Postcards from the Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands and Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. A guest sent in these photos from a recent cruise aboard Royal Clipper. The photos were taken during a tour to the Island of Vulcano. The ship calls at Lipari, the largest island in the archipelago, on the seven-night round-trip Civitavecchia cruises.

Royal Clipper on German Television

Royal Clipper recently was featured on n-tv Deluxe German television. Christian Loisl is a German celebrity chef who sometimes works on board Star Clippers to train the chefs and cooks in the galley on new dishes.

Even if you don't understand German, it's still fun to watch. If you want to see it on television, we're told that it airs two to three times a week in various slots, so if you're in Germany check your local listings.

The program shows a little of how Star Clippers works out the introduction of new menu items during normal operations. It also shows Marie Krafft, director of sales in the Monaco office, seeing how the on-board operation is going.

During the taping, Royal Clipper was sailing a seven-night, round-trip Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, voyage with calls at Ponza, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi, Taormina and Lipari - all in Italy.

Now That's Loyalty!

A Star Clippers guest sent us this cool photo of his tattoo. If you have a Star Clippers tattoo as well, we'd love to see it so send in a photo!

A Tahiti Photo Album

Cheryl Michelon sent us a slew of photos from her Tahiti sailing, along with this note:

There were so many beautiful things to see, and such rich culture to explore — we are looking forward to going back!

Bora Bora lagoon

Bora Motu

Outriggers race the tender.

Guests in the Crow\'s Nest

Cook\'s Bay

More Tahaa surf

Raitea channel marker off Motu

Port of the Week: Antalya, Turkey

The city of Antalya and its famed Yivli Minare.

Star Flyer will call at the port of Antalya, Turkey, in 2010 on its seven-night, round-trip Rhodes, Greece, cruises. This maiden port is just one of seven new calls in Turkey next year!

The port of Antalya dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. It is not known when the site of the current city was first inhabited. Attalos II, king of Pergamon, was believed to have founded the city around 150 BC, naming it Attalia and selecting it as a naval base for his fleet. However, excavations in 2008 in the Doğu Garajı district of Antalya have uncovered remains dating to the 3rd Century BC, suggesting that the city was founded earlier than previously supposed.

Guests have an array of things to do besides relaxing on the two main beaches — Lara Beach and the pebbled Konyaalti Beach — including scuba diving, sailing, paragliding, rafting, and mountain climbing. The Konyaalti Beach offers a view of the Tauros mountain range.

Ancient monuments include the City Walls, Hıdırlık Tower, Hadrian's Gate (also known as Triple Gate), and the Clock Tower. Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret) is known as the symbol of the city and not to be missed.

Don't forget to try Antalya’s signature cuisine, including Piyaz that is made with tahini, garlic, walnuts, and boiled beans.

Postcards from the Top of Mount Etna

Travel writer Geoff Edwards snapped these amazing photos on his Star Clippers cruise. He took the shore excursion in Taormina, Sicily, to Mount Etna and was able to climb the still-active volcano. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of eruption. It also is believed to be the world's oldest active volcano.

According to Geoff, who has traveled the word, it was "the most memorable tour I have experienced."

Star Clipper. Taken on the way back to the ship.

Honeymooning in Tahiti

Last week Cathy Herrington sent in a photo taken on her honeymoon cruise in Tahiti. We prevailed upon her good nature to send us some more, and she did. Cathy wrote that "this was our third Star Clipper cruise, one in the Med and in the Caribbean. Have loved every one of them. Looking forward to doing the Far East."

We look forward to hearing about the Herringtons' adventures in the Far East.

Cathy and James relax in the bowsprit netting.

Meet Cruise Director Peter Kissner

Cruise Director Peter Kissner

Although he became a cruise director by accident, things seem to have fallen into place for Peter Kissner. As the longest-serving cruise director for Star Clippers, the Bavarian native planned a career in a foreign office or the United Nations, but after a three-week cruise with a group from his parents’ travel agency, he was hooked.

Kissner started in the cruise industry in 1983 and also has held the positions of shore excursion manager, lecturer and hotel manager. He worked for Hapag Lloyd, Renaissance, African Safari Cruise Line and Transocean Tours/Black Sea Shipping before joining Star Clippers in 1997. The authenticity of the sailing experience is what drew Kissner to the line.

“You still feel you are at sea, not on a swimming hotel. And there are opportunities to get involved with the sailing operations and visit the bridge,” he said.

These days, guests are most likely to find him aboard Star Clipper sailing in the Far East and Mediterranean, as well as on the Indian Ocean crossings.

The cruise director holds one of the busiest positions on board. Not only does Kissner organize all of the passenger activities both on the ship and ashore, he also acts as a liaison between guests and the different on-board departments.

For Kissner, it is also very important to provide the guests with information about the ship, sailing area and history of the region so they have better knowledge about where they are visiting. The parts he enjoys most about being a cruise director are traveling the world and learning about different cultures and civilizations.

“The best education you can get is traveling and trying to see through the eyes of different people, and not everything through western eyes,” he said.

The Indian Ocean crossings are his favorite itineraries because he sees them not as a cruise, but as a voyage. He believes that to understand a sailing ship it’s best to be at sea, when you can become part of the ship and get a true idea what sailing on a tall ship entails.

The ocean crossings present a welcomed challenge for the cruise director because there is a lot of downtime for the guests. In addition to giving lectures, he fills the days with adventurous activities such as whale and dolphin watching, swimming stops in the middle of the ocean (you can’t do that on a large cruise ship!), paddle races with the ship’s zodiacs, deep-sea fishing and movies under the stars.

With all of his years at sea, Kissner has special memories connected to ports around the world, but he prefers the smaller ones off the tourist trails. When asked about his favorite ports, Kissner replied that he has many favorites all over the world, from Venice to Sydney, Manaus to the Seychelles, from Hong Kong to the small islands dotting the oceans.

But his favorite “homeport” is Oberstdorf, Bavaria, where he lives when he’s not sailing. Kissner believes that everyone needs a place to call home to avoid becoming a drifter. When joining the ship he always leaves his home with tears in his eyes, but he also feels the same when leaving the ship.

In his spare time, he enjoys everything connected to the sea and sailing, skiing, snowboarding, various other mountain and winter sports, vintage cars, history and archeology.

One of Kissner’s favorite quotations is from Lin Yutang: A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going; a perfect traveler does not know where he came from.

Port of the Week: Bo Cho, Myanmar

Come 2010, Star Clipper adds two spectacular seven-night Myanmar itineraries to its Far East roster. The ship will continue to sail it's popular Northern Route and Southern Route round-trip Phuket, Thailand, cruises, as well. One of the new ports of call is Bo Cho, Myanmar.

Bo Cho Island is one of the many beautiful islands that make up the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar in the Andaman Sea. It boasts a mile long sandbank, and four or five months out of the year the island is a temporary home to the Moken, who are sometimes referred to as “Sea Gypsies” or the “Salon.”

At their village, the only habitation on the island, tourists are invited to visit and learn about the traditions and survival methods of the Moken. Their lifestyle of living on a boat for seven to eight months out of the year and surviving off of the sea is one that piques interest and curiosity.

During their seafaring months, the Moken go from island to island, traveling in groups of a six or more boats, each boat containing a family, usually of three generations. They use nets, traps, spears, and primitive diving gear to catch fish, shells, sea cucumbers, lobsters, turtles, and sea urchins — some for consumption, but the rest to sell at town markets, which they frequent to gather day-to-day supplies. The thatched roofs of their boats can sometimes be seen covered with marine life drying in the sun in preparation to sell.

Bo Cho also has a beautiful sand bar that is the perfect place to relax while enjoying the view of the lush tropical forest that makes up the island.

Postcards from the Andaman Sea

Ann Corless sent us this note and photos:

Attached are two photos taken on the Star Clipper Andaman Sea cruises this past January/February (we did two back to back cruises of the North and South Islands).

We really enjoyed seeing the sailors on the mast the day we were able to take photos of the ship from the tenders.

The monitor lizards were a big surprise when we had a beach barbecue on one of the uninhabited islands. The lizards came out of the bushes and were eating off people's plates and knocking over cans. The crew kept throwing shovels of sand on them to no avail. One lizard even licked a friend's bare back! Another gave my husband a big whack on his leg with its tail. They were up to five feet long! Quite an experience.

Postcards from French Polynesia

Karen Summerson sent us these photos:

Since this is a new blog, I’m not really sure what you are looking for, but I’m attaching a couple of our photos from our trip to French Polynesia back in Oct. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been!

Brian & Karen Summerson, Stan & Esther Summerson get ready to explore Bora Bora.

Bora Bora lagoon.

Shopping on Bora Bora for pareos.

\'Captain\' Stan Summerson sails the ship.

One of the dancers at our lunch on the island of Motu.

Our view from lunch on Motu (my very favorite picture from our trip).

Postcard from Bora Bora

Cathy Herrington sent us this note and photo:

This picture was taken on Bora Bora while on our honeymoon trip aboard the Flyer.

Where in the World?

We thought we'd test your geography knowledge and see if anyone can tell us where this photo was taken. Hint: It's the Med! If you think you know the answer, leave a comment or send your best guess to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Star Clippers' Fried Noodles Thai Style

Prepared by Chef Arun “Saa” Chonsakul

  • Narrow rice noodles: 300 grams (10.5 ounces)

  • Bean sprouts: 500 grams (17 ounces)

  • Soybean curd: 1 cake

  • Leaves of Chinese leeks: 50 grams (2 ounces)

  • Chopped pickled white radish: 50 grams (2 ounces)

  • Roasted peanuts, ground: ½ cup

  • Lime: 1 whole

  • Ground dried chilies: 1 tsp.

  • Chopped shallots: 1 tbsp.

  • Chopped garlic: 1 tbsp.

  • Tamarind juice or vinegar: 4 tbsp.

  • Fish sauce: 3 tbsp.

  • Sugar: 4 tbsp.

  • Cooking oil: ½ cup


Heat 3 tbsp. of oil in a frying pan and sauté garlic and shallots. When yellowed, add the noodles with just enough water to soften them and fry, turning constantly with a spatula to prevent sticking. Move noodles to the side of the pan.

Put 3 tbsp. of oil into pan. When hot, fry the prawns, pickled radish, bean curd, dry chilies, sugar, tamarind juice and fish sauce; then return the noodles, mix thoroughly and move to the side.

Put 2 tbsp. of oil into the pan. When heated break the eggs into the pan and scramble with a spatula, spreading the eggs in a thin layer over the pan. When set, return the noodles and mix together. Add half of the bean sprouts and the Chinese leeks and mix together.

Spoon onto plates and sprinkle with ground peanuts. Serve with bean sprouts and Chinese leeks leaves.

Knot Tying 101: Reef Knot

The reef knot (landlubbers call it the square knot) often is used to tie the sail cover on to the mainsail or mizzen aboard a sailing ship. This knot's name originates from its use to "reef" sails (tie part of the sail down to decrease effective surface area), where its easy-spilling behavior was very handy. A sailor could collapse it with a pull of one hand; the sail's weight would make the collapsed knot come apart.

Step 1: Take two ropes.

Step 2: Take the two ends, cross them over and tie the first half knot (half hitch).

Step 3: Maintain the same rope on top as you cross them over a second time to tie the second half hitch.

Step 4: Pull the ends evenly to form a symmetrical reef knot.

Captain Gerry demonstrates how to tie a reef knot in this video:

Meet Star Flyer’s Captain Bruno

Captain Bruno

When asked his favorite port, Star Flyer’s Captain Brunon “Bruno” Borówka says that all he asks for is a tall ship and crew to sail her by.

From an early age, Captain Bruno dreamed of a career at sea. Growing up in Poland near the water, he spent his childhood watching the boats on the lakes, wanting to experience sailing for himself. He would visit the local harbor and watch the training vessel, Pomorza, knowing that one day he would be on a sailing ship.

Captain Bruno first sailed with Star Clippers as second and third officer from 1995 to 1997. He rejoined the line in 2001 as chief officer aboard Star Clipper, and in 2002 he became master of the vessel. Today he commands both Star Clipper and Star Flyer, going between the ships.

The first and only member of his family to go to sea, Bruno attended Gdansk Maritime College in Poland and then spent four years at the Gdynia Maritime Academy. Here he sailed aboard training and cargo ships, including Pomorza, the very same ship he watched as a child.

In 1982 he became employed with the Merchant Marine Academy in Gdynia and took out Dar Młodzieży, a three-masted fully rigged sailing vessel. From 1994 to 2000 he worked for various companies, including the Polish Steamship Company and Polsteam, but he always returned to Dar Młodzieży for the summer season. Early in his career he enjoyed taking part in tall ship races. One of the most memorable was an around-the-world voyage in 1987 that included rounding Cape Horn.

While on board, Bruno can be found enjoying a good book or on deck during “Captain’s Storytime” discussing whatever the guests want to talk about. He considers the history of sailing his hobby and enjoys talking about navigation — especially celestial navigation — and the tall ship itself.

He resides in Gdansk with his wife and two children.

Welcome to the Star Clippers Blog

Welcome to Star Clippers' new blog. The Star Clippers Blog Web site will serve as the portal for news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about Star Clippers and its fleet of three tall ships. We’re happy to have you browse through our pages and read all of the latest news about Star Clippers.

While a large number of posts will come from the ships’ staff, we encourage guests to send in posts as well. If you sailed on a Star Clippers ship and took some photos you’d like to share, please send them to us with your name, who is in the photo, what ship you sailed on and where you are if in port. You can send these to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Don’t worry about sizing, we’ll take care of that.

We also invite you to send in questions or post comments on the different entries. To post a comment, you’ll need to register, but your information will not be shared with anyone. Our goal is to make this the most interactive blog possible and to create an online community of folks who are fans of Star Clippers.

We’re very excited about this new adventure, and we hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as we enjoy producing it. Again, welcome!

Postcards from Capri, Italy

Guest Madelyn sent us these beautiful photos taken in Capri on her recent sailing aboard Star Clipper.

The shore excursion to the famous Blue Grotto is not to be missed.

Capri as seen from the bowsprit net.

Sailing ‘Green’ with Star Clippers

When you operate the world’s largest sailing ships that really sail, you reap some benefits from using wind power to supplement your engines. For Star Clippers, that means burning less fuel and emitting less exhaust.

“At Star Clippers, we always try to maximize the amount of time we are under wind power so that our guests can experience a true tall ship sailing experience,” said Captain Farhat Shamim, vice president of operations for Star Clippers. “Of course, this also reduces the amount of fuel we consume and therefore is much easier on the environment.”

Shamim said that in the Caribbean where the wind is most predictable, the ships operate under wind power up to 60 percent of the time. But even when sailing before the wind, the ships run their engines to power the air-conditioning and provide electricity to the vessels for refrigeration, etc.

“In other destinations, it really depends on weather conditions, but we also use our sails whenever possible to motor-sail, which reduces fuel consumption,” he added.

But when they do burn fuel, Shamim says it’s a less-polluting grade.

“All our vessels are supplied with high-quality low-sulphur fuel and were awarded the International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate,” he said. “Star Flyer was the first ship in the world to receive this certificate. Later, Star Clipper and Royal Clipper received the same certification.”

Since it has been deployed to Tahiti — a particularly environmentally fragile region of reefs — Star Flyer had a new water-treatment system installed to treat both gray (water from sinks and showers) and black (sewage) water.

“After treatment from this Membrane Bio Reactor system, the water plant is so clear that you can use it for deck wash, but we simply pump it overboard,” said Shamim.

But that’s the only thing that goes overboard at Star Clippers. Shamim says oily bilge water from the engine room is offloaded to a shoreside facility and all waste materials and garbage also are put ashore for disposal.

“We dump nothing in the water — not even a cigarette butt,” said Shamim.

Port of the Week: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Costa Rica makes it debut on Star Clippers’ roster beginning November 2010 when Star Flyer begins sailing two seven-day, round-trip itineraries from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica. So, we thought we'd kick off our "Port of the Week" feature with a port from one of the two itineraries: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. This call has a late departure so guests can really explore.

Set against the prehistoric volcanic hills to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Juan del Sur is one of Nicaragua's most beautiful areas. The inhabitants make their living fishing, diving, and catering to the visitors drawn to the bay's stunning white-sand beaches, smooth waters and ecological richness. From here, guests can journey to Granada, the country’s main tourist destination. Granada possesses active volcanoes and unique cloud forest ecosystems, and for centuries it has been called "The Great Sultan" in recognition of its impressive colonial architecture.