Port Spotlight: Ibiza, Balearic Islands

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 Ibiza.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

As far as personalities go, Ibiza is the wild-child of the Balearic Islands as the party capital of the Balearic Islands! That's not to say the island is all party and no substance -- Ibiza is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Phoenician architecture, protected wildlife, plentiful coral reefs and a fortified acropolis all make Ibiza a location that is to be protected and preserved. You can spend the day relaxing by the crystal waters and watching the motorboats and yachts cruise by, exploring the ancient architecture, or enjoying the natural wonders of this gorgeous island.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

This photo of Ibiza is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

What would you most like to see at Ibiza? The beaches, the architecture or the parties? Let us know in the comments below!
  613 Hits

Guests' Photos: Royal Clipper in the Caribbean

Royal Clipper just wrapped up the Caribbean season. We're looking forward to some gorgeous photos from the Mediterranean. Until then, here are some guest photos from the 2013/2014 Caribbean journeys. Enjoy!

[caption id="attachment_15076" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by guest Gerry Smith.

[caption id="attachment_15075" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by guest Frank Stefanko.

[caption id="attachment_15078" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by guest CJ Newman.

[caption id="attachment_15080" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by guest Richard Hanson.

Will you be joining us in the Mediterranean this season? Send your favorite photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured in a post!
  661 Hits

Welcome the Weekend with a Sailaway into the Sunset

Thanks to Gerry Smith for sending these beautiful photos of Royal Clipper sailing into the sunset.

[caption id="attachment_15086" align="aligncenter" width="550"] photo by Gerry Smith

Isn't there just something so beautiful about sails against the setting sun? These photos are our most popular guest submissions!

To see the photos of Star Clippers, sunsets and sails altogether visit us on Pinterest!
  405 Hits

A 'Travel Bucket List' Adventure

Many guests check sailing Star Clippers off their "travel bucket lists," and Melanie checked off three important tasks on her list in one vacation! See what she had to say and photos of the group's ziplining expedition below. If you look closely you can see Royal Clipper in the background!

"My husband and I recently checked off three items on our "bucket list"... sailing the Royal clipper, snorkeling, and traversing the forest on a zipline. Now, I am hooked on all three!" - Melanie R. Brimhall

What's on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
  637 Hits
  1 Comment

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

April 23, 1564 is generally agreed to be William Shakespeare's date of birth, which makes the master playwright 450 years old!

Isn't it remarkable that his wisdom is still relevant today?

Part of the wonder of sailing from port to port is connecting with the humbling greatness of nature. Do you have a port that you found to have spectacular natural beauty? Let us know in the comments below.
  0 Hits

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!
  543 Hits

Greetings from an Educational Ocean Crossing!

A short while back we mentioned that there is a group from Belgium sailing across the Atlantic on Star Flyer, getting their sea legs and earning a sailing license along the way. Now the students are a week into their journey across the Atlantic and they sent word that they're having a fantastic time!

It looks like they also found a moment to relax between lessons!

Wednesday April 16th

Noon position : 30°26.7 N - 045°53.8 W

Dear people ashore,

After a cozy “Blues evening party” with our ship’s pianist Gabor and a drink in the piano bar, a good night's sleep was welcome. During the night Star Flyer got a bit excited with the increased wind and wave height, but the rolling did not disturb our sleep. In fact the movements of the ship are rocking us asleep.

Bikinis are now replaced by jackets and sweaters, but we are a bit sheltered from the wind and the sun rays are still comforting. The temperature at noon is 19 °C. The swimming pools are emptied because the water was splashing out due to the movement of the ship and the crew takes the opportunity to give them a nice new coat of blue paint.

Inside, our AMA-team is exercising with different kinds of safety material. Caroline serves as a model for life jacket try–outs.

During the morning staff meeting we congratulated our hotel manager Adam for the outstanding cuisine. Captain Jurgen told him that when this appraisal comes from Belgians it a proof that it really has to be very good.

Don’t forget that the ship was also built in Belgium.

While I'm writing this note, the passengers are dancing their daily Zumba with Hanna, and Ingrid is leading her team through the ship for the daily “walk a mile." They go deck up, deck down from fore to aft, seeking obstructions to turn around. Don’t forget that exercise is important on board to help us burn the amounts of delicious food we consume daily.

Meanwhile my belly has already an additional ballast of a few kilos, life is hard!

Capt. Marc

If you wish to follow along with updates on the nautical students' progress check back here! We will update this particular post as information comes in. Stay tuned!

*Als u wenst te volgen samen met updates over de voortgang controleren van de studenten hier terug! We zullen dit bijzondere bericht updaten als informatie binnenkomt Stay tuned!
  399 Hits

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

  0 Hits

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.

  390 Hits
  1 Comment

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.

  417 Hits

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!
  458 Hits

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!
  0 Hits

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..
  460 Hits

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!
  451 Hits

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.!
  0 Hits

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!
  522 Hits

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..."
  395 Hits
  1 Comment

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
  753 Hits

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!

  401 Hits

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.

  422 Hits