The Greenest Ships to Sail the Deep Blue Sea

Happy Earth Day from the greenest ships to sail the deep blue sea!

Our sails are more than just beautiful -- did you know that Star Clippers ships are classified SPV (sail powered vessel)? That means fewer emissions and more beautiful beaches.

The fleet is equipped with engines to ensure the comfort and safety of our guests but we sail under the power of the wind as much as possible. If the wind is in our favor it gently moves the ships from port to port.

Happy Earth Day and Happy Sailing!

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Golden Hues Fill the Sky in the Caribbean

If you've vacationed with Star Clippers you probably remember the feeling of spending the day ashore exploring, relaxing or enjoying our watersports program, then sailing away into the sunset. That's a day in paradise. Here are a few gorgeous sunset photos shared by Star Clippers guests who recently sailed in the Caribbean.

[caption id="attachment_15064" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Melanie R. Brimhall.

[caption id="attachment_15084" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Richard Hanson.

[caption id="attachment_15091" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Richard Hanson.

Do you want to see more beautiful photos of sunsets and sails? Follow us on Pinterest!
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Postcard from St. Lucia

What a shot!

This beautiful postcard was submitted by Pat Flynn of San Diego. Pictured is Royal Clipper, taken from a tender boat off the coast of St. Lucia.

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Biking Through the Caribbean

A swiss tour group specializing in bicycle travel organized a trip for 45 swiss "bike fanatics" on Royal Clipper in the Caribbean. One of the organizers filled us in on the journey and shared these photos of the active group.

Dear all,

I’m back from a very successful special group travel with Royal Clipper in the Caribbean.

The Royal Clipper crew supported us very much. We had 4 levels of efficiency, the lengths of the bike tours were between 50 and 150 km!

Overall 7 bike tours took place, 4 of them during the cruise, in Grenada, St. Vincent, Martinique and St. Lucia. The rest took place in Barbados before the cruise.

Of course every participant got a special tricot and a polo shirt with an image of Royal Clipper on the front and on the back a map of the route of the cruise.

In 2015 a "bike cruise“ in the Mediterranean is planned.


Are you a bike enthusiast who would love this sort of tour? Star Clippers has a number of active shore excursions on every sailing, so even if you're not biking 50 km you can get out and move! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Eric Hansen is an author and travel writer best known for Stranger in the Forest, Motoring with Mohammed, Orchid Fever, and The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Outside Magazine, Men's Journal, and Natural History Magazine. Learn more here.

What compels you to travel? Let us know in the comments below!
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Cruising for Non-Cruisers

David is a talented photographer and world traveler who recently sailed the Caribbean on Star Clipper's Treasure Islands itinerary. Here's what he had to say about the experience and a sampling of his photos. For the complete gallery and many more (including South Africa, Finland and even cute kittens) visit his site.

Margaret and I have a couple of friends who seem to be on cruises all the time, so we had become curious about the experience. However, having sat on Riva deli Schiavoni in Venice with a cold glass of something white and Italian, watching packs of tourists from one of the large cruise ships being dragged towards Plazza San Marco by a brolly wielding guide, we had decided it probably wasn’t for us.

So when we stumbled across the Star Clipper cruises, we realised there might be a way we could cruise and have a relaxing time, and the icing on the cake (at least for me) was that this was a ship with sails….and it actually sailed. Margaret was perhaps not so keen on this latter characteristic of the cruise, since I had taken her sailing a couple of years ago and I’m not sure she has yet forgiven me for the competitive nature of my “requests” to haul in the jib during the charity regatta we found ourselves in!

But it was the Caribbean, it was warm and it looked beautiful, so the Treasure Island cruise was duly booked.

It’s hard to summarise the trip in a few words, but from the first moment we saw the Star Clipper to the moment we left her (were those tears in our eyes…?) we both had a great time and a holiday with memories we will cherish. The staff were always on hand and nothing seemed too much trouble, the food was delicious and plentiful and the sailing was impressive indeed (Vangelis will always invoke a recollection of those sails being hauled high into the rigging).

In all of this, I learnt a few things too, the largest sail on a Barquetine (which is what the Star Clipper is so I believe) is a Fisherman, the Lake District is in Cumbria (how did I not know that), and even after a 20 year break, I can still get up on a pair of waterskis!

Would we do it again, absolutely. As has been said elsewhere, this is not something to do 3 times a year, but it is a definite repeat, and now I come to think of it given the relaxed intimate nature of the cruise, I have no doubt sailing along the Grande Canal would be quite an experience and we would almost certainly have the time to visit our little Tratorria for a glass or two of something white and cold.

Oh, and one last thing, the Skipper really was a sailing nut, on the last day he anchored us close to the finish line for the St Barts Regatta. To say we had goose bumps watching a billion dollars of huge yachts gunning for the line inches from the bowsprit would be a bit of an understatement!

To see David's complete Star Clipper photo gallery, the site is

Do you have memories or photos that you'd like to share? Email us! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Do you have a favorite travel quote or Star Clippers sunset photo? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
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Royal Clipper: Your Questions Answered

Chis Owen of the popular blog Chris Cruises boarded Royal Clipper in Barbados. Chris is a travel-writer who focuses primarily on the cruise industry and he began live-tweeting, instagramming and blogging his experience aboard the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. Follow along with Chris' journey here, or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, or his own blog,

Sailing on Star Clippers Royal Clipper, we happened upon an entirely different style of travel: sailing. We just thought we knew what cruise travel was all about until we came on board the ship with sails on a trip through the Caribbean’s Windward Islands. Quite frankly, our island-hopping itinerary was much more than we anticipated but followed a tried and true formula that took us away from ‘the real world’, allowing a quality travel experience like no other. Along the way we answered questions from readers with posts specific to common concerns. Today we take a look at other elements of the Star Clippers sailing style; parts not covered in other writings about our amazing adventure.

Motion In The Ocean
One of the big questions that came up along the way is best put by Roger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who asks “So, a ship at sea with sails; lots of movement? Only hearty souls need apply?”

Pretty much, Roger. When we were at sea, you knew it without looking outside to be sure. Commonly recommended to ‘avoid touching hand rails when walking up and down stairs to avoid norovirus’, there was no choice here: hang on for dear life or die trying…at times. On our itinerary the time of concern was leaving and coming back in to Barbados where the seas were the most rough and the most movement was felt. Still, it was kind of fun ‘walking like drunks’ without drinking.

I asked hotel manager Steve Adamson about that, wondering “Do you have a lot of passenger injuries?”. Surprisingly few actually because “passengers know what to expect” when booking a Star Clippers ship. Most have sailing experience or are past guests (more than 50% are) and have handled the motion in the ocean successfully before.

The Nautical Aspect
Riding on a ship with sails that actually propel the vessel is quite a different experience than sailing a big ocean ship. on the first sailaway, grand seagoing music was played while the sails were set for us to journey off into the night. After our first sailaway, Rob R from Kansas City asked “I wonder if they do that every time they set the sails. If so, it might get old fast”. It didn’t get old, it got better.

Throughout the journey, passengers learn more about ships with sails, what it takes to make them work and what a big part of the experience that movement of the ship is. By the time the last sailaway rolled around we had gained a great appreciation for what our crew did to make that happen, if not a glimpse into what those on the early sailing ships of yesteryear might have felt. That last sailaway was a bit emotional for many on board.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
“Ok, you were on a ship with sails, appear to have liked it. Would you do it again?” asked Sally B from Atlanta. Absolutely Sally. This is not a three times a year experience to be sure, but at least once in every cruise traveler’s lifetime they should do this. Beware: Post-cruise depression is alive and well in those who have done this and look back in the direction from which they came upon disembarking, hoping for one last glimpse of “our ship”.

I hope we can sail on a Star Clippers ship again some day. The experience is so remarkable that passengers are left wanting to share it with others who will appreciate it.

To visit Chris' blog click here:
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Postcards from the Caribbean

Star Clippers employees snap some great shots! Mark Carlson, director of marketing, recently sailed on Royal Clipper and captured these pretty pics. From the early morning sun on the deck to a sail-along with Star Clipper, enjoy these postcards from the Caribbean!

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Video: Clippers in the Caribbean

Whether you've sailed with Star Clippers before and are nostalgic for the experience or have not and want to see what life at sea is all about, check out this beautiful video of Royal Clipper and Star Clipper sailing alongside one another in the Caribbean.

The video was taken off the coast of Dominica and features shots taken by air and onboard.

Does this video leave you feeling inspired? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

As our Caribbean season winds to a close we're looking back on long beach days with nothing but beautiful weather and a good book and relaxing days resting in the bowsprit net. Soon it's on to the Mediterranean!

What's your favorite way to vacation? Do you prefer to relax or to be on the move?
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Sail Along in Dominica

Star Clippers' guest Nancy Geczy kindly shared these photos from Royal Clipper and Star Clipper's sail along near Dominica. The two ships sailing alongside one another is always a fabulous sight, and leaves quite the impression on those lucky enough to experience it. Nancy summed it up, saying:

" Today was beautiful as you will see by the pictures. We were along the coast of Dominica and our 'sister ship' the Star Clipper was at sea next to us. The

tenders went down and guests boarded for an incredible photo op. It doesn't get any better than this!! Truly awesome!!"

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Salute to a Sister Ship

Here's Royal Clipper sailing alongside Star Clipper in Feb. 2013 in the Caribbean. Thanks to guest Maria Nygren of Stockholm, Sweden, for taking the time to share the video.

Says Maria,

"Well, a little more than a year ago we experienced such a moment, on our Leeward Islands cruise with Star Clipper. We all felt like taking part in a feast, and being Swedish, we of course enjoyed the moment even more!"

Do you have a video from your Star Clippers experience that you would like to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
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Star Clippers Attention To Detail: On And Off The Ship

Chis Owen of the popular blog Chris Cruises boarded Royal Clipper in Barbados. Chris is a travel-writer who focuses primarily on the cruise industry and he began live-tweeting, instagramming and blogging his experience aboard the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. Follow along with Chris' journey here, or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, or his own blog,

The Star Clipper experience we are working through on our Windward Islands itinerary has some common elements, core components of what they do that keeps passengers coming back year after year. Details in the culinary department make each meal an event. Stateroom stewards customize their services for each guest. Marine operations has sailors raising sails with precision timing. No detail is overlooked, including photo opportunities for passengers on board.

We were told that the end of our day on the island of St Kitts, what Star Clippers calls a Photo Tender opportunity would take place, shortly before sunset. This is where passengers could board tender boats, head out to sea then watch as all of Royal Clipper’s sails were raised. It is a sight that draws the attention of others who live on or are visiting the ports of call on our itinerary, every time we arrive.

Prior to the event, passengers (including myself) wondered how they could do that; have all sails raised but not sail off without us. “Surely the tender boats can not keep up with Royal Clipper under full sail,” said one puzzled passenger. “Maybe they set all the sails then put the ship’s engine in reverse to hold it in place,” pondered another. As it turns out, it was the flexibility of the sails combined with some pretty tricky seamanship that allowed Royal Clipper to have all her glorious sails unfurled but move slowly enough that tender boats could outrun and circle around her.

This sampling of photos shows the variety of angles afforded us as well as the changing silhouette of the ship as the sun set. It’s just one example of Star Clippers attention to detail.

To visit Chris' blog click here:
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

"Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me,

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me,

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me"


It doesn't get much simpler than that! What's your favorite sailing song?
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Smaller Ships can Stop Twice A Day

Chis Owen of the popular blog Chris Cruises boarded Royal Clipper in Barbados. Chris is a travel-writer who focuses primarily on the cruise industry and he began live-tweeting, instagramming and blogging his experience aboard the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. Follow along with Chris' journey here, or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, or his own blog,

Taking advantage of the ship’s small size, Royal Clipper often makes two port calls in one day. Visiting St Kitts, for example, we first stopped at Basseterre for a couple hours then went on to a different location for a day at the beach. It’s all a part of the Star Clippers cruise line experience that draws attention to the flexibility of their itineraries.

Stopping first at one port early in the morning, passengers on shore excursions get off the ship and get deep into the destination. On a standard ocean cruise experience, time getting to and from points of interest chew up a lot of the day. Repositioning the ship, often on the other side of any given island, allows more immersion into the destination. This is where Royal Clipper passengers who might want to shop, get cash or just do some people watching. If there is a crowd, this is where we see it.

Interestingly, in St Kitts, taxi drivers and tour operators pitched their services as we had seen when visiting before. But for the most part, once they found that we would be there a brief time, we were left alone…with one exception. One aggressive cab driver started a rumor that our ship would be staying in port a bit longer, allowing more time to employ his services. We quickly found out that the scam here was to lead us into believing that, taking them up on a short tour then, when the ship sails away without us needing their services to get to the next stop, for an additional fee. Pretty clever really.

The second port of call in the day is the longer of the two and happens at a beachfront location. Running continuous tender operations all day, those coming off an excursion can spend time at the beach or go back to the ship upon completion of their tour. On our Windward Islands itinerary, that meant a day at a variety of beaches throughout the Caribbean and many passengers took full advantage of the opportunities.

Interestingly, the only big ship we encountered was Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, there for the day in St Kitts. Later, after repositioning, we could still see Independence in the distance but were at a nearly-private beach with few other travelers around. That’s also a key ingredient in the Star Clippers experience; few other travelers vying for a destination’s resources and few lines to stand in makes for more quality time off-ship.

Back at the ship with sails, a cocktail hour from five to six in the afternoon became more popular as the itinerary continue, a way for passengers to reunite and discuss what they had done during the day. Normally. On our day in St Kitts, the off-ship events ended with what Star Clippers calls a Photo Tender. This is where those passengers interested board tenders and head out to sea, followed by Royal Clipper under full sail. It’s something we can’t see while on the ship and allows some wonderful photo opportunities of our magnificent ship.

That’s next.

To visit Chris' blog click here:
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Celebrating a Birthday Royally

Thanks to Star Clippers Facebook fan Susanne Bentlage from Vienna, Austria, for sharing this Royal Clipper collage from a 50th birthday celebration!

On Star Clippers you can have your cake and eat it too...and doesn't that look delightful?

Have you celebrated a milestone with Star Clippers? We'd love to hear your story! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Having a 'Double Wow' Vacation on Royal Clipper

Guests Ed and Nancy are on Royal Clipper, and as you can read they are having the time of their lives. Thanks to them for sharing their thoughts and photos!

It is just incredible, this trip ... one has to be here to fully understand this unique experience. We're sitting in the newly opened Nutmegs in Grenada, a place we've been coming to every time we've been here except they had closed last year. A beautiful day, no rain, sunny, almost hot and we're being treated with a steel drum concert on board tonight before sail away at midnight. The food is beyond over the top, the crew are beyond exceptional, the beds are very comfortable, and the wind in the sails lulls us to sleep at night. We're meeting many guests, mostly English, however, they are from all over the world. It is beautiful and casual at the same time.

Our group is now well known (in two short days) and we are having such a great time. Sail away is magnificent ... it is magical ... and when we left Barbados, the guests on a cruise ship in port were hanging off the rails waving and taking pictures as we left port. And the music ... oh, the music ... we were enchanted! We wish that all of you could be on board with us ... and today as we got into the tender, all these rafts were tied together floating off the marina deck of the boat for those who wanted to enjoy. More like the catamaran than a cruise ship! BUT WE ARE GUESTS TREATED ROYALLY!

Beautiful ship, beautiful people, double wow ... what more can I say.

[caption id="attachment_14634" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Lunch at Barbados with Karen, Gloria, Mike, Bob, Dick and Nan.

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Sister Ships Meet in the Caribbean

Several times a season Star Clipper and Royal Clipper sail together. The beauty of two Star Clippers ships side by side against a Caribbean background is breathtaking, and guests have the opportunity to view one ship from the other. It's a chance to step back and take in the whole picture. These photos were taken by Star Clippers' Bill Dwyer on Royal Clipper near Iles des Saintes as the two ships sailed alongside one another toward Dominica.

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