Postcards from the Sea of Marmara

Thank you to Star Clipper guest Vicente Bono Gomis who shared these gorgeous photos from his recent sailing in the eastern Mediterranean and Sea of Marmara.

[caption id="attachment_15536" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Navigating through the sea of Marmara." - guest Vicente Bono Gomis‎

The Sea of Marmara is an extension of the Mediterranean that is bordered entirely by Turkey and separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey. The sea connects to the Aegean Sea via the Dardanelles Strait and to the Black Sea through the Bosporus Strait.

The sea has two distinct island groups. The first is the Kızıl Islands in the northeast near Istanbul; these islands are primarily resort areas. The second group consists of the Marmara islands proper in the southwest, off Kapıdagı Peninsula; these have granite, slate, and marble that have been quarried since antiquity—hence the sea’s name (Greek marmaros, “marble”).

[caption id="attachment_15537" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Under full sail en route to Istanbul!" -guest Vicente Bono Gomis‎

[caption id="attachment_15539" align="aligncenter" width="550"] View of the Sea of Marmara from Star Clipper.

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A Tall Ship and a Star to Sail by

Photographer Andrew Horwitz sailed Royal Clipper this past summer.

He captured this magical photo from the deck at midnight as the ship sailed back toward Venice, and named it "A Tall Ship and a Star to Sail by". It is absolutely stunning -- thanks Andrew!

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Rockin' the Ship Part III: Island Hopping

Kevin Wierzbicki writes for, a site devoted to the rock n roll lifestyle, and like a rockstar he takes to the road quite a bit. For his segment Road Trip: Rockin' Down the Highway he's reviewed concerts and destinations all over, from the World Music Expo in Cardiff, Wales, to Frankfurt Germany's Museum Embankment Festival. Kevin recently sailed on Star Clipper, which he called "The coolest vessel plying the Caribbean..." Read on for Part 3 of his 3-part review!

[caption id="attachment_14146" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Star Clipper at Antigua

Let's wrap up our Caribbean adventure aboard Star Clipper with stops in Antigua, the rarely-visited Iles de Saintes and Guadeloupe. This particular itinerary is so packed with exciting destinations relatively close to each other that no "at sea" days are experienced; passengers will arrive in a different port every day. That means it's a good idea to look at the daily newsletter that'll be delivered to your cabin so you can keep up with what's going on shipboard and when it's happening.

There'll be a couple of opportunities for the daring to climb high up into the ship's rigging (with a safety harness attached) to a "crow's nest" observation platform; this unique activity is limited in number of participants and must be booked in advance. The newsletter will also be a handy reference if you want to take part in things like morning gymnastics and workouts, water gym activities or attend one of the many "story time" sessions led by various crew members. No appointment is needed to get behind the wheel of the Star Clipper and steer her for a bit though; amazingly the ship has an open bridge policy and (with a few exceptions) passengers are welcome to add "sea Captain" to their resume at any time. As to meal times and after dinner entertainment; you'll get the hang of that pretty quick. All of this while you're fantasizing about the next island and the next adventure!

[caption id="attachment_14145" align="aligncenter" width="338"] Sugar Mill at Betty's Hope, Antigua

Shore excursions in Antigua, Guadeloupe and Iles de Saintes are quite varied. In Antigua passengers can take a snorkeling excursion, go on a canopy tour (zip lines) or participate in a yacht race (tons of fun!) For those who've done these things already or those that just want to see more of the island there's a three-hour jeep tour that goes through mountains clad in lush greenery, to Betty's Hope (former sugar plantation) and to a scenic overlook of Falmouth Harbor. The jeep tour also includes samplings of sugarcane and the delicious nectar that's made from it, rum. There is also a mini-mall of sorts near where the excursion begins that's well stocked with souvenirs of all sorts and inexpensive bottles of Antiguan beer.

[caption id="attachment_14144" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Caret Island, Guadeloupe

There are multiple choices for shore excursions on Guadeloupe as well but one of the most popular (be aware this one will sell out) adventures is a boat ride out to tiny Caret Island for a picnic lunch. The boat will stop at a reef for some snorkeling before reaching the islet; there excursion-goers will need to hop into the warm water and wade ashore, a precaution to keep the boat from running aground.

[caption id="attachment_14143" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Fresh coconut!

[caption id="attachment_14142" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Scooters for rent, Iles des Saintes

Once everyone is ashore the crew will start serving rum (and plenty of it) while preparing a lunch that includes freshly chopped coconut, chicken, sweet potatoes and other delights all sourced in Guadeloupe. Beachcombers will find lots of shells and coral pieces here as well. Lastly, the boat will cruise into a cove where mangroves grow and here you may see some local wildlife amongst the flora.

At Iles de Saintes, a multi-island possession of Guadeloupe, Star Clipper will tender at the sleepy fishing village of Le Bourg on the island of Terre de Haut. There are a few places in Le Bourg geared to tourists but you won't find pesky souvenir hawkers or dozens of souvenir stands here. The village is very small and it is quite pleasant to stroll among the homes and shops as the locals go about their business. There are lots of photo opportunities in Le Bourg ranging from a monument to the fishing industry to fishermen themselves to friendly produce vendors. If you'd like to go beyond the village there are places where you can rent bicycles or, more popularly, one of the island's ubiquitous scooters.

[caption id="attachment_14141" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Happy Hour aboard Star Clipper

Alas, all good things come to an end and before you know it your week-long Star Clipper sailing will conclude as she once again moors in St. Maarten. As previously mentioned, there's a post-cruise shore excursion you can take there should you have the time before your flight leaves. If not, you'll certainly be a happy camper (sailor!) as you head to the airport. And your journey home will give you plenty of time to dream about the next time.

To read more of Kevin's work click here.

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Video: A Star Clippers Slideshow

Whether you've sailed with us before or you're thinking about taking a Star Clippers cruise, it's always fun to see photos from the experience. Here's a slideshow we put together so you can see all aspects of sailing with Star Clippers.

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Postcard from Dominica: Golden Sunset

Thanks to Star Clippers' guest Carol Hintermeier for sharing this fabulous Dominican sunset.'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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'Boats' of a Different Size at Kotor, Montenegro

Royal Clipper was at Kotor, Montenegro, but the tall ship was not alone in the harbor...

Thanks to KotorBayConnect for the image.

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Beautiful Postcards from a Caribbean Sailing

Here are some photos from guests Dominique and Philippe taken on their fabulous Star Clipper Caribbean sailing this past season.

[caption id="attachment_12592" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

[caption id="attachment_12593" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

[caption id="attachment_12594" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Nevis.

[caption id="attachment_12595" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Nevis.

[caption id="attachment_12596" align="aligncenter" width="550"] St. Barts.

[caption id="attachment_12597" align="aligncenter" width="550"] St. Barts.

[caption id="attachment_12598" align="aligncenter" width="550"] St. Barts.

[caption id="attachment_12599" align="aligncenter" width="550"] St. Barts.

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Postcards from a Baltic Sailing

Thanks to Star Clippers' avid guest AnnMarie Godwin for sending in these great photos from her June 2013 Baltic sailing on Star Flyer.

[caption id="attachment_12566" align="aligncenter" width="550"] My certificate for sailing 25 times with Star Clippers.

[caption id="attachment_12567" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Sunset in the Baltic.

[caption id="attachment_12568" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Enjoying the Tropical Bar.

[caption id="attachment_12569" align="aligncenter" width="345"] Sailing toward St. Petersburg.

[caption id="attachment_12570" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Love this old ship with the hammer and sickle on the funnel. Sailing up the river to our berth in St. Petersburg.

[caption id="attachment_12571" align="aligncenter" width="345"] Church of the Spilled Blood, just amazing.

[caption id="attachment_12572" align="aligncenter" width="345"] Church of the Spilled Blood.

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A Stunning Sunset at Hamburg, Germany

Thanks to Facebook fan Jürgen Scholüke for sharing this stunning image of Star Flyer at Hamburg, Germany.

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Postcards from Kotor, Montenegro

Thanks to Ffion Llwyd-Jones for sharing photos from Kotor, Montenegro!

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A Bird's-Eye View of Montenegro ... and More!

Thanks to Louise Dibble for sending in some beautiful photos of Kotor, Montenegro.

Managed to climb half way up the hill 14 months after having open heart surgery! Was very proud of myself and it was definitely worthwhile to experience the beautiful view. One of my favourite ports.

[caption id="attachment_12409" align="alignnone" width="550"] Star Clipper sailing towards the mouth of the bay of Kotor

[caption id="attachment_12408" align="alignnone" width="550"] What more can I say, stunning!!

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