On Your Mark ...

[caption id="attachment_16549" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo of Star Clippers sailing side by side from www.starclippers.com.

Today's the day! Now and again Star Clipper and Royal Clipper meet in the Caribbean to share a photo opportunity and wind for a fabulous race. Guests crowd the decks and crew wave to one another as the ships clip the waves below.

It's a fabulous event and adds another element of beauty to an already gorgeous scene. Typically, in the Caribbean, this meeting takes place a few days into the journey. Star Clipper and Royal Clipper meet southwest of Iles des Saintes and sail alongside one another all the way to Cabrits, Dominica.

If winds permit racing takes place. While Royal Clipper does have an advantage with more sails, Star Clipper is lighter and can pull weight as well!

Who do you think would win in a race? Let us know in the comments below!
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View From The Tropical Bar

Thanks to Royal Clipper guest Anthony Nicholas of “Travels with Anthony” for sharing his onboard experience.

So I’m nursing a Margarita- aptly, at five o’clock- at the Tropical Bar of the Royal Clipper. We are close cruising the lush, verdant coast of Dominica, and the mood is quietly electric.

Across my line of vision, a rainbow splits the landscape like some amazing, technicolor lightning rod, even as the last rays of the setting sun turn the still, silent ocean into a glorious, golden carpet. There are hot hors d’oevres on offer on a central display base- watermelon slices, cookies, and some absolutely delicious hot spring rolls, and the crowd milling around the open bar devours them with obvious relish. It’s a relaxed, dreamy vibe in a location that soon became the social centre of the entire cruise.

The Tropical Bar is not one of those cushioned, faux Miami Beach luxe style areas that are so currently popular on the mega ships. Here, it is very much a case of ‘less being more'; with an open view on both sides (covered by canvas screens when the sea gets up), the wooden deck area is sprinkled with a few tables surrounded by wooden stools, bolted to the floor. Immaculately varnished benches flank the edges, seeming to recoil from the three sided, central bar and the crowd that throngs it at this magical hour every evening.

Over our week in the Caribbean on this extraordinary, five masted flyer of a sailing ship, the Tropical Bar would pull in people like moths to a flame. At any hour up until midnight, and sometimes beyond, you would always find a few hardy souls braced there, sampling good German beer, or the potentially deadly Long Island Iced Teas served up with such deft aplomb.

[caption id="attachment_16415" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Sunset from the Tropical Bar.

And you needed to be hardy at times. As befits any royal lady with a temperament, there were moments when the Royal Clipper would suddenly heel sharply, almost as if she were trying to keep us on our toes. Or, perhaps, throw us off them. In so many ways, this magnificent paragon really does dance to her own, unique tune. And to hear it, well- that was to love it.

There was actual music, too, from a wonderful Hungarian guitarist/organ player by the name of Gabor. Like everything on board, it was subtle, understated, and it seemed to fit the mood of the moment with almost cosmetic perfection. Listening to his version of Hotel California as the last rays of the sun threw long, fading fingers of light across the wooden deck was a spine tingling moment.

With the vast, tree shrouded slopes of Dominica darkening slowly and almost within touching distance, a warm breeze ruffled my hair. The drinks straw in my glass did an idle, skittish little dance as the ice cubes in it clinked together, as if huddling together for protection. Suddenly, a thoughtlessly discarded plate slid down the bar like a runaway train. The barman caught it mid stream without even batting an eyelid. And so catastrophe was averted once more.

With that, I gazed out once more across the deep red carpet of the Caribbean, so lost in it’s vast, rolling beauty that I almost missed his words.

Another one? Hmm, why not? You don’t get to hang out in a bar like this one every day, that’s for sure.

So, when you do get the chance to do it, you absolutely owe it to yourself- and to your fellow travellers- to make every moment count.

Whether we’re talking food, drink or good music, there’s always something nice cooking at the Tropical Bar. Often as not, it’s all three.

Don’t exist-live. Get out there.
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Postcard from Dominica

[caption id="attachment_15927" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Carol & Richard Hintermeier pose in front of Royal Clipper.

Carol and Richard Hintermeier sent this fabulous shot from Dominica where they sailed on Royal Clipper in 2011.

A wonderful couple, Royal Clipper and beautiful blue waters -- what could be better?

Star Clippers will be returning to the Caribbean soon! Will you be joining us this winter season?

Do you have a favorite Star Clippers shot to share? Email us, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Travel Channel Names Royal Clipper "Best Caribbean Cruise"

The Travel Channel has named a cruise on Royal Clipper the best in the Caribbean!

[caption id="attachment_15760" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper sailing by the pitons of St. Lucia.

The Travel Channel just published their list of Travel's Best Cruises 2014 and Star Clippers took the cake for Best Caribbean Cruise!

The article cited Star Clippers sophisticated travelers, fine wine, fabulous destinations and laid back beach barbecues among the reasons that a cruise on Royal Clipper topped all others:

Best Caribbean Cruise, Star Clippers, Royal Clipper
You'll find a very different tropical seagoing experience aboard Star Clippers' 227-passenger Royal Clipper, the world's largest and only 5-mast, full-rigged sailing ship.

The elegant tall ship frequents small exclusive ports like Bequia, Tobago Cays and Iles des Saintes. “Attracting sophisticated travelers (roughly half are European), Royal Clipper offers open-seating, dining on sumptuous fare and fine wine. After dinner, guests gather around the grand piano or on deck to watch the enormous sails unfurl in the wind,” adds Anne Campbell. Don’t miss the beach-side barbecue on a deserted beach.

[caption id="attachment_15763" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary.

Royal Clipper -- along with 4-masted sister ships Star Clipper and Star Flyer -- will return to the Caribbean Nov. 2014 where the ship will resume the popular Windward Islands and Grenadine Islands itineraries. The Windward Islands itinerary departs Bridgetown, Barbados and calls include Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Cabrits & Roseau, Dominica; Falmouth Harbour, Antigua; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Terre de Haut, Iles des Saintes; Fort de France, Martinique;

[caption id="attachment_15764" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's Grenadine Islands itinerary.

The Grenadine Islands itinerary also departs Bridgetown, Barbados, but follows an alternate route first calling at the Captain's choice, Grenadines, followed by calls at St. George's, Granada; Tobago Cay, Grenadines; St. Vincent, St. Vincent and Bequia; Fort de France, Martinique; and Marigot Bay, St. Lucia.

Both itineraries are fabulous and life at sea on a tall ship brings the beauty of sails to these already stunning destinations. To learn more about departure dates as well as Star Clipper's Caribbean itineraries and Star Flyer's Panama Canal Crossing visit the website.

Have you sailed on one of these Royal Clipper itinearies before? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!
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Photo Journal: Hiking to Trafalgar Falls at Dominica

Jim Bottoms is a travel consultant based out of Annapolis, Maryland, who recently sailed on Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary. Along the way he took some fabulous photos. In this edition of Jim's photo journal, guests of Royal Clipper hike to Trafalgar falls and enjoy isolated beaches on a call at Dominica.

Look for more fabulous photos after the jump!

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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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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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A Magical Moment in Dominica

German guests Günter Bielz and Doris Boley-Bilez were sailing on Star Clipper's Leeward Islands itinerary when they had the opportunity to sail alongside Royal Clipper. They were so kind to share their experience, and we look forward to welcoming them aboard once again in July.

"We are some really hopeless Star Clippers fans. To meet the Royal Clipper the 3rd of February 2014 to sail together to Cabrits, Dominica, was one of the best things we've ever got to do - a real magical moment! Many thanks to all in the crew for always doing a perfect job - see you in July!!"

For more fabulous pictures of Regal Royal Clipper visit Star Clippers on Pinterest!

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A Tour Of Cabrits, Dominica, Brings A Different Outlook

Chis Owen of the popular blog Chris Cruises recently took a Royal Clipper sailing. 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, www.chriscruises.com.

Stopping at the volcanic island of Cabrits in Dominica, we spent some time touring on our own. Arriving via Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper, the ship would be anchored a short distance from the island, running continual tender operations throughout the day. A quick lunch ashore, a visit to the crater of a once-active volcano and a new friend later, we were back on board, sailing off into the sunset again.

Getting ashore from Royal Clipper almost always requires a tender operation, done a bit differently. The ship carries actual tender boats for what they call a “triangular” operation. Tenders depart from the ship, stopping first at the port’s marina then on to the beach before returning to start all over again…or something like that. This is one of the areas where Star Clippers don’t get very specific, much like the time in port when viewing itineraries in advance of sailing. This is a good thing.

Rather than commit months in advance to being somewhere at an exact time, ships with sails need to leave scheduling a bit loose. Weather, ocean currents and winds have a lot to do with where we end up on a given day. On board, daily programs do lock in on a time, based on recent weather conditions and experience. Still, not being on a rigid schedule is very much a big part of the Star Clipper experience and we like that just fine.

It’s sort of like how the ship has a satellite Internet system but yet it doesn’t.

Guests are encouraged to ‘just forget about the Internet and enjoy your vacation’. That truly is the best bet. Satellite Internet at sea is always a complicated process with any ship in motion, constantly having to reacquire line-of-sight connectivity. Add that ships with sails are not only in forward motion but bobbing up and down, and side to side making staying connected a lot like trying to thread a needle while running with your eyes closed. I am pretty sure that Christopher Columbus had a better connection on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria than we have here. And that’s ok.

That reality puts our regularly scheduled programming plan of a live report, all the time, in Davy Jones’ locker but that’s ok too. We will catch you up when we can along the way and post gazillions of photos and reports back on dry land.

That’s why our first stop in Cabrits was Prince Rupert’s Tavern, Restaurant And Bar with free Wi-Fi. After a quick email check it was off with Thomas, our guide for the day and a lifelong resident of Dominica, eager to share highlights of his home.

Probably one of the best $40 we have spent ashore, Thomas took us high up into the rainforest where we hiked down to the crater bed of a once-active volcano. Along the way we captured images of some pretty amazing scenery and lush vegetation then came away with a friend on the island that we hope to visit again some day.

Later in the afternoon, Royal Clipper would reposition to the other side of the island, stopping briefly to pick up passengers who ended a river tubing trip there. That was one of a select offering of shore excursions available and the subject of our next post…whenever that might be.

To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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Sister Ships Meet in the Caribbean

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, www.chriscruises.com.

On the way to Cabrits in Dominica, we happened upon another ship with sails, smaller 172-passenger Star Clipper, little sister to our ship, Royal Clipper. As custom would have it, crewmembers gather on deck with the flags of their nations to salute one another. Under the watchful eye of Captain Tunikov, the two ships come close together for a while, with crew and passengers alike waving as songs from the variety of nationalities on board play.

It’s a huge photo opportunity for passengers, able to see a version of their ship up close while at sea. After nearly an hour together, the two ships parted ways as Star Clipper made her way to dock in Dominica and Royal Clipper would anchor not far away. While in port, crew members from either ship will come aboard, see old friends and have some special time during a rendezvous that happens every few weeks during the Caribbean season.

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

Do you want to see more fabulous photos of Star Clippers? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for your daily dose of sails!
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Royal Clipper Postcard from Dominica

Here's another great shot from Star Clippers guest Carol Hintermeier of Royal Clipper at port in Dominica.

This trip was so amazing! We are trying to work out a trip on the Royal Clipper to bring our 2 daughters, 23 & 26, next year. I've attached the photo. We just can't wait to go again!

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Postcard from Dominica: Golden Sunset

Thanks to Star Clippers' guest Carol Hintermeier for sharing this fabulous Dominican sunset.

...here's a photo taken leaving Ile des Saintes. My goodness the sunsets were totally amazing. We still love looking at the beautiful pictures and remembering the wonderful ship we were on!

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Royal Clipper and Star Clipper Meet at Dominica

Thanks to Star Flyer Hotel Manager Klaus Franz for these beautiful photos of tall ships Star Clipper and Royal Clipper at Dominica Feb. 4, 2013. Enjoy!

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Star Clipper Meets Royal Clipper in Dominica

Special thanks to Scott Schnabel from Destinations by Roxanne for submitting this photo of Royal Clipper sailing alongside Star Clipper in Dominica.

Unique experience sailing next to the Royal in Dominica. Great fun.

Scott Schnabel

Destinations by Roxanne

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