Port Spotlight: Basseterre, St. Kitts

[caption id="attachment_16769" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo shared on Instagram by @cpt_ross.




Originally called the “fertile isle” by the Carib Indians, St. Kitts (officially named St. Christopher) still fits the description. A mountainous island of volcanic origin its slopes rise up to almost 4000 feet, providing an ideal climate for abundant vegetation and one of the Caribbean’s largest rain forests. St. Kitts also has the distinction of being one of the only islands the French and British ever shared. This lasted only long enough to ward off the Caribs and the Spanish before they turned on each other. Possession of the island changed several times between the two before the British took final sovereignty with the Treaty of Versailles.



[caption id="attachment_16770" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Shared on Instagram by @cpt_ross.




The British also used St. Kitts as a mother colony of sorts, sending parties out to other nearby islands to begin colonization. In many ways, St. Kitts has changed little since those days. It has never developed into a tourist mecca as some of its neighbours have, and sugar is still its primary source of income just as it was in the 17th century. St. Kitts gained independence in 1967 with its sister island of Nevis, just 2 miles off the southern coast; and has since been striving for controlled development in an effort to maintain its original attributes. Today the island still remains quiet in comparison to other Caribbean nations, but St. Kitts and Nevis are beginning to gain recognition for exactly that reason. They are very much alive with their own unique characteristics, serene atmosphere, beautiful unspoiled scenery and palm-lined beaches.



[caption id="attachment_16771" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Views from St. Kitts. Shared on Instagram by @cpt_ross.




Star Clippers' "Essential St. Kitts Tour" could very well be the Caribbean’s most memorable island tour. It includes Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, Romney Gardens, Caribelle Batik Studio and an interesting drive through Basseterre. Brimstone Hill Fortress is perched on a 40 acre hilltop, 780 ft above sea level. For three hundred years it has borne witness to innumerable sea battles between the British and the French, more than at any other place in the two nation’s naval history. The first cannons were mounted on Brimstone Hill in 1690 as the English and French fought for control of the island. The next 200 years saw the intermittent construction of an amazing work of architectural and engineering genius.



This magnificent structure is the second largest of its type in the entire western hemisphere and one of the best preserved. Its spectacular panoramic views include coastline, country side and five neighbouring islands. The Brimstone Hill Fortress, also known as The Gibraltar of the West Indies, is of world heritage value and is a recommended must-see for all visitors to St. Kitts. No visit to St. Kitts is complete without a visit to Romney Gardens and Caribelle Batik Studios. This 10-acre garden setting is quite simply stunning. It is at this glorious location that local artists produce the fabric and apparel for which Caribelle Batik has become widely acclaimed. The garden setting and picturesque experience is a photographer’s dream and will be remembered by visitors for years to come. You will also get to drive through beautiful Basseterre. This historic Capital City is a perfect example of an original Caribbean town. Observe the traditional French architecture and Victorian structures. Old churches, West Indian cottages and a former slave market are also included in this interesting driving tour of Basseterre.



Visit St. Kitts on Royal Clipper's Windward Islands and Star Clipper's Treasure Islands itineraries!



Have you sailed to St. Kitts? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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Words of Wisdom

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Video: Star Clipper Sailing the Leeward Islands

It's Throwback Thursday! While our ships aren't in the Caribbean this time of year, any time is the perfect time to hop onboard Star Clipper and sail through the Leeward Islands. Thanks to guests Helen and Albert Heinel for this wonderful video.






What's your takeaway from the video, the color of the water, the size of the sails or the wildlife at port? Let us know 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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Smaller Ships can Stop Twice A Day

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.





Taking advantage of the ship’s small size, Royal Clipper often makes two port calls in one day. Visiting St Kitts, for example, we first stopped at Basseterre for a couple hours then went on to a different location for a day at the beach. It’s all a part of the Star Clippers cruise line experience that draws attention to the flexibility of their itineraries.



Stopping first at one port early in the morning, passengers on shore excursions get off the ship and get deep into the destination. On a standard ocean cruise experience, time getting to and from points of interest chew up a lot of the day. Repositioning the ship, often on the other side of any given island, allows more immersion into the destination. This is where Royal Clipper passengers who might want to shop, get cash or just do some people watching. If there is a crowd, this is where we see it.









Interestingly, in St Kitts, taxi drivers and tour operators pitched their services as we had seen when visiting before. But for the most part, once they found that we would be there a brief time, we were left alone…with one exception. One aggressive cab driver started a rumor that our ship would be staying in port a bit longer, allowing more time to employ his services. We quickly found out that the scam here was to lead us into believing that, taking them up on a short tour then, when the ship sails away without us needing their services to get to the next stop, for an additional fee. Pretty clever really.



The second port of call in the day is the longer of the two and happens at a beachfront location. Running continuous tender operations all day, those coming off an excursion can spend time at the beach or go back to the ship upon completion of their tour. On our Windward Islands itinerary, that meant a day at a variety of beaches throughout the Caribbean and many passengers took full advantage of the opportunities.






Interestingly, the only big ship we encountered was Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, there for the day in St Kitts. Later, after repositioning, we could still see Independence in the distance but were at a nearly-private beach with few other travelers around. That’s also a key ingredient in the Star Clippers experience; few other travelers vying for a destination’s resources and few lines to stand in makes for more quality time off-ship.



Back at the ship with sails, a cocktail hour from five to six in the afternoon became more popular as the itinerary continue, a way for passengers to reunite and discuss what they had done during the day. Normally. On our day in St Kitts, the off-ship events ended with what Star Clippers calls a Photo Tender. This is where those passengers interested board tenders and head out to sea, followed by Royal Clipper under full sail. It’s something we can’t see while on the ship and allows some wonderful photo opportunities of our magnificent ship.



That’s next.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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Postcard from St. Kitts

Sophie was vacationing in St. Kitts when she caught sight of Star Clipper sailing off into the sunset.

What a fabulous shot! Thanks for sharing, Sophie.






St. Kitts, known for it's white sand beaches, warm waters and lush landscapes is a prime example of the beauty of the Caribbean. On Treasure Island itineraries Star Clipper calls at Basseterre, St. Kitts and guests enjoy the beach South Friar's bay, a gorgeous spot for snorkeling and sunbathing.



After St. Kitts it was off to Iles des Saintes for Star Clipper, another Caribbean jem.



Have you captured a Star Clippers sail-away? Send your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share the sight!
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Color Versus Black & White

Travel writer and photojournalist Doug Bardwell submitted this beautiful photo of Royal Clipper in St.Kitts taken during his recent Caribbean cruise. It's interesting to see the contrast between the color image and black and white. Thanks, Doug!




Royal Clipper off the coast of St. Kitts in the Caribbean.





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