Breathtaking Sunsets at Sea

Who could get tired of pretty photos of Royal Clipper sailing into the sunset? Star Clippers' Facebook fans Tom Hewitt and Alan Tolley recently shared these gorgeous photos of the tall-ship sailing away. These were taken off the coast of Martinique in January. Thanks for sharing, guys!









"Sunset and the Royal Clipper -- beauty at its best!" -Tom Hewitt







For more beautiful photos of "sunsets and sails" check us out on Pinterest!
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Star Clippers Words of Wisdom Wednesday




English novelist Simon Raven said, "Life is short and the world is wide."



Why not see all that you can see?



Star Clippers sail through the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas, visiting ports that are often inaccessible to larger ships. Along the way you can climb the mast to get a particularly unique vantage point of the wide world around you.



For more words of wisdom and sailing inspiration visit Star Clippers' favorite travel quotes board on Pinterest.
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Memories Come Full-Circle for Orlando Chris

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.





We first saw Royal Clipper docked in Barbados a decade ago, then visiting the port off an 8-day Southern Caribbean sailing of Carnival Legend. Walking by the ship with sails that day, I casually admired the vessel but did not really think much about it; only that it would have been of great interest to my father, at one time fascinated by sailing. But then he had a passing fancy with a number of interests and often brought us along for the ride. Funny how things come full circle sometimes.



First it was golf and we joined a country club. Everyone in the family got a set of clubs, took golf lessons and we learned to love a sport. Then it was flying so dad bought an airplane, we all took flying lessons and learned how to soar. Along came sailing and a sailboat owners we became, learning the basics of seamanship and how to survive the elements. As the sails unfurled aboard Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper, on our first night heading out of Barbados, I thought of my dad and how much he would have enjoyed the experience



And an experience it was.












We talk a lot in this space about the current focus of cruise lines on the experiential element of what they do, regardless of the line. Big ocean ships, once the exclusive domain of the masses doing mass things are honing in on allowing us to step out of our comfort zone and into a new experience, no easy undertaking with thousands of souls aboard. Smaller ocean ships come by it naturally, going to places big ships can’t get close to. On the river, it’s an up close and personal experience with iconic destinations we may have only read about or seen in films or on television.



Just one day into our Windward Islands sailing of Royal Clipper and we see yet another totally unique experience ahead of us.



The largest fully rigged ship that the planet has ever seen, Royal Clipper’s numbers speak for themselves. In this world, it’s not how many tons the ship displaces but how many square feet of sail that counts. And count it does.










As Captain Sergey Tunikov ordered Royal Clipper to sea, music that otherwise might have been coined the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean played to a deck full of well-traveled guests. Random conversation was overheard while we waited for that event to happen, but was silenced as the Royal Clipper’s canvas was unfurled one by one, small sails feeding life into larger ones.



Sailing aficionados on board threw around sailing jargon, most of which had a familiar ring to it. As Royal Clipper moved farther and farther away from shore, sailing off into the night, I couldn’t help but think of my father and how much he would have enjoyed this. I was glad I had that sailing experience as a boy, happy that I could share it with Whitney, along with me on this sailing and humbled by what looks to be quite a unique travel experience, right from the start. Dad would have especially liked that thought.



Stay tuned as we go through the ship and onboard experience as well as the various ports of call seen along the way. This is going to be one amazing ride.



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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Adventure & New Experiences on Star Flyer

A special thanks to Sharon Lumley for writing in about her Star Flyer adventure in Costa Rica, and to Walter and Lori Lumley for the fabulous photographs.





Ninety-four passengers boarded the Star Flyer Clipper ship at Port Caldera, Costa Rica to cruise the southern coastline of Costa Rica and a Port of Call to Isla Parida, Panama. After everyone had settled into their cabins it was an all hands on deck call for crew and passengers to set sail. With Captain Yuriy at the bridge, the crew proceeded to raise the sails as the music drifted over the intercom – Vangelis 1492 Conquest of Paradise. Warm Pacific winds billowed her sails as she leaned gracefully. The bow cut sharply thru the dark blue waters, heading south.



Adventure arouses new experiences and develops character. The first day at sea the clipper ship was under sail and the quest began. For the brave at heart there was an opportunity for a challenge by climbing the mast. Like the pirates of olden days the rope ladder went upward to the crow’s nest. Fear of heights would have to be subdued. A youngster of eighty six years went up with the first daring souls, giving others the courage they needed. Passengers could relax in a deck chair with a good book, listen to music, nap or choose to go on excursions to learn the wonders of Costa Rica. Each port of call offered a new escapade. Isla Parida, Panama: A white sandy beach with calm waters for snorkeling, swimming or hiking thru the island rain forest.







Rescue Center and Gardens, Off-Road Canopy Tour, or the National Wildlife Refuge. If those excursions were not of interest then after a dry landing, a short walk into town and talking with the locals surely would. Explanation: A dry landing is when a smaller boat called a tender brings passengers ashore and they disembark at a dock. A wet landing is when there is no dock and they tender as close as they can and you get off in about knee deep water.



Drake Bay: Corcovado National Park or Horseback Riding. Of course if you chose to stay aboard you could cool off in the crystal clear blue water of the ocean and lounge on a blue float (tied to the zodiac of course so that the waves would not sweep you away and leave you stranded at sea).



Quepos: Savegre River Floating, Manuel Antonio National Park, Titi Canopy Tour or Snorkeling Safari.



Isla Tortuga: Music, bar and barbeque provided by the crew for a beach party. Costa Rica is a mecca for nature lovers. There are an abundance of exotic birds, flora of every color, alligators and either spider monkeys to charm you with their sweet smiles or Howler monkeys to entertain you.






FOOD, FUN AND NEW FRIENDS


Eating seems like such a simple pleasure but trying new foods can in itself be an adventure. The Jamaican Chef and his staff spent endless hours in preparation of meals and snacks. Imagine arising early to see the sunrise and the coffee, juices, sweet rolls and croissants are waiting for you. Lunch buffets were seafood, Italian, Caribbean, South American, Oriental and a barbeque prepared on the beach.



Dining was casual-elegant and you were handed a menu with several choices. In the Tropical Bar you could sit on deck, listen to music and choose an exotic cocktail, beer or wine.



Every day there was no shortage of entertainment. The talented Tamas was frequently in concert in the Piano Bar or playing his accordion on deck in the Tropical Bar. Crew and passengers amused us with a fashion show, a talent show and even a couples’ contest to crown “Mr. and Mrs. Star Flyer." By the middle of the week laughter radiated from port to starboard, stern to aft, echoing throughout the ship as different groups of people gravitated to each other either by similarities or differences and new friendships were created that would last a lifetime.



Debarkation at Purto Caldera, Costa Rica, brought an end to a week of adventure, fantastic cuisine, fun and many goodbyes to new friends and acquaintances. As passengers slowly proceeding up the ramp to board the tourist bus with suitcase in tow there was time for one last glance at the grandeur of the Star Flyer. She rolled with each wave as she awaited the time to raise her sails into the wind with another set of exciting passengers on their journey to paradise.






Do you have a Star Clippers adventure that you'd like to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured!
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday




Sure, travel is a metaphor in this quote, but we think the quote is true literally and metaphorically, don't you?
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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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The Quiet Side of the Caribbean

Among the great advantages of sailing with Star Clippers are the off-the-beaten-path destinations. Due to their smaller size and eco-friendly design, our ships are able to pull up to secluded beaches and tender just about anywhere! Here are photos showing Star Clipper approaching a quiet Caribbean beach shared by Wendy Jensen of Star Clippers.











Do you have photos or stories from your Star Clippers adventure that you'd like to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured!
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Cheers to the Crew!

Last summer Linda from Scorby Travel in St. Charles, IL, enjoyed a Star Clippers Ocean Crossing onboard Royal Clipper. We were so pleased to hear her impression of the sailing. Here she gives credit to our fabulous crew.



[caption id="attachment_14368" align="aligncenter" width="550"] A toast on deck. Photo from www.starclippers.com




The staff was amazing. Monya was fantastic and so patient with all of the people who were wanting the seas to be less rough! She does a fabulous job! Paolo was equally fabulous and the purser staff was so gracious and incredibly professional. Captain Sergi was so wonderful, and you can just see that sailing is completely in his blood. Loved the discussions he had about sailing and tall ships.



The entire restaurant staff was so amazing, talented, and accommodating. I loved the meal choices, the lunch buffets, the marvelous compound butters we were given each evening. Dinner was always amazing. The one I must give special recognition to was your pastry chef. His dinner and lunch creations were over the top!!!! Even though I am not a super big desert lover, there was not one day nor one meal where I did not have one of his amazing creations. I must also give the restaurant staff great praise for their ability to serve in the kind of rough conditions where chairs were tilting and glasses were breaking and they kept their professional yet jovial manner the entire time.



[caption id="attachment_14370" align="aligncenter" width="550"] A cocktail demonstration at The Tropical Bar. Photo from www.starclippers.com




Loved the various activities: the carom games with the staff, the trivial pursuit Olympics, the knot tying with the bosin, the King Neptune ceremony, it was all wonderful...



On the last evening, I stood on the bridge (the seas were incredibly rough) and was so teary eyed thinking that this was my last night on what I can only describe as again a life changing experience! I reflected back to the first night when I and about seven other passengers stayed awake until 4am just being at one with the sea and the stars. That last evening and the first time the full sails were put up will be memories that are permanently etched in my memory bank of some of the most incredible moments of my life!
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BJ's Travel's Part 7: BBQ in Tortuga and Farewell

BJ and her husband work in the travel industry and are based out of Georgia. The couple recently sailed on Star Flyer, exploring Panama and Costa Rica. BJ shared her experience on her blog BJ's Travels, and we'll be publishing excerpts from the journey here. Enjoy!





Passenger's Log, Star Flyer Date 113013 (Saturday) Tortuga


We boarded a tender at 10AM for the beach on Tortuga. There were lots of rental chairs set up and a tent with a lot of tables...



We took the kayak out and scoped the area to see if there was a good place to snorkel, but didn't see anything that looked promising. The ships crew set up a great beach BBQ and Tamas the piano player played the accordion while we ate.






After lunch, we headed back to the ship and found a shady spot for an afternoon nap. After our shower, we took turns packing and then played a couple of games of casino in the piano bar.



We had a cocktail party on the back deck followed by dinner with a few of our new friends. The crew paraded through the dining room with flags and sang 'We are the world'.






We exchanged contact information with some of the passengers and then retired to our cabin.



Passenger's Log, Star Flyer Date 120113 (Sunday - Disembarkation Day) Puerta Caldera 


We woke up early so we could finish packing and get breakfast before disembarking. We closed our account on the ship and were the first ones on the tender to shore.






We were pleased to see our driver from Odyssey tours holding a sign with our name. We had a large van all to ourselves!

 

Our driver was quite informative about Costa Rica during the drive. We were off of the boat at 8:15AM and at the airport at 9:30AM... 



...We were happy to be home. Little Lucy, our Chihuahua, was beside herself and even Lola, our aloof cat, seemed glad to see us. Now we start the cruise diet. :(



Conclusion?  We would enthusiastically recommend a sailing trip on Star Clippers.
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Star Clipper: an Inside View

Wendy Jensen, Incentive Sales & National Accounts-Midwest for Star Clippers Americas sailed the Caribbean on Star Clipper Dec. 2013. The journey began at Phillipsburg St. Maarten and called at Road Bay, Anguilla; White Bay, B.V.I; Sopers Hole, Tortola; Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; Basseterre, St. Kitts and Gustavia, St. Barts. Thanks, Wendy, for the photos!


















If you'd like to share any Star Clippers photos or memories email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and you may be featured on the blog. We hope to hear from you!
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday




Star Clippers guests are a special breed. We sail with ships full of movers, shakers and makers who make the world a reality.
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BJ's Travels Part 6: Exploring Quepos

BJ and her husband work in the travel industry and are based out of Georgia. The couple recently sailed on Star Flyer, exploring Panama and Costa Rica. BJ shared her experience on her blog BJ's Travels, and we'll be publishing excerpts from the journey here. Enjoy!





Captain's Log, Star Flyer Date 112913 (Friday) Quepos


After breakfast, we watched the ship anchor off the coast of Quepos. We got on the tender which took us to a dock about a 20-minute walk from town (our first dry landing!). There were folks on the dock handing out tourist info. We walked along the water to town.



The town is not really a tourist destination, although there is a busy bus station and lots of people coming and going. We walked along the outskirts of town. A couple of shops were having Black Friday sales. 

 

We found a neat open air church. It was deserted, so I decided it was okay to explore. I went up the steps to the attic and was startled by Jesus, in the corner.






We walked around some more and found Dos Locos to be inviting so we stopped in for a beverage. Across the street was an appliance store where the appliances were selling like hot cakes!



We had seen an unusual spire over the top of the buildings so we decided to check it out. It was La Luz Del Mundo. It did not appear to be open so we didn't get to peek inside.



Along the way, we saw Quepos' fish market, the car wash, the real estate office and lots of dogs. Everyone was very friendly.









On the way back to the dock, we went through a colorful market.



A tender was waiting for us at the dock. We thought we had missed lunch, but as we passed through the dining room there was still a little food out, so I stopped for a bite. Lunch today was Asian. Tony had sworn off of eating until dinner so he headed for the room.



It was looking like rain so we checked out the movie 'Crossing Over' from the purser's office and that occupied us until cocktail hour.






We had dinner with folks from the first night, as well as three single people. Tamas played the accordion during dinner.
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Crossing the Ocean in Good Company

Last summer Linda from Scorby Travel in St. Charles, Ill., enjoyed a Star Clippers Ocean Crossing onboard Royal Clipper. We were so pleased to hear her impression of the sailing. Here's an excerpt from her correspondence detailing the company of the other passengers.



[caption id="attachment_14364" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo via www.starclippers.com




Let me tell you that the crossing was one of those "life changing" moments...it was simply amazing!!!!!!!!!



The passengers were a good portion from Europe lots of German, French, a few from Spain. I think there were only something like 90 total. We had this fabulous vessel all to ourselves. There were not that many Americans and I remember boarding that first day and thinking "wow I never thought there'd be so few Americans." When I travel I am generally with family, other clients, or friends. So it has been awhile since I was alone. While that is nothing I am the least bit uncomfortable with, it still forced me to engage in more conversations that ended up being so incredibly meaningful and simply amazing. I have made several what I am sure will become lifelong friendships with now friends from Scotland, Germany, and France.



The Company could not have been more fabulous, and even with the language barrier (it forced me to begin to dig up my high school French and minimal Spanish) which was great fun! The people were simply amazing, in so many ways. Their non-pretentious nature, their interesting lives, their previous travels, their former or present occupations. All of these were what made for incredibly interesting conversations and evenings that never ended until 1 or 2am. We had such a great time...



Stay tuned to hear what Linda had to say about the crew.
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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BJ's Travels Part 5, Thanksgiving Day at Drake Bay

BJ and her husband work in the travel industry and are based out of Georgia. The couple recently sailed on Star Flyer, exploring Panama and Costa Rica. BJ shared her experience on her blog BJ's Travels, and we'll be publishing excerpts from the journey here. Enjoy!





Passenger's Log, Star Flyer Date 112813 (Thursday - Thanksgiving) Drake Bay


Thursday started with our usual routine. Exercise with Steffi for me, and then breakfast in the dining room. We had not planned an excursion for the day so we found some lounge chairs in the shade and relaxed while all of the excursion-goers boarded tenders for their tours.



For the first time in several days, we were able to get a phone signal so we spent some time answering emails and wishing our friends back home a happy Thanksgiving.






We thought we would take a tender to Drake Bay to look around a bit, but we got caught up in conversation with some other travel agents and missed the first tender. By then, Steffi and Erik had the water sports equipment in the water so we decided to take a kayak out. We were told to stay within 150 yards of the ship so we didn't get to explore much. We circled the ship a few times looking for dolphin without any luck.



After we watched that bit of entertainment, it was lunchtime. In the afternoon, we found another shady spot to relax with our books. We got our usual afternoon rainstorm which delayed the photo excursion of the Star Flyer with all of her sails up by a half hour.

 

We had an impromptu meeting with the captain, the hotel manager and the activities director for a brief information session at 5, then we showered and got ready for the captains dinner.






Tonight, we had dinner with a passenger who had gone on the horseback riding excursion and loved it. She said one man had fallen off of his horse and landed under the horse! He claimed not to be hurt and finished the ride. The captains dinner offered lobster tail and beef tenderloin along with the option of Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing.






Dessert was flaming baked Alaska!

 

The talent show after dinner was entertaining and got everyone up dancing at the end.
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BJ's Travels: Part 4, Golfito & Osa Wildlife Sanctuary

BJ and her husband work in the travel industry and are based out of Georgia. The couple recently sailed on Star Flyer, exploring Panama and Costa Rica. BJ shared her experience on her blog BJ's Travels, and we'll be publishing excerpts from the journey here. Enjoy!





Passenger's Log, Star Flyer Date 112713 (Wednesday) Golfito


Everything on the schedule was moved up a half hour to accommodate the tours. I was just starting the 7:30AM exercise class when we learned that there was extra space on the rescue center tour.



We hurried to our room to change into our zip-off leg pants and grab some bottles of water. It was a nice ride.




 

We rode for about an hour to the rescue center Fundacion Santuario Silvestre de Osa where we were greeted by Karen the curator and Sweetie the spider monkey (and another wet landing).



Karen gave us the ground rules - don't take flash pictures of the nocturnal animals, don't take anything away from the monkeys, don't try to restrain the monkeys and don't step off of the path lest you should step on a deadly poisonous snake. She told us a little about the rescue center and Sweetie. Sweetie went from person to person showing them where she wanted to be scratched.









We saw several animals, including monkeys, badgers, pecaries, sloths, parrots, kinkajous and some others.



After the tour, Karen gave us an opportunity to have Sweetie sit on our lap for a picture.



When it was time to go, we all piled back into the boat and waited for the driver to start the boat which was being temperamental. He finally got it going and we headed for the Orchid Garden. 

 

Greg, our tour guide, was passionate about plants and told us about all of the examples in the garden. 






Afterward, we met the owner and had a bit of fruit under the shelter.



We had no problem getting the boat started this time, but some of the folks had trouble getting back into the boat. While we waited for everyone to get onboard, waves kept washing over the back of the boat. The other boat raced us back to the ship, pausing nearby to watch a dolphin frolic next to their boat.






We made it back to the ship 20 minutes before the lunch buffet closed. Just after lunch, it rained heavily again, so we grabbed our books and went to the piano bar.



The rain drove Tony in for a nap. When it finally subsided, we went back up on deck to watch the sunset with Joy.



We had a glass of wine in the bar and then changed for dinner. Most of the passengers went to the cocktail party for repeat guests. We met a few folks for drinks at the bar. We had dinner with another couple and two of the singles. Tony had the veal and I had the salmon. I thought the crab cake appetizer was the best of the trip!
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Royal Clipper and Petit Piton of St. Lucia

Gouache artist Matthias Wunsch shared his gorgeous Star Clippers-inspired painting with us.










In April 2011, I did a cruise on Royal Clipper which inspired me to the painting "Royal Clipper and Petit Piton of St. Lucia"...This picture belongs to the series "Monuments of Man and Nature" which is dedicated to great work of architecture and technics as well as to great wonders of nature.



I have displayed it in several places like Berlin, Vienna and the famous "Schloss Montfort" at the Lake of Constance.



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



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Happy New Year!

Wishing all of our guests, past, present and future, a happy and healthy new year!






Do you have any travel resolutions for 2014? Let us know in the comments below!
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Star Clippers Top Posts of 2013

As the year winds down we're taking a look at our Facebook fan-favorite posts from 2013.



So without further adieu, here are our top 10 posts of 2013, and their accompanying messages.







10. Words of Wisdom Wednesday: "Adventure is worthwhile." -Aristotle. Simple and true, don't you agree?



9. Where it's wave over wave, sea over bow, I'm as happy a man as the sea will allow.

There's no other life for a sailor like me, but to sail the salt sea, boys, sail the sea.

There's no other life but to sail the salt sea.



8. It's Throwback Thursday! Did you know that Royal Clipper was inspired by the tall ship Preussen, launched in 1902?



7. It's that time of year when darkness falls way too early! If you miss the sunset, check out Star Clippers Pinterest board "Sunsets and Sails" to lift your spirits!



6. After a long journey across the Atlantic Royal Clipper and Star Clipper arrive in the Caribbean tomorrow! We're looking forward to a season of sand, snorkeling and clear blue seas!






5. Star Clippers Words of Wisdom Wednesday! "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson



4. "Better to know a knot and not need it than need a knot and not know it!" How many nautical knots can you name?



3. “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard



2. "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in it's net of wonder forever." -Jacques Yves Cousteau



And the number one Star Clippers Facebook post of 2013:


1. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." – Mark Twain



Do you think these are the top posts of the year, or is there another that stood out to you? Let us know in the comments!
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