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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From the Desert to the Oasis

Barbara Molmod joined Star Clipper from Phoenix, Arizona, for the Treasure Islands itinerary, sailing roundtrip from St. Maarten with stops at Anguilla, St. Kitts, St. Barts and more. Her photos provide a fabulous snapshot of the vacation, one that she says she and her family will remember forever. Thanks, Barbara!

Coming from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, I truly found our cruise aboard the Star Clipper thrilling. I can not wait to embark on another journey aboard this amazing ship!

Best vacation ever.

-Barbara Molmod

Do you have photos or stories from a Star Clippers vacation that you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Happy sailing!

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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 http://www.dd1961.com/.

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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Students and Star Flyer: an Educational Crossing

[caption id="attachment_14848" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The nautical students who will be joining Star Clippers from Belgium.

Sailing is serious business. In Belgium you must complete a course and be certified in order to take to the open waters whether renting a boat or sailing on your own.

With that in mind a group of students and teachers from a nautical school in Belgium have partnered with Star Clippers in order to complete the course. Six teachers and 25 students will board Star Flyer for an eastbound transatlantic sailing from Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, complete with daily lessons and a final exam, before disembarking at Lisbon, Portugal.

The journey will last more than two weeks and our sailing students will be checking in along the way. So stay tuned and check back on the blog to hear all about sailing lessons and life at sea!

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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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Port Spotlight: Palma de Mallorca in the Balearics

Nestled away in the western Mediterranean off the coast of Spain is a group of islands so mesmerizing and enchanting that we’ve devoted an entire itinerary to showcase their allure. Each with its own distinct personality, the four Balearic Islands are as diverse as they are similar. Here we take a look at Palma de Mallorca, Star Flyer's homeport during this special itinerary.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

The commerical and cultural center of Mallorca, Palma has a little bit of everything. Gorgeous coastlines, fresh seafood, a vibrant nightlife and rich history characterize this fabulous city. The origins can be traced back to Roman times and residents of the old quarter continue to report findings of ancient Roman artifacts. Today guests will find a landscape of coves, beaches and cliffs on the coastline and Spanish architecture with Northern African influences peeking through.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Historically, Palma was the seat of the island's monarchy, aristocracy and ecclesiastical hierarchy – which is why there is an abundance of churches, convents and palacios. Highlights of a visit include the Mallorca Cathedral, the Almudaina Palace, the Lonja fish market and Plaza Mayor.

El Paseo de Born is a tree-lined lane that has been called the town's "social axis." Expect to find posh eateries, art galleries and boutiques.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

The Soller Railway is an iconic image of the city and a popular way to see the island of Mallorca. Likened to a time machine for its turn of the century charm, the train runs 27 km from Palma to the town of Soller along fabulous landscapes. This railway was built in 1912 and has completely retained its yesteryear charm.

Further inland the island opens up to rugged mountains, and groves of olives and almonds. The scenery is diverse and spectacular.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

For more information on Star Flyer's sailing to Spain and the Balearic Islands, summer, 2014, click here.

In the meantime, stay tuned for information on more of these fabulous Balearic ports.

This photo of Palma de Mallorca is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

We're looking forward to this gorgeous itinerary in summer 2014. If you join please let us know what you think! Send your photos, stories and insights to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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What Should You Pack on a Star Clippers Sailing?

On Facebook and Twitter we asked our veteran Star Clippers guests, if they were to offer advice to a first timer, what are the most essential rules of packing for a tall ship journey? The top answer may surprise you!

Here are the top 10 packing tips from Star Clippers guests:

10. Gear: Whether you're sailing Star Clippers in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean you are definitely going to want to see what's under the sea! Star Clippers offer guests snorkeling equipment upon embarking, but if you have your own gear your Star Clippers voyage will most likely be a great chance to use it!

9. Binoculars Land ho! When you're surrounded by sea land can be a sight to see!

8. Sun-protectant: Hats and sunscreens are great to protect your skin. Even if you typically tan, you may find that the Caribbean sun can be strong! Also, don't forget sunglasses to protect you from crow's feet while up in the crow's nest.

7. A sweater or jacket:
Even if you're sailing in a warm climate the wind can be strong. It's wise to bring a light sweater, or a wind-proof jacket.

6. Dress/skirt: The ladies agreed that it's nice to bring a dress or skirt for an elegant dinner or two. However, a few made a point to say forget the stilettos! Guest Jane said: "Definitely flat boat shoes and this year I took heels but they were wedge type with rubber soles so no stilletos to damage the decks."

5. Swimsuits: At least one back-up swimsuit to wear while the other is drying is a good idea. @jbl_john keeps it simple. He tweeted: 2 pair of underwear per day, two bathing suits, and a pair of baseball batting gloves.

4. Camera: A camera can be your best accessory on your Star Clippers voyage! Travel photography experts say that you should bring your camera with you everywhere, because you never know when inspiration will strike.

3. A Pirate Costume! Grown-ups can play pirates too! It's hard to resist on a tall-ship. Typically each trip will have a Pirate-dress-up night, so don't forget ye eye-patch!

2. Comfortable Shoes: We mentioned earlier that ladies probably don't want to wear their stilettos while aboard, but furthermore our guests stressed the importance of comfortable footwear. A cruise on Star Clippers is an adventure, and you don't want flimsy flip flops to hold you back from climbing the mast, hiking through ruins, and pounding the pavement at port!

And the number one tip Star Clippers former guests gave to newcomers?

1. Pack Light!

Nearly all of the respondents said to pack lightly! The name Royal Clipper may sound intimidating, but overall Star Clippers are pretty laid back. It seems our guests enjoy the sense of freedom that comes from truly "leaving it all behind."

Carole Bryant even offered this anecdote in support of packing lightly:

On one of our 6- or 7-day cruises with Star Clippers, we lost our luggage on that way to Barbados for a 1-week cruise. We had clothes we were wearing, my makeup, costume jewelry, and very little else. We purchased a few items along the way, and SC gave us shirts, and did our laundry every day. I let my hair be natural, wore the same skirt many days with different tops and had a ball! Other typical friendly passengers on SC offered to loan us clothes, and our suitcases caught up with us on the 5th day. It was one of our best trips ever...bring comfortable, happy clothes...it's a happy place to be!

We can agree that sometimes less is more.

Sylvia said:

"Just board and enjoy..."

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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, chriscruises.com.

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: www.chriscruises.com

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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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Traveling Teddy 'Elizabeth' Sails in the Caribbean

This adorable account of Elizabeth the traveling teddy initially appeared in the blog Globespinners by Betsa Marsh. Read on to see how the little bear is traveling the world and sending back geography lessons to teach kids in the states.

Elizabeth the SATW Traveling Teddy rubbed on her sunscreen and headed for the exotic ports of the Caribbean aboard the four-masted mega-yacht, Star Clipper. With 16 sails, the Star Clipper ties with her sister ship Star Flyer as the tallest Tall Ship in the world.

Elizabeth travels for the third-grade class of Meredith Schroeder at St. Joseph Consolidated School in Hamilton, Ohio, and the kindergarten class of Barbara Hill at Crawford Street Playschool in Vicksburg, Miss.

The Traveling Teddy program is a geographic outreach program of the Society of American Travel Writers. As ambassadors for school classes in the U.S. and Canada, the Traveling Teddies explore the globe with SATW professionals and send home postcards, souvenirs and blog posts to help the students discover the world beyond their classrooms.

Elizabeth sailed through the Leeward Islands and French Antilles. The itinerary, round trip from St. Maarten, mad sandy stops in Anguilla, Virgin Gorda, Norman Island, Jost von Dyke, St. Kitts and St. Barthelemy,

Elizabeth shared the Star Clipper with passengers from 17 countries, with Yankees claiming a bit more than a third of the manifest. She practiced her French and German, because all the shipboard announcements are tri-lingual, in English, French and German.

And Elizabeth made new friends on the islands, from a little girl playing in the waves at Virgin Gorda to hard-working Quincy Browne, who was mowing the grass at Brimstone Fortress on St. Kitts, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everyone was so friendly to a little sunburned bear.

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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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The Yacht Club Sails On

The Southwestern Yacht Club from San Diego, Calif., recently came together as a group and sailed on Royal Clipper in the Caribbean. A special thanks to guests Nancy and Ed who took the time to share their experiences and photos. Here the yacht club and other guests onboard Royal Clipper wave to Star Clipper as they meet at Dominica.

"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. I have to say, this company is truly superior and the personnel the best we have ever encountered."


Have you had a great experience with the crew like Nancy has? Send your photos and stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you may end up in a future post!

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! As the Irish blessing goes, "may the wind be always at your back."

Guests are often sharing photos of Star Clippers framed by - or sailing towards - beautiful rainbows. In honor of the imagery of the emerald isle here's a roundup of some of our best rainbow shots through the years. Browse through the blog and you're sure to find more!

Have you spotted a rainbow while cruising under sail? Share your photos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured in a post.

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Star Clippers: By the Numbers

Today is March 13, 2014, or 3.14, also known as Pi Day! It also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday. So in honor of the never-ending mathematical constant that we all remember from geometry and the genius physicist here we'll break down the Star Clippers fleet by the numbers.

Royal Clipper:

Length:439 feet

Beam:54 feet

Draft:18.5 feet

Sail Area:56,000 Square feet

Mast Height:197 feet

Total Staff:106

Passenger Capacity:227

Masts:5 Masts, 42 Sails

Star Clipper & Star Flyer:

Length:360 feet

Beam:50 feet

Draft: 18.5 feet

Sail Area:36,000 Square feet

Mast Height:226 feet

Total Staff:72

Passenger Capacity:170

Masts:4 Masts, 16 Sails

While our ships are tall (the tallest in the world, in fact) they are small in size compared to the industry average. What do you see as the advantages of sailing the small-tall ships? Let us know in the comments below!

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A Sunset at Sea

Some of our favorite photos are sunsets at sea. This shot was shared by Susanne, a Star Clippers' guest hailing from Austria. She snapped these on her sailing adventure with us.

To see more pretty Star Clippers photos of sunsets at sea visit our Pinterest board, Sunsets and Sails.

Do you have one of your own that you'd 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 Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Chris Features the Finer Points

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, chriscruises.com.

Spending the day in Terre de Haute, a French island in the Caribbean never visited by big ships, I was reminded of the obvious: Star Clipper ships go where big ships can not. But more than the small size of their ships and that they are powered by wind for the most part, there are other features that we discovered on a Windward Islands sailing of Royal Clipper.

Small, But Nicely Appointed Cabins
We had stateroom 208, an Oceanview cabin with two porthole windows that was laid out quite nicely. Two twin beds that could be converted to a double like most other cruise lines are standard. Under-bed storage took our biggest pieces of luggage and a built in storage drawer was a nice addition. Cabin lighting options provided a number of different possibilities ranging from full light to sectional lighting appropriate for working at the built in desk, illuminating a curtained changing area only and more. One closet with hangars was about half what many other lines offer but with hangers mounted high, additional storage below made up for it. The star of the show in cabin appointments though is the marble-floored bathroom which is a generous size with adequate storage behind a triple pane mirror and under the sink.

At the Purser’s Desk/Sloop Shop onboard clothing and logo shop, DVDs are available to borrow at no charge. Passengers can choose from hundreds of titles but I can’t for the life of me see why someone would want to watch television on this ship. Cabins have TV’s and a DVD player but we turned on CNN once and it was such a bad fit for the ambience of Royal Clipper that we turned it off rather quickly.

These are sailing ships with sailors that man the decks as the captain calls out commands. They make quite a show of it too, playing grand orchestral compositions of seagoing music as the ship’s sails are set, every single time. Initially, I thought that would get old pretty fast. On the contrary, as the voyage proceeded and we learned more about sailing ships from the crew and well-traveled passengers we came to appreciate it more each time. As I write this we have two more sailaways left on our itinerary and I’d imagine that the last one will be quite difficult to bear.

A Captain’s Captain
Never has the term “master of the vessel” had more meaning than on this ship. Frankly, I respected that position on other sailings and appreciated the tremendous weight of responsibility that rested on the Captain’s shoulders. Still, on Royal Clipper we see navigation happening in many ways as it has for hundreds of years at sea. Sails are made of longer lasting material now and not canvass. Voyages take weeks rather than months. Modern technology supplements age-old sailing ways. But the Captain is an active, working part of the crew and is constantly present.

One day we met up with another Star Clipper ship and a traditional salute had crew members on the Bow Sprit (pointy thing on the front) of both ships, displaying the flags of their home nations. Another day passengers boarded tender boats to see Royal Clipper with all sails deployed. The masterful seamen on board were able to do that and not outrun the tenders but place the ship in nearly a station-keeping position (to borrow a Star Trek term), one sail set for forward motion while another compensated with equal force in the opposite direction.

After that event, when passengers were back on the ship, they were invited to take a photo of the crew, assembled as a group on deck. Captain Tunikov was quick to give credit to his crew, inviting passengers to get a photo of “the best sailing crew in the world,” a hearty approbation of which no passenger had any doubt.

The Cuisine
Sure, food is a big part of any cruise experience and it has evolved over time. Big ships have gone from “let me fill my gaping maw” buffets to healthy-choice options and a variety of onboard venues from which to choose. On Star Clippers, the attention to detail on culinary offerings is nearly beyond description. I say “nearly” because this is the topic of an upcoming post covering dining from A to Z and we will get into great detail there.

But researching this cruise line and ship prior to boarding, we found very little information about dining. Few details, reviews, menus…nothing. We’ll correct that omission from the body of knowledge available about Royal Clipper shortly. For now, describing the culinary offerings on Royal Clipper one word stands out as quite appropriate: Fabulous. No, really fabulous and not in a gaudy, showy way. Stay tuned for more on that topic shortly.

Let’s put it this way: I can’t remember the last time I had food so good on a cruise ship that I wanted and nearly did eat everything on the menu.

There are other unique features of the Star Clippers experience and we’ll get into those when we reader answer questions, gathered along the way.

To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com

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