan Gavini
To hear Star Clippers founder Mikael Krafft tell it, he never thought his entire family would work at the line, but that’s what has happened over the years. Krafft’s wife Ann looks after quality control and manages the hotel directors and shipboard entertainment, son Eric, 34, supervises finances and daughter Marie, 30, is a director of sales.
“It’s an extra benefit that I didn’t expect,” said Mikael Krafft. “It was not intentional, but has been a pleasant surprise that my family has been interested in working in the business.”
When he started the company 20 years ago, his children were young and the family lived in Brussels. When the kids completed their baccalaureate studies, they were packed off to Stockholm to attend college and get back in touch with their Swedish roots. With the children out of the house, Ann — who Mikael describes as “a very keen sailor” — could turn her attention to the cruise line.
She began by handling the bookings of several hundred Krafft family friends who sail every year with Star Clippers, then gradually got more involved in the hotel and food and beverage operations. Today, she oversees hotel management and entertainment, going on board the ships to check everything from uniforms to food and service.
An interest in rocket engines resulted in an engineering degree for Eric Krafft. Following business school in London, he worked as an investment banker in London and New York, before becoming the Managing Owner of a China-based dry bulk shipping business.
"101 Holidays" recently conducted an interview with Mikael Krafft, owner and president of Star Clippers. The UK Web site provides a unique selection of some of the world’s greatest travel experiences.
It's not your typical interview about running Star Clippers, but more about Mikael and his personal likes. We thought you would enjoy getting to know the man behind the company.
101: Where are you planning to go on holiday this year, and why?
MK: I am planning to set sail from Rhodes to explore Southern Turkey in order to prepare and fine-tune a new itinerary for one of the Star Clippers sailing vessels next summer.
101: What is your favourite bolthole in the UK, and why?