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!
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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!
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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




Royal Clipper at Hvar, Croatia, by Holger Leue.
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Fun Facts about Hvar, Croatia

Thanks to Kathi King for sharing these photos of Hvar from her sailing on Royal Clipper.



The fleet might be moving towards the Caribbean for the winter, but it's not too early to start to think about booking a summer sailing in the Mediterranean! Hvar is a charming and ancient city with clear blue waters and cobblestone streets. It is also somewhat of a celebrity hotspot since two superstars offered their glowing endorsement. It is definitely worth a vist! Read on for fun facts about Hvar, Croatia!



• Hvar holds the oldest public theater in Europe.



• As host to "Ultra" music fest, Hvar is known as a hot destination. It is made even hotter by the endorsement of superstars Beyonce and Jay Z. The power couple was even inspired to name their daughter after some particularly lovely ivy.










• Hvar was put on the market in 1932. There is no information available as to who sold it or who bought it. The only thing certain is that it is no longer for sale.



• 'Hvar' means where in Icelandic.






• Croatia is credited with inventing the necktie.



• Hvar is the self-proclaimed "sunniest spot in Europe" with 2,715 hours of sunlight in an average year.






• There are many different regional dialects in Hvar, and the island has a long history of stone masonry. As a result there are eight different words for 'chisel.'



• If you give birth on the Jadrolinija Ferry from Hvar your child will ride free for life!






Have you sailed to Hvar, Croatia, with Star Clippers? Share your fun facts and experiences in the comments below!


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Royal Clipper at Rovinj




Found on instagram, user "Rurhpoet" shared this gorgeous shot of Royal Clipper sailing near Rovinj, Croatia. While the sun went down the sails went up and "Conquest of Paradise" floated through the air.







Do you have a pretty picture of one of the Star Clippers sailing? Send your favorites to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
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Magic Moment on Royal Clipper

These beautiful photos from the tender were submitted by Royal Clipper guest Jackie Reay.










"Captain Sergei, had the tenders out as the sun began to set 27 September 2014, the light was magical. The Tender Drivers and Crew did a magnificent job positioning the ship for great photo opportunities, and an amazing experience.







Thank you Royal Clipper and your wonderful Captain and Crew for another fabulous happy journey, Venice to Venice."



-- Jackie Reay












Have you got any great shots of a Star Clippers ship from the tender? Send your favorites to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you could be featured on social media.
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Coasting by Croatia




Guest Ann shared these fabulous photos of an afternoon in the bowsprit net and the shoreside scenery as Star Clipper cruised along the coast. Said Ann:







"Thank you, magical Star Clipper. We miss you."










Do you have photos and memories of your time onboard a Star Clippers ship that you'd like to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you may be featured on social media.



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Guest Sommeliers Host Wine Tastings on Star Clipper

[caption id="attachment_15586" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Wine with a view!




July 9, 2014, Star Clipper will arrive at Venice, Italy, wrapping up back-to-back culinary cruises under the direction of world-class sommeliers.



[caption id="attachment_15580" align="aligncenter" width="550"] French sommelier Olivier Assire directs a wine tasting on Star Clipper.




The first itinerary featured Olivier Assire and sailed from Athens, Greece, to Kotor, Montenegro. Along the way guests enjoyed wine tastings, expert suggestions for pairings in the dining room and a sunset champagne reception, among other events. Assire disembarked at Corfu, Greece, the final sailing day before guests reached Kotor, Montenegro.



[caption id="attachment_15579" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Guests enjoy a wine tasting under the direction of Olivier Assire.




Saturday, July 5, 2014, Bruno David and a new crop of guests boarded Star Clipper at Dubrovnik, Croatia. As the ship sails along the coast of Croatia with calls at Korcula, Hvar and Mali Losinj, David is available to chat about wine-making, pairings and to offer tastings of spectacular Bordeaux wines from vineyards including Château Durfort-Vivens and Pessac Léognan.



[caption id="attachment_15585" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Featured wines included Champagne Brut Premier Louis Roederer and Jeroboam Rosé Couer de Grains 2013 -- Chateau de Selle.




These wine-themed sailings are part of an ongoing series of culinary cruises featuring onboard insights from renowned chefs and wine experts. The guest chefs and sommeliers work hand-in-hand with Star Clippers crew to create menus and tasting experiences that reflect Star Clippers easy elegance.



[caption id="attachment_15584" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Apertif tastings on the deck with views of shore.




Are you a foodie who dreams of a culinary adventure under sail? Click here for more information on upcoming Star Clippers' culinary cruises.
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Cliff Diving in Croatia

Magazine journalist Kristin Luna has been sailing the Med on Royal Clipper with some friends and family. Here she captured some footage of her sister's boyfriend taking a dive off the cliff in Croatia.






Would you take a leap like that? Let us know in the comments below!
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A Royal Silhouette

Thanks to Star Clippers Facebook fan Nancy Birnbaum shared this stunning picture of Royal Clipper at Hvar, Croatia.






In this silhouette you can really appreciate the intricate rigging put in place to support Royal Clipper's 42 sails!



Do you have a photo or story to share?



Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Post to Star Clippers' Facebook.

Contact @StarClipper on Twitter.

Pin 'em up on Star Clippers' Pinterest.



We look forward to hearing from you!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday




Royal Clipper at Hvar, Croatia.



Even the largest fully rigged sailing ship in the world can be dwarfed by the vastness of the sea.



Have you had a travel moment that left you in awe? Tell us in the comments below!



Or send your Star Clippers travel stories and photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to be featured on our blog.
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Star Clippers' Quote of the Day




George Bernard Shaw was enchanted by Dubrovnik, Croatia, after his visit in 1929, and it's not hard to see why.



Dubrovnik is one of the best preserved examples of a medieval walled city existing today.







The city's varied history can be observed in its buildings. There are over 80 religious buildings in Dubrovnik representing a range of architectural periods from Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic styles. Today the port city has been featured as a fantastical background on such shows as HBO's Game of Thrones.



People continue to fall in love with the city, as George Bernard Shaw once did.






Guests can sail to Dubrovnik on Royal Clipper and Star Clipper during their summer seasons in the Eastern Mediterranean.


Photos are courtesy of Paul Vandevelder from his recent Mediterranean sailing on Royal Clipper. Paul VanDevelder writes for SAIL, the NYT's, the LA Times, and Audubon, and is the author of Savages and Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America's Road to Empire through Indian Territory (Yale University Press) and Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial that Forged a Nation (Little,Brown). He has been been a contract photographer for Star Clippers since 1992. You can visit Paul at his web site for more pictures and stories: http://www.elbowoodscafe.com
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Nancy in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nancy has been writing about her summer travels. Celebrating 46 years of marriage, she and her husband Joe left the city of brotherly love and landed in Venice, Italy, to begin their journey. She is sailing the Mediterranean aboard Royal Clipper, and was kind enough to share her experience with us. Below are some excerpts from her blog. For her whole story you can visit her personal blog Nancy Near Philadelphia.






The next day found us in Dubrovnik, the largest city we visited in Croatia. Interestingly, while Croatia very recently joined the European Union, the country wasn't "on the Euro" at the time we visited. Their currency is the kuna, and in Hvar and Rovinj we had to go to bank machines to acquire kuna if we wanted to make any purchases.



Croatia is known for lavender, truffles, and olive oil (among other things) and we bought some of each. In Dubrovnik, merchants weren't nearly as picky about currency. They accepted kuna, Euros, and even American dollars! One purchase I made near the end of our stay involved a combination of currencies, obligingly calculated by the shopkeeper.







In Dubrovnik, we had signed up to participate in a shore excursion offered by Royal Clipper. In an air-conditioned (!) bus, we traveled out through beautiful countryside to visit a home that had existed for hundreds of years. There was a vineyard, an olive grove, and a huge garden.






On the way back to Dubrovnik, we stopped at a smaller town and wandered around. A couple of young girls from our group found a beach and returned to the bus with wet hair and huge smiles!



While our guide was showing us the downtown area, a commotion was heard and a large group of people were making their way toward us, the front one carrying a flag and all of the men singing! What could it be?






Our guide told us that it was a wedding party. The men had gathered at the home of the groom at about two o'clock and after partying there for some time, they processed to the bride's home where a similar party was taking place!










To visit Nancy's blog, Nancy Near Philadelphia, click here.
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Nancy in Hvar, Croatia

Nancy has been writing about her summer travels. Celebrating 46 years of marriage, she and her husband Joe left the city of brotherly love and landed in Venice, Italy, to begin their journey. She is sailing the Mediterranean aboard Royal Clipper, and was kind enough to share her experience with us. Below are some excerpts from her blog. For her whole story you can visit her personal blog Nancy Near Philadelphia.






The next day found us anchoring just outside Hvar, Croatia, a lovely view to behold. Royal Clipper, for the most part, would anchor outside the harbors of these little ports, and would provide tender service to take us ashore. The tenders usually ran every half hour.










Hvar was a small place, but very pretty. Some folks from the ship took excursions that involved kayaking or bicycling. We chose to explore on our own. The "downtown" area was small and -- for once -- the church wasn't at the top of a hill!






…the sun was powerful. For the first half of the day, the cafes on the shady side of the square would be open and then midway through the day, as the sun moved, they would close and the ones on the opposite side would open. It was a fine system.






We found this Red Submarine amusing. It is a glass-bottom boat -- passengers go down inside to view what is going on in the sea. We had seen it first in Rovinj and when we got to Hvar, one of our friends exclaimed, "Oh, look! It's following us!" I thought it would be fun to take a ride, but didn't get the opportunity.






Goodbye, Hvar!



To visit Nancy Near Philadelphia click here.
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Nancy Navigates Croatia

Nancy has been writing about her summer travels. Celebrating 46 years of marriage, she and her husband Joe left the city of brotherly love and landed in Venice, Italy, to begin their journey. She is sailing the Mediterranean aboard Royal Clipper, and was kind enough to share her experience with us. Below are some excerpts from her blog. For her whole story you can visit her personal blog Nancy Near Philadelphia.






When I did the research on Rovinj, Croatia, THE main attraction was the church of St. Euphemia. A young Christian woman, martyred in 307, her miracle at Chalcedon, I think, needs to be taken with several grains of salt. But who am I to judge? If St. Euphemia was the major thing to see in Rovinj, I knew I was going to see it, come hell or high water.










Behind the altar was another chamber telling Euphemia's story, how she was tormented by Diocletian and ultimately martyred in an arena.



Encased in stone are some relics of the saint.






When we were making our way down that hill, away from the church, we encountered a fellow shipmate climbing up. "Is it worth it?" she asked me. "Yes," I told her. If only for the windows. I've never seen anything like them."






In Rovinj we saw the first of several performance artists. This man's entire costume as well as his visible skin was covered in gold paint. He posed motionless until a young person, unable to stand the suspense, would touch him and then he would grab the child's hand and pretend he wasn't going to let go! The golden vase was for contributions.



To visit Nancy Near Philadelphia click here.






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Royal Clipper at Hvar, Croatia

Thanks to Facebook fan Jaksa for posting this photo taken by Foto For of Royal Clipper at Hvar, Croatia.



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Ellie's Journal: Lunch in the Hills of Croatia

Hello, my name is Ellie! Some of you may remember me from three years ago... That's when I blogged last, when I was on Star Flyer in Costa Rica. I'm fifteen years old now, and I'm back again, just on a different ship, Royal Clipper, and having more fun than ever. I'm from Oregon (in the USA) and my favorite sport is sailing, so this is a really fun experience for me.


[caption id="attachment_12660" align="alignnone" width="550"]Lunch in the hills of Croatia.




After writing last, I went swimming in the pool with my buddies, and then went straight to bed... I was exhausted, and I knew that I had to get up early in the morning for a big hike! Well, I'm glad to say that waking up early was well worth it, though my mom had to drag me out of bed.



I woke up at nine o'clock (which is early for me when I'm on the ship) and ran up and had breakfast. Then, pretty much right when I finished, we boarded the tender, and headed ashore to meet our tour guides in the port of Hvar, Croatia. When we got to shore, just like what I experienced in Venice, there was some major culture shock going on inside all of us... Because even though every place we go is in the same general vicinity, every place is very, very different from every other place. We met our tour guides, and then went in a small bus, up into the abandoned city of Malo Grabje, and other cities that surrounded it, outside of Hvar. What I saw was indescribable, but I will try to paint a picture for you:



I looked out the window on my left, and saw little rosemary bushes, and very short olive trees, all very green... And on my right I saw that same thing. But the greenery was not what stunned me. It was the walls. Everywhere you looked, for miles and miles and miles, there were these four-foot tall walls, perfectly spaced, and connecting in some places. The stones used were about the size of a loaf of bread and appeared to weigh quite a bit more than one. And then in the distance, sat the ocean: gentle, swelling, and full-of-life.







The bus kept on for twenty more minutes and then stopped on the top of a huge hill (it could probably be classified as a mountain) for us to get out.



We walked for an hour or two, and then my dad, a photojournalist, and I got very lost from the group... It wasn't too bad; actually it was pretty fun. It really felt like an actual adventure, and we both love adventures, especially when we're in an abandoned village, in a foreign country. We enjoyed ourselves, and my dad continued to shoot photos, and he loved it. Finally, after getting directions from a very nice Croatian lady who spoke perfect English, we began walking in the right direction. After about two minutes, one of the tour guides came back to find us. Please don't let that story make you not want to go on this hike... Just be sure to stick with the group!



Just when we all thought we were going to drop on the ground from the heat, we spotted a little "oasis" called Malo Grabje (pronounced Mah-lo Grawb-yay). The guide said, "And here we are! Lunchtime, ladies and gents." I will just put it out there right now that I probably will never have such an incredible lunch. And it wasn't just the food... It was everything: the enchanting olive trees, the fact that I WAS IN CROATIA, the smells, the people, the wonderful feeling of a gentle trickle of sparkling water going down my throat, the tall mountains of white rock. Everything was just so perfect.



And the perfection continued as we walked down the mountain.



As we neared the ocean, we all began to speed up, because I will tell you, it was really hot. The tour guide said that there were forty-five minutes to hang out on the beach and in the water, and then the bus would come. Wow, did that water feel good!



I've said it once and I'll say it again... I really hope every one of you reading my blog gets to come on this cruise. You'll never forget it. Goodbye for today!
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Ellie's Journal: Sailaway from Venice and Learning to Dance in the Rain

Hello, my name is Ellie! Some of you may remember me from three years ago... That's when I blogged last, when I was on Star Flyer in Costa Rica. I'm fifteen years old now, and I'm back again, just on a different ship, Royal Clipper, and having more fun than ever. I'm from Oregon (in the USA) and my favorite sport is sailing, so this is a really fun experience for me.


[caption id="attachment_12653" align="alignnone" width="550"] Ellie in Venice




I've only been on the ship for a couple of days, and I've already made many friends, kids and adults.



My parents and I flew into Venice in the morning of Wednesday, the day that the ship departed. Unlike some of the people on this cruise, we actually had some time to explore the city... I'd seen lots of pictures of Venice before, but seeing it in person makes it so real, and, though there are countless tourist shops, it's so genuine. The canals and bridges and buildings going into the crystal blue water... It is enchanting. It's, simply said, a feast for the eyes.







[caption id="attachment_12638" align="alignnone" width="550"] Musicians on St. Mark's Square




If I were to give you one place that I really think you should go, I think I'd have to say St. Marco Square, la piazza. And I'd also tell you that you should take back alleys, and not follow crowds. My parents and Idid kind of have to go with instincts when we were walking, because it wasn't obvious where to go, or how to get where we wanted to be, but I choose back alleys over the main drags with throngs of people any day. What would life be like without a bit of wandering through a maze of unknown pathways. It sure wouldn't be the Venice charmed us from every unknown square and alleyway.






But finally the big moment came. Our adventure to Croatia, Greece, Sicily, Rome and points inbetween, was set to begin. As the sails rose, and familiar Vangelis song played over the loudspeakers, and everything just sat still for a second. The sun stopped setting, the people stopped talking, the water stopped splashing, and the wind stopped blowing. And that last one wasn't actually a good thing because, you know, we're on a sailing cruise, and sailing involves some wind. And then, it started raining. Pouring. The sky opened up and dumped itself on us.



Everyone ran under the sun covers, because they didn't want to get all wet, but me? Naw, I'm an Oregonian... rain is our sunshine! I thought, "Well now that everyone has cleared out of the prime watching spots, I may as well take advantage of this. Their loss, my gain." So I did just that. I went out on the bow, where there was not a soul to be seen, and stood in the gentle, warm rain, and watched as Venice, Italy quietly slide by and disappear off our stern as night fell. About five minutes went by, and I was still the only person in the rain. Then, one-by-one, people started coming out to stand in the rain with me. So we sailed out of the Grand Canal in a warm, pouring rain, and some people would be upset, but we have to remember that learning how to dance in the rain is one of the biggest lessons in life.



Anyway, we arrived in Rovinj, Croatia at noon yesterday, and it was beautiful. There is an amazing church at the top of a hill in Rovinj, and it has a bell tower that can be seen from far out at sea, and if it fits your idea of fun, you can climb to the top! I wanted to do that very badly, but there's a catch to it. Though going into the church is free (unlike some churches in Venice and other parts of this cruise), you must be wearing appropriate clothing; this means shorts or skirts longer than your knees (or pants, of course) and a shirt that covers your shoulders... If you go on this cruise, which I really hope you do, be sure to plan out your sailing wardrobe and your shore side wardrobe! One thing that I found very helpful was just carrying a long-sleeved shirt, and a longer pair of shorts in a bag. That was my mom's idea... Only a mom would be smart enough to think of that, right? Well, it worked!



I'm off to go swimming with my friends, but I will post again soon! Goodnight.
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