Get to Know Kotor, Montenegro on a Star Clippers Tour

[caption id="attachment_16712" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Kotor Fjord by Holger Leue.




Kotor, located on the Bay of Kotor and the center of the Kotor municipality on the Adriatic Sea. The medieval old town is a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. Star Clippers offers shore excursions to get out and get to know the beautiful red-tiled town. Read on for descriptions!





Perast & Kotor:


Drive through the beautiful bay of Kotor to Perast, a small baroque village hidden behind the islet of the Lady of the Rocks, a tranquil place full of sacred monuments dating back to the 15th century. After a visit to the maritime museum there will be free time to explore Perast on your own before taking a boat to the islet Gospa od Skrpjela or Lady of the Rocks, and its church of the same name.







The baroque church is situated on one of the two islets in the Bay of Kotor, just opposite Perast. Legend has it that the island was made over the centuries by devout mariners who, after finding an icon of the Madonna and child on a rock in the sea on July 22, 1452, swore that they would drop a rock at the site after every successful sea voyage.



As time went by, the islet gradually emerged from the sea. The custom remains to this day and on July 22nd every year at sunset the locals take part in the “fascinada” a tradition whereby they take out their boats and throw rocks into the sea. The church contains 68 magnificent paintings by Tripo Kokolja a famous 17th century artist from Perast. After visiting the island board your boat again for a short ride back to Perast where you will board the coach and drive from Perast to Kotor, a charming medieval town lying beside a beautiful fjord. This UNESCO heritage site is the old maritime centre of Montenegro.



Know before you go:



Light clothes and sturdy shoes are recommended for the tour.

The drive to Perast takes 20 minutes.



Traditional Montenegrin Flavor


Learn about Montenegrin culture and cuisine from the locals at Lustica, located at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor. There you’ll find a rich tradition of artisans producing their own cheese, prosciutto, wine and rakija from locally sourced ingredients. Visit the Moric family and their large grove of hundred-year-old olive trees. There you’ll learn how they make extra virgin olive oil, sheep-milk cheese, prosciutto and wine from local plavac grapes. Enjoy the gardens teeming with native fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. You will gain personal insight into the long tradition of Lustica olive oil and taste their traditional, organic products. When the tour ends you’ll have some time to stroll around Kotor.



Have you visited Kotor, Montenegro? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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Port Spotlight: Ajaccio, Corsica

[caption id="attachment_16709" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Star Clipper sailing into Corsica.




Ajaccio is a dazzling city located on the west side of Corsica, a mountainous Mediterranean French island.



Likely settled in the 2nd century, Ajaccio’s old-world charm and architecture juxtapose urban buildings built after a recent economic boom.







Once you’ve stopped for a fresh-baked croissant at traditional French bakery, the opportunities to explore are endless.



With exclusive boutiques, museums, beaches and picturesque walking paths, Ajaccio is certain to please even the most discerning passenger.



Not-to-be-missed sites include the Fesch Museum established by Napolean I’s uncle that includes one of France’s finest painting and Napoleonic collections.



Have you sailed to Ajaccio? Share your tips in the comments below!
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A Guide to Dining on Star Clippers

[caption id="attachment_16693" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's dining room by Holger Leue.




Guests new to Star Clippers might not be exactly sure of what to expect as far as dining goes on a tall ship cruise. Unlike many mega cruise ships, Star Clippers ships have one dining room but that's not to say they're short on options! Star Clippers guests are treated to a variety of choices onboard, from a fresh and casual breakfast to lobster entrees prepared by culinary experts.



Breakfast is served from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., with an early bird option in the Piano Bar, made-to-order omelets in the Main Dining Room and buffets full of fresh fruits and pastries. At noon the lunch buffet rolls out in the main dining room with a different thematic option each day. For instance, if you're traveling near Italy the theme might be Italian, with different prosciutto options, cheeses, and pastas and perhaps a caprese salad. There are always fruit and vegetable options available.







[caption id="attachment_16694" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Italian buffet lunch in Atrium dining room aboard sailing cruise ship Royal Clipper. Mediterranean, near Italy. © Holger Leue / www.leue-photo.com




A highlight of Star Clippers' food and beverage program for many guests is cocktail hour at The Tropical Bar. With a wide open-air portion of the deck and views of the sea all around, The Tropical Bar is the social hub of Star Clippers. Guests congregate there to share a cocktail and wind down after a day of exploration or mast climbing. Cheerful servers and live music add to the ambience, and many could say that The Tropical Bar is the reason guests of Star Clippers get to know one another so well.



[caption id="attachment_16697" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The Tropical Bar is the social hub of Star Clippers thanks to congenial guests and cheerful servers like Manolito (pictured in a photo by Holger Leue / www.leue-photo.com).




Dinner begins at 7:30 with open seating available until 10 p.m. Menus are available in English, French and German. Dinner is sit-down, and the tables are formally set, however the dress code is casually elegant. Ladies typically wear sundresses or blouses, gentlemen lean towards golf shirts and pants. A selection of appetizers and entrees and wines are available.



[caption id="attachment_16701" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The Star Clippers dining experience is elegant and casual.




When you sit down to dinner don't forget to save room for dessert! Popular options include creme brûlée, warm bread pudding and flan. Sometimes the servers even put on a song and dance!



If you've got a late night appetite don't worry! After dinner Star Clippers serves a midnight snack in the Piano Bar from 11:45 until 1 a.m., and guests often enjoy treats, cocktails and tunes.



[caption id="attachment_16703" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Have you got a sweet tooth? Don't forget to save room for dessert on Star Clippers!




In addition to Star Clippers regular food and beverage programming, from time to time guest chefs and sommeliers join a cruise to prepare special menus, and (weather permitting) guests are treated to beach barbecues or beach-themed barbecues at The Tropical Bar. Follow Star Clippers on Facebook and Twitter to stay current on guest chef information.



Are you preparing for a Star Clippers sailing? Let us know if you have any questions about dining below!
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Words of Wisdom

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Star Clippers Destinations Named Among the Best Sailing Spots in the World

Travel Blog G Adventures named the top 10 sailing destinations in the world -- see what Star Clippers spots made the list in the following excerpt by Atita Patel!


[caption id="attachment_16681" align="aligncenter" width="550"] See what sailing destinations were named among the best in the world!




Greece
The Greek Islands are home to some of the greatest sunsets on Earth. With an estimated 1200-6000 islands in Greece, there are so many islands—each with their own unique character—that every port stop feels different and fresh.



The French Riviera
Is there any more romantic place to sail in the world? Probably not. The Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France offers more contrasts than probably anywhere else in the world: unspoilt islands, rugged, rocky inlets and fine beaches sit shoulder to shoulder with the large cosmopolitan resorts of Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo.







Croatia
Sailing in Croatia is quickly becoming very popular because it’s shielded from inland eyes by the sweeping Dinaric Alps. The rolling coastline is speckled with pristine beaches, green slopes and some of the most charming towns and cities Europe has to offer (which is really saying something).



The Grenadines
The island chain of 32 gorgeous Caribbean islands sprinkled across 60 miles of the southern Caribbean is one of the world’s great sailing waters. White sand beaches and tropical waters make this area a haven for sailing enthusiasts.



Montenegro
Explore Montenegro by sailing dramatic coastlines that are more steep and rugged than in Croatia, but equally attractive. Montenegro is one of the most popular sailing destinations in the world, so expect it to be busy.



Do you agree with G Adventures? Let us know in the comments!
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Port Spotlight: Grenada

[caption id="attachment_16678" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper at Grenada by Jean-Marc Papineau.




Grenada, “the spice island”, has more spice per square mile than any other place in the world. The island is fragrant with cocoa, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and vanilla, to name but a few. Despite the abundance of such crops, Grenada is very diverse in its general make-up. The island is volcanic in origin and boasts lush mountains, rain forests, volcanic crater lakes, mangroves, beautiful beaches and delicate coral reefs.







Grenada’s history is similar to its neighbors. Columbus discovered it in 1498 and named it Conception. However, its lush green hills were so evocative of Andalusia that Spanish sailors, no doubt yearning for their homeland, changed the name to Granada. The French called it La Grenade, but it was the British who gave the island the name used to this day, “Grenada”.



The French and British battled for the island for almost 100 years before it was eventually ceded to the British in 1783. Grenada achieved independence in 1974. Several years later an attempt was made to establish a Communist state, which ended in the famed invasion of 1983. Although Grenada does cater heavily to tourism, there is a strong push to maintain the natural environment with one-sixth of the island’s land devoted to parks and nature sanctuaries.



On a call at Grenada enjoy a hike at Seven Sisters Waterfall, take a sailing excursion or hit the beach!



Have you sailed to Grenada? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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Med Season is Just Around the Corner

[caption id="attachment_16675" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Tired of the cold? Just picture a long summer day at Dubrovnik!




This time of year anyone who lives in the northern hemisphere is likely tired of the frigid winter temps. Worry not chilly friends! Star Clippers' Mediterranean season is just around the corner! Days are getting longer and before you know it spring will be here.



Come April Royal Clipper and Star Clipper will be sailing the western Med while Star Clipper heads east to the Aegean Sea.







Spring not coming soon enough? It's not too late to head to the Caribbean!



Are you ready for the Med? Let us know in the comments!
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Words of Wisdom

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Cruise Review: Four Stars for Star Clipper!

A Star Clippers guest shared this fabulous review on Cruise Critic. Whether you've sailed with Star Clippers in the past, or are planning a future vacation, it's nice to hear about the experiences of others. Read on!





The finest sailing vacation ever, the Star Clipper cruise from Athens to the Greek Islands and several ports in Turkey afforded fabulous food, rest and sightseeing plus water sports and historical/cultural backgrounds during on-ship talks. My husband and I shared a cabin on deck 3 - more than roomy and well cared after by housekeeping staff. The Captain of the ship was extremely passenger-attentive and allowed us deck access during sailing and, to some extent, during port entry and exit. We could help hoist sails if we wanted to and my, what a hard job that is even with 20 passengers pulling the sail lines. Land trips - all optional but with extra, reasonable cost - were very informative and led by good local guides. When steps or uneven ground could be a problem for those with walking or balance difficulties we were warned beforehand. Every member of the crew was absolutely accommodating and totally delightful to sail with. Other passengers are very collegial and many seemed like old friends by the end of the trip.







Most passengers are retired or nearing retirement age with adult children. Some brought their 10 to 18-year-old children who seemed to enjoy themselves, but there are no special programs for kids, just fun sailing that kids enjoy, too.



If you tend toward sea sickness (as I do) over-the-counter tablets taken daily and those elastic wrist-bands that promise relief can counter any queasiness.



Don't let another day go by without checking out the trip offerings from this wonderful 3-sailing-ship company. You will never forget Star Clipper cruises and hope to book another soon.



Want to share your Star Clippers experience? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
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Top 10 Sailing Superstitions in Honor of Friday the 13th

[caption id="attachment_16648" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Red sky at night, sailor's delight, red sky in the morning, sailor's warning!"




Star Clippers evokes the golden age of sailing, a time hundreds of years ago when the seas teemed with tall ships and clippers traveled the seven seas carrying cargo along trade routes. Sailors developed some pretty interesting superstitions in that time, with some even dating back to the ancient days of sailing. In honor of Friday the 13th -- and in no particular order -- here are some of the top 13 sailing superstitions of yesteryear!



1. Red sky at night, sailor's delight ...


The old adage goes, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in the morning, sailor's warning!" In the old days weather deeply affected ships. There is some scientific backing to this saying regarding the presence of clouds and weather patterns, but that depends on the direction of the ship, of course! While not a hard-and-fast rule, many still take to the sea with this saying in mind.







2. Good Luck Ladies!


While conservative ladies were once considered bad luck as they distracted sailors from their duties, a topless woman was welcomed. Sailors believed a nude woman calmed the sea. This is why ships typically had a figure of a topless woman at the bow. Her breasts calm the sea and her open eyes guide the sailors safely. That tradition continues today!



[caption id="attachment_16644" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's figurehead guides sailors safely with open eyes.




3. Bananas are bad luck!


Back when trade routes between Spain and the Caribbean were well-traveled, bananas almost always seemed to be onboard when disaster struck! It could be that sailors made hasty decisions trying to transport the bananas before they spoiled, or that deadly insects and spiders traveled along with the bananas. Whatever the case, some boaters still avoid bananas at sea!



4. Don't throw stones!


They say people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones -- the same goes for sailors! Sailors don't throw stones into the water, as it's seen as disrespectful to the sea and can stir up the waves.



5. Dolphins are a good omen ...


Have you ever sat in the bowsprit net and watched dolphins frolic along in the sea? There's no doubt that they bring joy to those who see them. Ancient sailors also took them as a sign of good luck, which probably had something to do with the fact that they were the first clear sign that land was near.



[caption id="attachment_16646" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Dolphins, like these seen swimming along with Star Clipper, are known as a good omen.




6. As are albatross!


The albatross is known as good luck, as a symbol of hope and -- like dolphins -- that land is near. Some sailors even believed that the albatross carried the well-wishing souls of sailors that had passed on. Conversely, however, a dead albatross is very bad luck. Samuel Taylor Coleridge chronicled the good and bad luck brought by the albatross in his epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.




At length did cross an Albatross,

Thorough the fog it came;

As if it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God’s name.

It ate the food it ne’er had eat,

And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit;

The helmsman steered us through!



‘God save thee, ancient Mariner!

From the fiends, that plague thee thus!--

Why look’st thou so?’--With my cross-bow

I shot the ALBATROSS.

And I had done an hellish thing,

And it would work ’em woe:

For all averred, I had killed the bird

That made the breeze to blow."



- Excerpt from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge






7. Keep that tune to yourself!


No matter what kind song you have in your head, don't dare to whistle if you're around a superstitious sailor! Whistling or singing into the wind is thought to "whistle up the wind," causing adverse weather conditions. If you do decide to whistle a bar, beware, clapping along was thought to incite thunder and really toss up the sea!



8. Don't look back!


Some say looking back as you set sail could bring on a shaky ride. Who wants to look back anyway as you're sailing into the horizon?



[caption id="attachment_16657" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Look forward to the next horizon -- not back -- as you depart!




9. Don't change the name of the ship.


It was thought to be very bad luck to change the name of a ship. Initially this was thought to anger the gods. As commerce became a big money business, a name change indicated change of ownership, and thieves would keep an eye out for these changes, as they could potentially mean the ship was full of booty.



10. Don't depart on a Friday.


Long-standing superstition says do not begin a voyage on a Friday! Friday the 13th is a particularly dicey day to the superstitious! Fearful guests need not worry, though, as Star Clippers typically begins voyages on Saturdays!



So, are these superstitions credible or kooky? You be the judge! Let us know what you think in the comments!
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The Star Clippers Experience in Five Words




Fine dining, friends, fabulous destinations! That's what we think of when we think of Star Clippers. We asked guests to describe their own Star Clippers experiences in five words. Here are the top ten answers!



Chris von Volborth: Nothing like cruising under sail!



Janet Rusin: Too many stars to count!







Jeanne C Latshaw: Best week of our lives!



André M. Piquet: Sail Drink Eat Play Repeat



Lynnie Hampson: Microcosm of all that's fun!



Susan McIntyre Bates: Can hardly wait for July!



Anita Brew: Utterly addicting. Made amazing friends.



Mimi Mary Skinner Auchter: Most amazing cruise experience ever!



Barbara Pinter: The dream of my life



Janet Covington: Best vacation of my life.



Bonus:



Klaus Franz: A few words can not explain the Star Clippers experience !!!!!!!!!! Sorry!



How would you describe the Star Clippers experience? Let us know in the comments!
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Words of Wisdom




Royal Clipper at Hvar, Croatia, by Holger Leue.
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Postcard from Iles des Saintes




Thanks to @micheleserreri for posting this fabulous photo of Royal Clipper anchored at Iles des Saintes. Looks like a gorgeous day for watersports!
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Family Fun on Star Clippers

[caption id="attachment_16627" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Fun in the sun and sailing -- Star Clippers is an adventure for all.




Star Clippers is a family company. The Krafft family owns and operates the fleet of record-holding tall ships, and encourages families to take to the sea, sharing their love of travel and sailing between generations.



One guest recently sailed Star Clippers with their children and grandchildren, and had a delightful time, saying,







"A wonderful family experience! This was our sixth Star Clipper cruise but the first that included our grown kids, their spouses and our grandchildren. Every minute of every day was wonderful. The kids had a great time. The crew went to great lengths to make sure the grandchildren had fun ... My eight-year-old granddaughter had the run of the ship; she reminded us of Eloise at the Plaza."







As the only modern-day tall ship fleet, Star Clippers offers an extraordinary vacation for the whole family. Parents and grandparents appreciate visiting the beautiful, cultural and historical ports of the Caribbean and Mediterranean, and children can let their imaginations run wild while cruising on an authentic sailing ship that looks like it’s from the pages of a bedtime story or the latest blockbuster film.










Onboard the ships, kids (and adults) can climb the mast in the safety of a harness for a panoramic view, plunge into a pool with portholes that peek into the dining room and participate in talent shows and pirate-themed parties. Kids and parents alike can kick back in the bowsprit netting and watch the sails billow overhead while looking out for a pod of porpoises. On shore, complimentary watersports like snorkeling and kayaking, and fun active tours keep everyone engaged.



While a Star Clippers sailing is relaxing, there are plenty of educational opportunities, including sailing lessons and historical tours where the whole family can learn about a port or region.



Have you sailed Star Clippers with kids? Let us know in the comments!
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Photo Roundup: A Star Clippers Adventure in the Caribbean

[caption id="attachment_16614" align="aligncenter" width="511"] Star Clipper at sea. Photo shared on instagram by @burlesque1989.




Star Clippers is quite the photogenic fleet! Guests from all over the world share gorgeous photos of the ships and their vacations onboard on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here's a roundup of beautiful Instagrams shared this week!







[caption id="attachment_16618" align="aligncenter" width="511"] Alice at Tobago Cays. Photo shared on instagram by @burlesque1989.




[caption id="attachment_16617" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Under full sail! Photo shared on instagram by @burlesque1989.




[caption id="attachment_16616" align="aligncenter" width="510"] A boathouse in the Caribbean. Photo shared on instagram by @burlesque1989.




[caption id="attachment_16615" align="aligncenter" width="511"] Caribbean colors at Iles des Saintes. Photo shared on instagram by @burlesque1989.




[caption id="attachment_16620" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Royal Clipper sails into port. Photo shared on instagram by mj1848.




[caption id="attachment_16622" align="aligncenter" width="511"] The sun shines through Royal Clipper's rigging. Photo shared on instagram by kreuzfahrten.de.




[caption id="attachment_16621" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The crew takes a bow. Photo shared on instagram by vadim_novikov.




Join the conversation! Follow Star Clipper on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or tag your Star Clippers photos #starclippers on Instagram. Happy posting!
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Words of Wisdom

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Earth Wind & Mapping: A Mesmerizing Experience




If you've sailed onboard Star Clippers or seen pretty pictures of the ships at sea then you likely know that the fleet travels under sail whenever possible. When sailing it's vital to understand the direction and strength of the wind to maintain direction and speed.



Years ago sailors had to rely on weather lore and educated guesses to understand wind patterns. Today we are lucky to have onboard instruments that do the job, and as technology advances we have more opportunities to understand the direction of the wind. Recently Cameron Beccario, a software engineer, created an incredible interactive visualization of the wind and other outlying weather patterns called Earth Wind Map, and it's absolutely stunning. Whether you're a sailing enthusiast or just have some time to kill while planning your next vacation visit http://earth.nullschool.net for a hypnotic view of the world and all its wind.





According to Yachting Times magazine,



"The interactive visualization of wind patterns all around the world is created by a script that Beccario wrote which downloads weather data from the Global Forecast System at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the NOAA/the National Weather Service. The raw data is then rendered in your browser in the form of a globe that can be moved by dragging with a mouse or your finger on a handheld device. Data is updated every three hours, so it is as close to real time as you can get."



You can use the technology to check out sailing conditions in your area or to check in while dreaming of the Caribbean. For instance, below is a shot of today's conditions on Royal Clipper's Grenadine Islands itinerary.






Earth Wind Map is fully interactive, so -- in addition to homing in on your area -- you can change the settings to display the wave patterns, heat index and much more. Just tap "earth" in the bottom-left corner of the screen and you'll be greeted with options.



[caption id="attachment_16602" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Wave and heat patterns are available on the Earth Wind Map.




With advancements like this it's hard to believe that not so long ago sailors were whistling to bring a breeze! Happy mapping and happy sailing!



Are you a sail enthusiast? Let us know in the comments!
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Royal Clipper Under Full Sail

A beautiful shot of Royal Clipper under full sail, shared on Facebook by Mimi Mary Skinner!







Thanks Mimi, for sharing! Do you have a photo or video that you'd like to share? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

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True Blue




Fun fact: did you know that blue is the world's most favorite color? It is by a long shot -- in a poll over 40% of respondents chose blue as their favorite color. According to the New York Times a study by the University of Japan found that blue can reduce fatigue and anxiety, and even regulate heartbeat and breathing! Blue aids in creative problem solving, dieting, and is even children's preferred color of care-takers' wardrobes!



Looking at this photo of Star Clipper gliding across the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea it's easy to see why! Blue equals freedom, serenity, and vacation!



Happy Sailing!



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Somewhere in the Caribbean




Chris Owen of www.chriscruises.com shared this fabulous photo on Instagram from his trip last year on Star Clippers. Visit his site for fabulous up-to-date information on our tall ships!
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