Under Sail on Star Clipper

The following is an excerpt from Betsa Marsh's feature in The Miami Herald. For the full story click here!


[caption id="attachment_16495" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The Star Clipper at anchor off Virgin Gorda. Photo by Betsa Marsh.




Under Caribbean stars, cruising seems stripped to its essentials. The ship, her masts and, finally, those clouds of sail unfurling in slow motion, gleaming white in warm, inky night.



Then, a faint chord seems to rise like fog from the deck into the salt air, and passengers turn toward the sound. The chorus builds as the main staysail and flying jib fill with Leeward breeze. The voices swell in Vangelis’ Conquest of Paradise as the Star Clipper cuts her way through ultramarine waves.







Sail Away is 10 p.m. embarkation day, lifting anchor in St. Maarten and heading for Anguilla. Passengers are up on the Sun Deck as the crew turns winches, coils ropes and hoists sails, all to that rich chorus. It’s an elegant, stately show because the Star Clipper, with 16 sails, ties with her sister ship, Star Flyer, as one of the tallest Tall Ships in the world.



[caption id="attachment_16500" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photos by Betsa Marsh. Clockwise from left: Ten-year-old Celia Klein of Strasbourg, France, has captured the Star Clipper spirit, here at Prickly Pear Beach, Virgin Gorda. The Star Clipper lies at anchor behind her; Capt. Peter Kaaling at the helm in the Sir Francis Drake Channel; Kayakers head out from an Anguillan beach; Beachcombing on Jost von Dyke.




The soundtrack to Vangelis’ 1492 crescendos with each rise of the sails during this voyage through the Leeward Islands and French Antilles. Every time, there are moments that feel like stepping inside someone’s fantasy. In this case, Mikael Krafft’s, the Swede who so loved clipper ships as a boy that he vowed to return the bygone beauties to the world’s oceans.



Krafft’s three grand clippers are the fulfillment of his vow: Star Flyer, Star Clipper and the massive Royal Clipper. They sail from Greece to Grenada, from Morocco to Martinique. They cross the Atlantic in 14 days.

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Sailing and Star Gazing on Star Clipper

As Star Clippers guest Hilary Casey prepares for an upcoming voyage she reflects with fondness on the people and ports that make the trip so special.





My husband and I have many friends who cruise very regularly, upwards of 3 or 4 per year and without exception they always told us 'we would simply adore cruising'!



We were determined that there must be something in the way of cruising for us as we love the sea and had dinghy sailed for many years.



Research indicated that Star Clippers might be for us and we duly booked our first trip to and from St. Maarten aboard Star Clipper and can honestly say that there was not a single thing that we would have changed.





The cabin, although small was very well furnished and extremely comfortable. The crew, from the Captain downwards were simply delightful and through my time laying on a lounger even on the middle of the night while under sail simply star watching I made many friends amongst the crew with whom I am still in touch.



[caption id="attachment_16035" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Star Clipper's dining room.




The food was excellent and although we don't eat lunch or the late night snacks, breakfast and dinner was first class with a wonderful choice on the menu and reasonably priced wines.



The ports of call on the Leeward Islands cruise were excellent. St Barts was probably our favourite but they were all superb.



We stayed at Grand Case Beach Club for a week before our cruise and for 5 days afterwards so just under 3 weeks in all and felt that was a good decision for us.



We decided very early on that we would do this again but wanted more actual sailing time and tried to book an Eastward bound transatlantic crossing last year only to be informed that the Star Clipper was going to undergo a refit whilst crossing so was not taking passengers much to our regret.



However we decided upon a trip again on Star Clipper this October from Athens on the 11th and after the cruise we are staying on in Athens for a few days so had our return flight delayed.



We have also already booked and paid the deposit for a a Westbound transatlantic crossing from Malaga to St Maarten at the end of October 2015.



I am sure Star Flyer is also as good as Star Clipper but we feel that we want to go back in the hope that many of the crew will be the same.



This year has been a busy one for us as we celebrated our Golden Wedding at the end of July with a long weekend of many events culminating in a large dinner and dance and as I am writing this we are still in France, returning to the UK on October 5th just a week before flying to Athens.



We would book more but have a beautiful home in South West France and also spend several months there a year.



Family and friends asked what we were going to do in our retirement?? For the foreseeable future having superb holidays aboard Star Clipper features large.
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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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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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Rockin' the Ship: Kevin in St. Maarten, Nevis & Dominica

Kevin Wierzbicki writes for antiMusic.com, 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 an excerpt from Part 1 of his 3-part review!






Star Clipper is a tall ship, a multi-masted clipper that sails under the power of the wind; also often referred to as a mega-yacht, she's big enough to hold 85 cabins (and a whole lot of fun!) Nearly the complete opposite of the cruising experience you get aboard the huge liners, there's no jostling for a place in the buffet line aboard Star Clipper, no one hustling to sell you art or jewelry, and no juddering of massive engines to shake you awake at night. Star Clipper does have engines but she rarely uses them; generally they're only employed when leaving a pier. Otherwise it's all peace and quiet with just the gentle flapping of sails to serenade passengers.



And speaking of sails, passengers can also learn a little bit about how they work; there are plenty of hands-on opportunities to help with the rigging. The authentic sailing adventure is a big part of a voyage aboard Star Clipper but her small size also allows her to go places that the big ships can't, like Iles de Saintes, a rarely-visited territory of Guadeloupe. One of the ship's most popular Caribbean itineraries begins in St. Maarten and includes calls in Nevis, Dominica, Antigua, St. Barts and the aforementioned Iles de Saintes and Guadeloupe.



[caption id="attachment_14008" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Star Clippers Tender Ships




Embarkation is in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on the Dutch side of the island that also has a French side known as St. Martin. The ride from the airport to where Star Clipper is moored is a fun one; the ship arranges for a shuttle to bring you to the pier and the route goes through the heart of Philipsburg where you'll see the bustling little city at work and play. After you leave the downtown area you'll get a magnificent view of the harbor and the warm Caribbean beyond, a sort of preview of what's in store in the coming days. Tours of the entire island can be arranged on board for the day the cruise ends should you have an outgoing flight that allows you the time, but tonight is for getting to know the Star Clipper. On most cruise ships you'd be lucky to even meet the cruise director but on Star Clipper you'll meet the entire crew, including the Captain, in your first couple of hours on board. Being able to put a name to the faces is a nice thing; after all you'll be seeing these folks a lot! On the first day of this particular itinerary Star Clipper doesn't sail until shortly before dinner time so passengers have plenty of time to chat each other up while sipping cocktails, enjoying the sunset and just generally getting to know their way around. This is also the best time to visit the ship's library where sign-ups for the week's shore excursions (organized tours) are handled. The most exciting part of the evening comes when the ship's sound system plays a dramatic instrumental by Greek composer Vangelis. When the music is heard the crew is hoisting the sails and Star Clipper is leaving port, bound for untold adventure in some distant land. In this case, the enchanting island of Nevis.






As is the case in many of the ports Star Clipper visits, her tender boats are used to get passengers ashore in Charlestown, Nevis (pronounced nee-vis.) Some passengers choose to just hang out in Charlestown but most want to see a bit more of the island and one of the most popular shore excursions is the "Flavors of Nevis" tour. The Flavors tour visits several historic properties that were once sugar plantations where you'll see things like the remains of a 300-year-old windmill, cozy inns housed in restored 18th-century buildings and even the place at Montpelier Plantation where the renowned British flag officer Lord Nelson of the Royal Navy famously married Fanny Nisbet.






Just kicking it in the port city of Cabrits is not too shabby either; here the mountains meet the sea majestically, making the harbor area a perfect spot for daydreaming and watching sailboats come and go. Sometimes Star Clipper even crosses paths with her big sister Royal Clipper here; watching her sail off into the horizon is nothing short of spectacular. But then again, that's an adjective that applies to just about everything on this week-long adventure.






Stay tuned for Part 2 of Kevin's Star Clippers Adventure!



To read this story in it's entirety click here.
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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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