Ship Highlight: Climbing the Mast

One of the many thrills of traveling on a Star Clippers ship, climbing the mast, with the help of the sport’s department, and experiencing unbelievable panoramic views! Have you done it? Share your photos here!

World Oceans Day - June 8

The theme for this year is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.

Star Clippers, awarded the prestigious World Travel Award, “Leading Green Company,” has always been a pioneer in incorporating environmentally responsible systems and practices on its three tall ships.

Star Clippers’ major source of energy — wind propulsion— is both abundant and emission free. Star Clippers always try to maximize the amount of time they are under wind power. Not only so the guests can experience a true tall ship sailing experience, but also because this reduces the amount of fuel consumed. A cruise under sail is much easier on the environment.

In the Caribbean during the winter months, where the wind is most predictable, the ships operate under wind power up to 70% of the time, thus minimizing use of auxiliary engines which also power the air-conditioning and provide electricity.

Sailing versus a motor cruising means substantially lower fuel consumption and emissions. Using a figure of 60% average power coming from wind energy saves 1,839 gallons per day. That amounts to a reduction of 671,000 gallons per ship per year.

Postcards from the Grenadine Island/Royal Clipper

Photo taken by Bob Singer and shared by Barbara Schneider Molmod


Postcards: Star Clipper off the Coast of Hydra Greece

Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf.



Star Clippers Announces a Return to Southeast Asia for Winter 2016/17

May 27, 2015 - Star Clippers will operate a winter season in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore from December 2016 to April 2017. This marks the line’s return to the region for the first time since March 2010.

The 170-passenger Star Clipper will end its summer season in the Mediterranean and sail via the Suez Canal and Sri Lanka to its winter home port of Phuket, where it will operate seven-night round trip cruises on two different routes from December 2, 2016, as well as some voyages to Singapore.

There are two Thailand itineraries, northbound and southbound, as well as seven departures that either begin or end in Singapore. Star Clipper will explore the many islands scattered off the coast of Phuket, accessible only by water, with some of the most beautiful beaches and dazzling marine life in the world. There will be numerous opportunities for sunbathing, snorkeling, watersports, exploring on foot, and taking photo safaris in the ship’s Zodiacs.

BREAKING NEWS: Star Clippers to Build the World's Biggest Square Rigger

Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers has announced that it has started building a fourth ship to add to its fleet of graceful square-riggers; its first new-build since the launch of Royal Clipper in July 2000. The new vessel, yet to be named, will be the biggest and most ambitious project to date and will be launched in the second half of 2017, carrying 300 passengers, measuring 8,770 tons and powered by more than 6,350 square meters of sails.

The new ship will technically be a five-masted, square-rigged barque. While the company’s flagship Royal Clipper is modeled on the legendary German sailing ship Preussen, the new member of the fleet will be a near-replica of the even more impressive France II, commissioned in 1911 and the largest square rigger ever built. Just as the original France II eclipsed Preussen more than a century ago as the world’s largest square rigger, the Star Clippers new build will replace its sister, Royal Clipper, as the largest ship of its kind afloat today.

Postcard from Giardini Naxos | Royal Clipper

Giardini Naxos is in the Province of Messina on the island of Sicily in Italy. It is situated on the coast of the Ionian Sea on a bay which lies between Cape Taormina and Cape Schisò. Since the 1970s it has become a popular seaside-resort. Thanks for sharing Roberto Munao.

Postcard from Sicily

[caption id="attachment_16889" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo of Star Clipper shared on Instagram by user @gerpongo.

This fabulous photo of Star Clipper was shared on Instagram by user gerpongo. Here the four-masted tall ship is at port at Porto Ortigina, Syracuse, Sicily.

Port Spotlight: Mahon, Spain

The cruise port of the island of Menorca is Mahon (Mao). It's one of the largest and deepest natural harbors in the world. The distance from the coastline to the docking area is more than 5 km.

It's spectacular to enter Mahon by cruise ship, and a port stop today on the Royal Clipper’s 5 night voyage, which started in Malaga, and made stops in Mallorca and Menorca.

Excursion Options:

The Magic of Minorca: Guests can choose to join a bus tour through Monte Toro; at 357m above sea level it is the highest point on the island and the views are stunning, and on a clear day you can even see Mallorca. The site is considered to be the spiritual center of Minorca and has been a place of pilgrimage since the 13th century. The tour also takes guests to Taula de Torralba, a pre-historical talaiotic settlement dating from 2000-1000 BC.

Adventure Seekers:                                                                                             

- Mountain Bike tours are also offered with routes that have been created along some of the oldest trails on the island, dating back to the first settlement.

- Hiking and Kayaking in S’ Albufera Nature Park, the park covers the wetlands, enclosed by a system of dunes and a river that flows into the sea. Many beaches in the park can only be reached by sea, so kayakers enjoy the rare privilege of seeing stretches of empty white sand even during the peak season.

Been to Mahon? Share your comments and photos!

Port Spotlight: Hvar, Croatia

Hvar, Croatia, a.k.a. "the island of natural beauty" is well known for its mild climate and lush subtropical vegetation as well as its cultural and historical monuments. It is the sunniest and most luxurious of all Croatian destinations and, along with Dubrovnik, the most popular tourist town.

Hvar is also famed for the lilac lavender fields that dot its interior, as well as for other aromatic plants such as rosemary and heather. You’ll find that some of the really deluxe hotels use skin-care products made out of these gorgeous-smelling herbs.

Head to shore and enjoy one of Star Clippers' fabulous excursions which include hiking, touring the island by jeep, or jetting out to the Palenki Islands!

Have you visited Hvar in the past? Share your tips in the comments!

Top Travel & Adventure Books

[caption id="attachment_16884" align="aligncenter" width="550"] What's your favorite travel book?

Sailing is a great adventure, but so is reading! In between Star Clippers outings enjoy a fabulous tale of travel to take you away. In honor of World Book Day here's a list (in no particular order) of some favorite travel and adventure books to spark your wanderlust!

Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck

The Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

A Ship of War, by Seth Hunter (submitted by guest Jamie Hartshorn)

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

The Motorcycle Diaries, by Ernesto Che Guevara

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walker

Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Master and Commander Series (submitted by guest Anita Brew)

Shadow of the Silk Road, by Colin Thubron

Do you have a favorite you'd like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Earth Day!

On this Earth Day we celebrate clean, green travel!

Star Clippers’ major source of energy — wind propulsion— is both abundant and emission free! Operating the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels, Star Clippers sails under wind power whenever possible. This enables guests to experience a true tall ship sailing experience and the line to reduce its carbon footprint.

In the Caribbean during the winter months, where the wind is most predictable, the ships operate under wind power up to 70% of the time, thus minimizing use of auxiliary engines which also power the air-conditioning and provide electricity.

Sailing versus motor cruising means substantially lower fuel consumption and emissions. Using a figure of 60% average power coming from wind energy saves 1,839 gallons per day. That amounts to a reduction of 671,000 gallons per ship per year.

When Star Clippers ships do consume fuel, it is a less polluting grade. All the vessels only utilize very pure high-quality low-sulfur gas oil. For this, the line has been awarded the International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate. Star Flyer was the first ship in the world to receive this certificate, and later Star Clipper and Royal Clipper received the same certification.

Star Clippers' fleet is equipped with small low power, energy efficient caterpillar engines whose performance far exceeds the new requirements imposed by the international maritime organization. The engines on Star Clippers ships also are designed to exceed new regulations on exhaust gas emissions.

Additionally the line promotes sustainable seafood, recycling, and eco-friendly, biodegradable products onboard the ships among other green initiatives.

After all, we love the seas we sail and the lands we visit!

Do you love sailing the cleanest seas and to the purest destinations? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Star Clippers Brings Back Legendary Captain Klaus Mueller As a Guest Speaker

[caption id="attachment_16872" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Captain Klaus Mueller was known to pull out the bagpipes and entertain the crowd during his time onboard.

Do you hear that ... could it be ... bagpipes?

Star Clippers has announced a special guest speaker on three of its Mediterranean sailings this summer, the legendary Captail Klaus Mueller! Captain Mueller, now retired, is one of the company’s best-loved characters, having taken Star Clippers’ ships all over the world during a long and illustrious career at sea.

[caption id="attachment_16877" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Captain Klaus Mueller performs a vow renewal ceremony on Star Flyer.

The charismatic captain will give talks to guests, many of whom sailed with him in the past. Lectures will cover varying subjects including tall ship history, celestial navigation and the challenges of sailing big ships today.

You can join Captain Mueller onboard Star Flyer for three Balearics sailings roundtrip from Palma, Mallorca: July 11, 18 and 25.

A week starts at $1,575 per person for a category 6 cabin based on double occupancy including all meals on the ship, entertainment and all talks. Port charges and flights are extra.

Sail to Westeros with Star Clippers

[caption id="attachment_16868" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photos shared on Instagram by @dubrovnik_tour_guide_denis.

HBO's Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on television today. Audiences around the globe are enchanted by the surreal scenery from the lush greens of Winterfell to the icy tundras North of the Wall and the incredible walled city of King's Landing.

Many fans know that filming locations include Ireland, Iceland, and -- last but not least -- Dubrovnik, Croatia. In reality Dubrovnik is no less beautiful than its fictional counterpart, King's Landing, and Star Clipper returns year after year to stroll the narrow cobblestoned streets of the beautiful walled city.

Get to know the city by foot, bike, kayak, or from behind the lens with a Star Clippers excursion.

Have you sailed into Dubrovnik? Let us know what you though in the comments!

Wellness Travel is on the Rise

[caption id="attachment_16865" align="aligncenter" width="550"] As travelers lead healthier, more active lifestyles, wellness activities like yoga are becoming part of their vacations.

Studies show that a yearly vacation is invaluable for health with benefits varying from lower stress levels to cardiovascular improvements. Adding to these benefits, many travelers are now combining traditional vacations with wellness-geared getaways.

A panel of experts at the annual International Travel Mart in Cannes, France, predicted that by 2040 90 percent of luxury tourism would include some aspect of health and wellness.

The global market size of the wellness tourism industry is growing rapidly — faster than travel in general — and is predicted to account for $678.5 billion by 2017, compared with $438.6 billion in 2012, according to Statistica Inc.

Much of this growth can be attributed to the maturation of the baby boomer generation, which is more health-conscious than preceding generations. These travelers look for a vacation that integrates their daily healthful routine with traditional aspects of travel. But it’s not just baby boomers who are looking to travel in good health — the active family travel market is burgeoning and is expected to continue to grow as well.

So what is wellness travel? The trend covers all aspects of health, including nutritious menu options, spa offerings and fitness activities. Across the globe tourism professionals are responding to growing demands by introducing whole food, vegetarian and vegan menus, spa packages and active excursions. Hiking, cycling, paddle boarding and kayaking continue to gain popularity.

Star Clippers offers a complete wellness experience. Shoreside the features include complimentary water sports and adventurous shore excursions such as mountain biking and kayaking in some of the most beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Guests are invited to participate in yoga on deck under billowing sails on select yoga-themed sailings, and most cruises afford the opportunity to climb the mast for an exhilarating workout. Massages are available on each ship and flagship Royal Clipper features a full-service spa. Healthy gourmet meal options are available on all three ships in the fleet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Do you like to stay active when you cruise? Let us know how in the comments below!

Words of Wisdom

Star Clipper to Feature Michelin Chefs and Culinary Experts in 2015

[caption id="attachment_16851" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Star Clipper will feature fabulous chefs for summer 2015.

Star Clippers is excited to feature an outstanding line up of guest chefs and lecturers on culinary-themed journeys in 2015. Whether you consider yourself a foodie or you're just hungry, you're sure to learn a lot from these fabulous professionals. Join chefs from top Michelin Starred Restaurants and Expert Sommeliers on select Star Clippers cruises.

Star Clipper will be host to Michelin Star Chefs Markus Semmler of Das Restaurant, Berlin, Germany; Jens Kirchenwitz of Le Jeton Restaurant, Bad Kissingen, Germany; and Christian Loisl of Junge Wilde. In the beverage arena guests inclule Sommelier Brice Faluelle and Mixologist Uwe Chistiansens.

These culinary-centered cruises will take place in July and August on the 170 passenger ship and cover the eastern Mediterranean including Southern Cyclades, Yachtsman's Paradise, and Northern Cylcades itineraries. For more information click here.

Stay tuned for more info next week on Royal Clipper's culinary cruises!

What culinary cruise do you want to sail on? Let us know in the comments!

Port Spotlight: Amalfi, Italy

[caption id="attachment_16845" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by guest Mary Stuart Miller.

Amalfi was one of the original maritime republics. It has a glorious history. Compared to the ancient cities of Campania it was founded rather late - around the 6th century - yet Amalfi flourished while other ancient towns were in decline. Its inhabitants were expert sailors and built up an extensive trade with the east, founding churches and hospitals and making their town the richest in the south of Italy. The Amalfi fleet, together with those of Naples and Gaeta, defeated the Saracens who were about to launch an attack on Rome in 849. The 11th century saw the town at its pinnacle of greatness. Its dockyards built ships for foreign countries as well as Italy’s own fleets. Amalfi minted its own money and had its own maritime laws. The famous “Tabulae Amalphitane” is kept in the town’s museum.

Amalfi sailors were the first to use the compass. The founder of the order of St. John of Jerusalem also came from Amalfi . Amalfi was, alas, defeated by Pisa, and although it was among the first maritime republics to rise, it was also the first to fall into decline. It became part of the principality of Salerno, losing and regaining its independence under the Normans, only to lose it again under Norman Roger II. After belonging to a succession of different lords, it was taken by the Aragonese, with a subsequent history similar to that of other Campanian towns. The Cathedral of Amalfi , atop its great steps, remains a testimony to the town’s ancient glory. It is dedicated to St. Andrew. A great statue of St. Andrew, sculpted by Michelangelo Naccherino, stands in a 13th century crypt along with the statues of St. Stephen and St. Lawrence by Pietro Bernini. The so-called Cloister of Paradise is attached to the Cathedral. It is accessible via an arched passageway decorated with frescoes by Pietro Cavallini. Sarcophagi, Roman and medieval objects d’art are kept here. The other tower, built at the same time as the Cathedral’s bell tower, is now annexed to a hotel that occupies the old 12th century monastery.

[caption id="attachment_16847" align="aligncenter" width="546"] The Amalfi and Positano Coasts have astounding views. Photos by Kathi King.

While there take a ride up Positano and the Amalfi Coast Positano and Amalfi Coast

By motor coach and public boat.

The tour starts from Amalfi. You will enjoy a scenic drive up from the harbor to Positano and you’ll stop along a stretch of coast in Positano where you’ll walk from the coach park to the village. Admire the white, Moorish-style houses clinging to the slopes around a small, sparkling bay.

In 1953, when writer John Steinbeck lived here, the town was a forgotten fishing village, loved by artists. Since then it has become a retreat for the wealthy and a popular resort area. Spend some time browsing in some of Positano’s 200 boutiques, which sell the casual, locally made cotton clothing that the town is famous for. You will have some time at leisure to explore the village.

Then meet your guide and board the public boat for a ride back to Amalfi . Amalfi has a Spanish flavor and a prestigious history. Its white houses sit atop rocks facing a bright blue bay. After an introduction by the local guide, you will be free to visit Amalfi ’s Cathedral and village on your own, or walk to the landing pier to return to the ship.

Cruise Critic Names Star Clippers Among the Best Small Ship Cruise Lines

In an article for Cruise Critic travel writer Elissa Garay named Star Clippers among the best small ship cruise lines in the business! Read on for an excerpt or click here to read the whole story.

If you long for the open ocean but bristle at the thought of all-night discos, thousand-seat dining rooms or congested Caribbean ports-turned-duty-free-shopping-malls, know this: not all cruise ships are vast, floating resorts. A burgeoning industry niche revolves around small vessels -- a wide-ranging group that includes yachts, rugged expedition ships, riverboats and classic sailing schooners -- where passenger counts top out at closer to 300, rather than 3,000.

For the tall-ship enthusiast, there's nothing quite like sailing under a starry or sunny sky, powered by the bluster of ocean winds. If you want to float along with the wind while exploring less-traveled ports in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, Star Clippers is tough to beat. The fleet's three vessels -- flagship 227-passenger Royal Clipper and 170-passenger twins Star Clipper and Star Flyer -- are some of the fastest clipper ships ever built. Feel the sails catch the breeze, help with the raising and trimming or morph into a spider and climb high in the rigging.

Onboard, passengers don't adhere to rigid timetables as they might on more conventional cruise ships, and the evening dress code is always elegantly casual (with the exception of themed evenings, like Pirate Night). Water sports are also a major component of each tall ship sailing cruise, with complimentary snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and other sea-based activities offered directly from the ship.

'50 Shades of Blue' Postcard from Aruba

Instagrammer @goddessonahighway recently shared this photo of Royal Clipper in the Caribbean with the caption "50 shades of blue."

It's remarkable to see the size of Royal Clipper, Star Clippers' five-masted flagship, in comparison to the sailboat riding alongside.

Do you have a "postcard" that you'd like to share? Send your favorite photos and stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!