We've Arrived!

[caption id="attachment_16214" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Star Flyer transits the Panama Canal.




Star Clippers' Caribbean season has begun!



After two weeks at sea Star Flyer arrived yesterday at Bridgetown, Barbados, and is now en route to the Panama Canal with some amazing calls along the way including Kralendjik, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curacao and Oranjestad, Aruba.







Star Clipper and Royal Clipper will arrive in the Caribbean soon, and the fleet will spend the coming months sailing from island to island enjoying beach barbecues, pirate parties and warm, crystal waters.



Will you be joining us in the Caribbean this season? Let us know in the comments!
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And We're Off!




And we're off!



Star Flyer begins a transatlantic adventure today and is set to arrive at Bridgetown, Barbados, Nov. 9, 2014.







The very same day that Star Flyer arrives at Bridgetown Star Clipper will begin the ocean crossing journey, landing, and Royal Clipper will follow a few days later. Both Star Clipper and Royal Clipper are scheduled to arrive at their Caribbean destinations Nov. 22, 2014.



Have you ever sailed across the ocean?

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Crossing the Ocean

[caption id="attachment_16020" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by guest Jan Gronbech.




Have you ever dreamed of getting away and chasing the sunset on a Star Clipper ship?



Ocean Crossings are an incredible opportunity to hang back and relax for an extended period of time. Sailings range from 9 to 22 days.



There is still space available on Star Clipper and Star Flyer's 2014 ocean crossing sailings.



Star Flyer will depart Malaga, Spain, Oct. 18, 2014. From there the ship calls at Tangier, Morocco; Cadiz, Spain; Funchal, Portugal; Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain; Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; and then head west, ultimately arriving at Bridgetown, Barbados, Nov. 9, 2014.



Star Clipper follows a similar route, departing Malaga, Spain, Nov. 1, 2014, with calls at Tangier, Casablanca and Safi, Morocco; and Arrecife and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. From there Star Clipper sails west across the Atlantic until reaching Philipsburg, St. Maarten.



Have you joined Star Clippers on an ocean crossing cruise? Let us know what you thought in the comments!
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Flying High at Ibiza




Here's a great shot of Star Flyer at Ibiza by Helen Heinel-Szesch.



Ibiza is known as a beautiful beach town by day and party place by night. The island also has a rich history and beautiful architecture, including medieval walled city and its Gothic cathedral became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.







Check out Ibiza and the rest of the Balearic Islands on Star Flyer's 2015 itineraries!



Have you sailed to the Balearic Islands? Let us know what you thought about the destination below!

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Cruise Diary: Under the Volcano; Fun Erupts on Star Flyer Cruise to Nicaragua

Kevin Wierzbicki of antimusic.com shares his experience visiting Nicaragua on Star Flyer in today's cruise diary. To Kevin's original article click here.


[caption id="attachment_15953" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Clockwise from left: A Nicaraguan folk dancer performs aboard Star Flyer; The ship under full sail; and a welcoming band.




It's not very often that you get a chance to stand almost right on the edge of an active volcano as steam rising from deep inside the caldera swirls around you. Amazingly that's something you can safely enjoy when you take a cruise to Nicaragua on the Star Flyer, one of three wind-powered tall ships operated by Star Clippers Cruises. There's no denying that a sea cruise of any type is an exciting adventure, but Star Clippers specializes in unique opportunities, both on board and ashore.



Star Flyer is a small cruise ship (some call her a mega yacht) that navigates its course serenely and silently when her sails are up, which is most of the time; the ship rarely uses engines except for docking maneuvers. Part of the fun of being aboard a sailboat of this type is watching the crew manipulate the sails or actually helping with that chore, and for the truly adventurous there's a chance to climb up into the rigging to a "crow's nest" to get a view of the ship that most will never see. While these are things that make Star Flyer very different from most ships, some things are the same, like the availability of fine food and drink and a wide variety of on board activities. But because Star Flyer is so small compared to giant cruise ships she can sail into shallow-water ports where the big ships can't go. And that brings us to our volcano!



[caption id="attachment_15956" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Masaya Volcano




Star Clippers Cruises take place all over the world and one popular itinerary is Star Flyer's excursion along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The port of call in Nicaragua is San Juan del Sur, and here upon disembarking passengers are serenaded by a band playing traditional Nicaraguan folk music before boarding a coach and heading for the Masaya Volcano, about 1 ½ hours away. The route is a largely rural one, passing through humble villages and skirting massive sugar cane fields and offering glimpses of Lake Nicaragua, at the northern end of which lies the volcano. The facility at the Masaya Volcano includes a nice visitor's center with a mini museum focusing on how the volcano has affected the area's indigenous peoples over the millennia; yes there was a time when virgins were sacrificed here! Then at the volcano itself you can walk right up to the rim of the crater where a safety wall, not high enough to block your view, keeps you from getting too close to the edge. Since the volcano is active there is steam rising constantly along with the distinct odor of sulfur. If the sulfur is really bad the park rangers will limit the amount of time you can spend here but generally that doesn't happen (neither do eruptions, but you'll be briefed on an emergency plan just in case.) So there's ample time to get photos and if you choose to hike the stairway up the adjacent hill you can get some magnificent shots.



[caption id="attachment_15958" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Clockwise from top left: Stone sculpture in Granada; a traditional Nicaraguan lunch; a refreshing brew and the craft mart.




After leaving the volcano the tour continues in the city of Masaya at the large Masaya Market where vendors offer everything from hand woven hammocks to Cuban cigars (smoke 'em before coming back to the States) to local delicacies like Nicaraguan honey. The vendors here are not aggressive and are open to bargaining, within reason. And there's not a lot of touristy-type stuff at Masaya Market; if you want a trinket you can find it here but Masaya is known as a village of artisans and all the handmade items on offer are of obvious quality and make for a good souvenir of your visit.



Next stop is in the scenic colonial city of Granada. Here tour participants get a real taste of Nicaragua with a plate lunch featuring beef, shredded chicken, beans and rice and plantains both baked and fried, all washed down with an ice cold Victoria beer if you choose. The meal is a warm up for something quite spectacular you'll see afterwards: a large gallery of ancient stone sculptures that came from an island in Lake Nicaragua.



There's a real mystery surrounding the sculptures; nobody knows who made them and to top it off, the type of stone they're made from doesn't occur naturally on the island on which they were found! While in Granada there's also a chance to visit some of the photogenic buildings that date back to colonial days (oh, and there's a volcano lurking in the distance!)



All in all the Masaya Volcano shore excursion lasts about eight hours. Back aboard Star Flyer, with the sun setting on San Juan del Sur, you might think it's time to say goodbye to Nicaragua. But not yet! As a special treat the ship presents a Nicaraguan folklorico show where young men and women in traditional clothing demonstrate a variety of folk dances. Shortly thereafter the sails go up and Star Flyer is off seeking the next adventure.



Star Flyer's itineraries vary from season to season. One thing is for certain, they are always exciting! Have you sailed an interesting itinerary on Star Clippers? Share your experience with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you might be featured on social media.
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Facebook Fans Reflect: What Makes Star Clippers Special

If you've sailed with Star Clippers before chances are you quickly realized that this is a cruise line that's far from ordinary. Maybe that's the exact reason you found yourself booking a sailing with us. Whatever the case, fans recently shared the qualities that make a Star Clippers vacation truly unique.


[caption id="attachment_15913" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Maria Nygren: Sailing alongside a sister ship, I would say. Although Oscar Nygren, above, probably agrees that climbing the mast is an outstanding experience!




Gaby Hracek: Transatlantic Crossing: the endless ocean, the great cuisine, the stars at night, yoga on deck, lying in the bowsprit, the friendly staff.



Jackie Reay: The wonderful Crew!







Carol Denton Hintermeier: Lunch on the beach!



[caption id="attachment_15914" align="aligncenter" width="550"] David Daniels: The view from the Widow's net!




Pamela Lee: Playing Vangelis 1492 when the sails are raised.



Janet Rusin: Talent show night!



[caption id="attachment_15916" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Scott Schnabel: Star Clippers is the most unique sailing experience ever.




Linda Kirchner Griffin: Evenings enjoyed at the Bar....



Magdalene Leicester: The whole experience, roll on February!



James Treadway‎: Star Clipper, Treasure Islands, March 2014, a life changing experience for us. When we got home we booked passage on Royal Clipper for the Grenadines, followed by a transatlantic passage on Royal Clipper too.



---



These are just a few of the comments left by Star Clippers' past, present and future guests!



Let us know what you think makes Star Clippers special in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook!
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Words of Wisdom

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Star Clippers Spotted!

Social media can really make the world feel smaller! These guests spotted Star Clippers in the Med and shared their fave photos on Instagram. Keep an eye out for Star Clippers when you're at a popular port!



[caption id="attachment_15855" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper spotted at Piran, Slovenia, Aug. 20, 2014. Photo shared on instagram by @banepfc.




[caption id="attachment_15858" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Star Flyer spotted in the Balearic Islands. Photo shared on instagram by @mapicc.




[caption id="attachment_15857" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Star Clipper spotted at the Port of Monaco. Photo shared on instagram by ttomonaco.




Have you spotted Star Clippers at sea or at port? Send your favorite photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured on social media.
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Travel Channel Names Royal Clipper "Best Caribbean Cruise"

The Travel Channel has named a cruise on Royal Clipper the best in the Caribbean!


[caption id="attachment_15760" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper sailing by the pitons of St. Lucia.




The Travel Channel just published their list of Travel's Best Cruises 2014 and Star Clippers took the cake for Best Caribbean Cruise!



The article cited Star Clippers sophisticated travelers, fine wine, fabulous destinations and laid back beach barbecues among the reasons that a cruise on Royal Clipper topped all others:



Best Caribbean Cruise, Star Clippers, Royal Clipper
You'll find a very different tropical seagoing experience aboard Star Clippers' 227-passenger Royal Clipper, the world's largest and only 5-mast, full-rigged sailing ship.



The elegant tall ship frequents small exclusive ports like Bequia, Tobago Cays and Iles des Saintes. “Attracting sophisticated travelers (roughly half are European), Royal Clipper offers open-seating, dining on sumptuous fare and fine wine. After dinner, guests gather around the grand piano or on deck to watch the enormous sails unfurl in the wind,” adds Anne Campbell. Don’t miss the beach-side barbecue on a deserted beach.



[caption id="attachment_15763" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary.




Royal Clipper -- along with 4-masted sister ships Star Clipper and Star Flyer -- will return to the Caribbean Nov. 2014 where the ship will resume the popular Windward Islands and Grenadine Islands itineraries. The Windward Islands itinerary departs Bridgetown, Barbados and calls include Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Cabrits & Roseau, Dominica; Falmouth Harbour, Antigua; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Terre de Haut, Iles des Saintes; Fort de France, Martinique;



[caption id="attachment_15764" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's Grenadine Islands itinerary.




The Grenadine Islands itinerary also departs Bridgetown, Barbados, but follows an alternate route first calling at the Captain's choice, Grenadines, followed by calls at St. George's, Granada; Tobago Cay, Grenadines; St. Vincent, St. Vincent and Bequia; Fort de France, Martinique; and Marigot Bay, St. Lucia.



Both itineraries are fabulous and life at sea on a tall ship brings the beauty of sails to these already stunning destinations. To learn more about departure dates as well as Star Clipper's Caribbean itineraries and Star Flyer's Panama Canal Crossing visit the website.






Have you sailed on one of these Royal Clipper itinearies before? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!
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Video: Star Flyer in the Med

Star Clippers guests Albert and Helen Heinel have returned to sail on Star Clippers again and again. In this installment of their video series they managed to capture some fabulous aerials of Star Flyer.






If you enjoyed this video check out some of the Heinel's past videos including a recent Mediterranean trip and a cruise through the Leeward Islands.
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Want to Climb the Mast? Here are Some Tips!

[caption id="attachment_15735" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo shared by @unforgettrips via Twitter.




It takes courage to climb the mast! Star Clippers recently asked on social media if veteran guests had any tips for those looking to climb the mast for the first time. "Don't look down" was the phrase that echoed most others had funny, earnest and reflective things to say.



Read on for the top tips from experienced climbers!



____________________________________________________________________



James Graham Chapman: III Don't miss a step...



Roger McGowan: Keep your backside out a bit from the shrouds , relax, 3 points of contact at all times. Enjoy it, the best view in the world.



Gina Dagnone Restivo Garver: Make sure your sd card is in your camera lol!



(It sounds like she knows from experience!)


Jeff Lee: Relish the moment. It's so invigorating.



Paula Galland: Wear firm soled tennis shoes.



[caption id="attachment_15738" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photos shared by courageous guests Richard A. Auchter, Howard Winn and Ga Bi.




Trudie Grant-Jones: Got to do it..just to say you can! Wear flat shoes and a pirate scarf to kèep your hair out of your eyes and go! My legs were like jelly but well worth it. It is actually harder than it looks!



George Sivell: Listen to what the sports team or deck hands tell you before you set off.



Judy Donina Wolfe: Have someone take stills and video of you. Sign-up as early as it is announced.



Howard Winn: Health & Safety rules, everyone wears a harness and is belayed from the deck!!



Annise Mock: Don't give up. It's worth the climb. One of my most unforgettable experiences.



Have you climbed the mast? Share your tips and experience in the comments below!
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Refits Revitalize Décor on Star Flyer and Star Clipper




As part of its ongoing program to keep the tall ships of Star Clippers looking fresh, Star Flyer and Star Clipper recently underwent refurbishments that revitalized the décor and furnishings in all cabins.



All bed linens have been replaced, and new bed covers and throw pillows introduce deep tones of gold and navy to the cabins. The rich, yachtlike woodwork has been brightly polished throughout cabins and en-suite bathrooms.



[caption id="attachment_15705" align="aligncenter" width="550"] New flat-screen tvs and linens keep the ships looking fresh.




New LED bedside reading lights designed to not disturb a sleeping cabin mate, and Category One cabins also received new side lamps have been installed for guests to read in bed without disturbing their cabin-mates. New flat-screen TVs in all cabins except Category Six provide a more vivid viewing experience.



In addition to the cabin décor enhancements, during the transatlantic crossing at the start of the Mediterranean season Star Clipper had a complete facelift, with all cabins and public areas receiving a fresh coat of paint and varnish, as well as new upholstery in the dining room.



[caption id="attachment_15704" align="aligncenter" width="550"] New upholstery and carpeting in Star Clipper's dining room.




The revitalizations are part of Star Clippers' rolling refurbishment program -- Royal Clipper received the same treatment and more in 2013, with new carpeting throughout and all bathrooms rejuvenated, while the public areas on Star Flyer were refurbished in 2012.



The shipboard décor has a nautical theme throughout, with polished wood, brass, wall-mounted prints and original paintings of the world's most famous classic sailing vessels.



What do you think of Star Clipper's facelift? Let us know in the comments below!
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Star Clippers Nominated for Best Niche Cruise Line




We are pleased to announce that Star Clippers has been nominated for the 2014 Virtuoso Award for "Best Niche Cruise Line." The award winners will be announced at evening events during Virtuoso Travel Week, August 9-15, 2014. Virtuoso is a luxury travel network that includes more than 340 agencies with 8,900 elite Advisors in 20 countries throughout North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand.



We look forward to the results in August.



Is Star Clippers your favorite niche cruise line? Let us know why in the comments below!
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Jazz and a Journey

Jochem Laabs is a jazz aficionado and former advertising and PR pro who recently sailed on Star Flyer. He sailing was from Cannes with calls at St. Tropez, France; Calvi, Corsica; Rapallo, Italy; and Monte Carol, Monaco. He is also an avid sailor and was kind enough to put together this video to share the experience of a Star Clippers cruise.






To visit Jochem's YouTube page for more travel and jazz videos click here.
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Video: Star Flyer Sails Southern France & Italy

Want to sail from the glamour of Cannes to the rugged cliffs of Corsica and the old-world charm of Monaco? Hop aboard Star Flyer and cruise around the Med with Helen & Albert Heinel, the creators of this lovely video:





This fabulous itinerary kicked off at the Cannes International Film Festival, May 17, 2014, and returned to the port the following Saturday, May 24, 2014. Along the way Star Flyer called at Calvi, Corsica; Portoferraio, Italy; Lerici, Italy; Monaco and St. Tropez, France.
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A Michelin Star Chef and Star Clipper in the Med

Star Flyer was pleased to welcome Michelin Star chef David Mottl onboard for the May 17 sailing that called at such fabulous ports as Calvi, Corsica; Portoferraio, Italy; and St. Tropez, France.






Mottl earned the coveted Michelin Star at Marco Polo in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, where he is chef de cuisine.



"Along with the modern yet elegant decor and the friendly service, it is above all the fine aromatic cuisine of Lower Franconia-born chef David Mottl that stands out at Marco Polo. His menu combines many North German as well as international influences and he sets great store by the quality of the produce he uses." - Michelin Inspector







Onboard Star Flyer Mottle prepared such savory treats as Grilled Salmon Fillet over asparagus with hollandaise and micro-chives, Roasted Pork Medallions with jus, mushrooms and yellow rice; and Cornish Hen, flayed and roasted over zucchini.



Fine dining at sea? Yes please!






What dish would you like to see served on your next Star Clippers cruise? Let us know in the comments below!
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Captain Balanck on a Successful Crossing

If you've been following along with the blog you may have read about a group of sailing students from Belgium who joined Star Flyer to sail across the Atlantic. Their journey began in Bridgetown, Barbados, and ended two weeks later at Lisbon, Portugal. Along the way they learned a great deal about sailing on the tallest ship in the world. Captain Paul Balanck shared this letter about their experience.





The purpose of the journey was to organize a crossing for interested yachtmen where they could follow preparation courses for the exams of Yachtsmen or Yachtnavigator. At the end the possibility was given to take part in the exams on board.



It was a hell of a job but we succeeded and with a big smile! The 28th April everybody left the vessel with a satisfied impression.



Studying on a rolling sailing vessel is not the same as in a classroom ashore. Thanks to the excellent food & beverage and ship crew the studying went well.



The "slave driving" instructors pushed the enthusiastic candidates forward. Almost everybody succeeded in their exams for Yachtman or Yachtnavigater. Fighting with variation, deviation, current and tides, sun and star sextant positioning, GMDSS, sea survival, rules etc.

The ship crew participated as well with great interest.



In other words, it was an excellent combination between studying and cruising.



As a result, Cruise Travel Antwerp informed us already about a waiting list of new candidates for next year.



In the meantime all the instructors wish the succeeded yachtmen safe and lovely trips over the seas.



Signed on behalf of the Belgian instructors and participators,



Capt. Paul Balanck, Antwerp



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Itinerary Spotlight: Star Flyer Calls at 2014 Formula One Grand Prix

[caption id="attachment_15316" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Monaco photo courtesy of Monaco Press Centre Photos.




Star Flyer is always sailing exciting itineraries and these next two weeks are no exception! The May, 17, and May, 24, sailings feature some of the most alluring and elegant destinations in the Mediterranean culminating with calls at the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco.



Saturday, May 17, 2014, the ship departed Cannes, France, while the International Cannes Film Festival was taking place. Guests enjoyed the city before taking off around 10 p.m. to see the glittering lights of Cannes under sail with the inspiring boom of "Conquest of Paradise" by Vangelis.





[caption id="attachment_15306" align="alignright" width="225"] Courtesy of Monaco Press Centre Photos.




The week begins with calls in the picturesque southern coasts of France and Italy, including Calvi and Bonifacio, Corsica; Elba, Italy, and Lerici, Italy where guests can explore Florence or Pisa.



On Thursday Star Flyer will reach what many consider the highlight of the trip, a day at Monte Carlo, Monaco, for the Grand Prix Trials. Imagine the excitement of catching this world famous event live! The fastest Formula One racers in the world speed around hairpin bends in the gorgeous coastal city at one of Europe's most prized social events.



This will be the longest call of the trip -- from 7 am to midnight -- allowing guests ample time to enjoy the races or try their luck at the world famous Grand Casino.



Upon leaving Monaco Star Flyer will call at the renowned St. Tropez before returning to Cannes for the start of another exciting itinerary.



This time the ship will sail around Corsica with calls including St. Florent, Figari Beach and Porto before arriving at the Formula One Grand Prix Finals! We're looking forward to hearing the results.



Do you love exciting events like this when you travel? Star Flyer will be party to the 2014 International St. Voiles de St. Tropez, Sept. 2014. The world-famous yacht regatta is a sight to see! For more information on this itinerary click here.





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Words of Wisdom Wednesday




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