Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Video: Clippers in the Caribbean

Whether you've sailed with Star Clippers before and are nostalgic for the experience or have not and want to see what life at sea is all about, check out this beautiful video of Royal Clipper and Star Clipper sailing alongside one another in the Caribbean.






The video was taken off the coast of Dominica and features shots taken by air and onboard.



Does this video leave you feeling inspired? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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The Yacht Club Sails On

The Southwestern Yacht Club from San Diego, Calif., recently came together as a group and sailed on Royal Clipper in the Caribbean. A special thanks to guests Nancy and Ed who took the time to share their experiences and photos. Here the yacht club and other guests onboard Royal Clipper wave to Star Clipper as they meet at Dominica.










"We were along the coast of Dominica and our "sister ship" the Star Clipper was at sea next to us. The tenders went down and guests boarded for an incredible photo op. I have to say, this company is truly superior and the personnel the best we have ever encountered."

-Nancy









Have you had a great experience with the crew like Nancy has? Send your photos and stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you may end up in a future post!
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Star Clippers: By the Numbers

Today is March 13, 2014, or 3.14, also known as Pi Day! It also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday. So in honor of the never-ending mathematical constant that we all remember from geometry and the genius physicist here we'll break down the Star Clippers fleet by the numbers.






Royal Clipper:


Tonnage:5,000
Length:439 feet

Beam:54 feet

Draft:18.5 feet

Sail Area:56,000 Square feet

Mast Height:197 feet

Total Staff:106

Passenger Capacity:227

Masts:5 Masts, 42 Sails










Star Clipper & Star Flyer:






Tonnage:2,298
Length:360 feet

Beam:50 feet

Draft: 18.5 feet

Sail Area:36,000 Square feet

Mast Height:226 feet

Total Staff:72

Passenger Capacity:170

Masts:4 Masts, 16 Sails



While our ships are tall (the tallest in the world, in fact) they are small in size compared to the industry average. What do you see as the advantages of sailing the small-tall ships? Let us know in the comments below!
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A Magical Moment in Dominica

German guests Günter Bielz and Doris Boley-Bilez were sailing on Star Clipper's Leeward Islands itinerary when they had the opportunity to sail alongside Royal Clipper. They were so kind to share their experience, and we look forward to welcoming them aboard once again in July.


"We are some really hopeless Star Clippers fans. To meet the Royal Clipper the 3rd of February 2014 to sail together to Cabrits, Dominica, was one of the best things we've ever got to do - a real magical moment! Many thanks to all in the crew for always doing a perfect job - see you in July!!"









For more fabulous pictures of Regal Royal Clipper visit Star Clippers on Pinterest!



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Small Ship Advantages

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.





Sailing Star Clippers, it did not take long to notice that smaller ocean-going ships offer some distinct advantages not possible with larger vessels. Our first port of call on Royal Clipper took us to the lovely island of St Lucia, a tender port as most are on our itinerary. Normally not a big fan of tender ports, there is a huge difference between moving a couple hundred people on our ship with sails and thousands off a larger ship. The process is rather easy. But moving a comparatively miniscule number of passengers is far from the only difference.



Smaller Ships At Smaller Ports
That Star Clipper ships stop at ports rarely visited by large ships is unique. Cruise travelers who have become a bit bored with big ship-capable ports will like the change in scenery. A bonus is that the ports are not overwhelmed by a massive surge in visitors as multiple ships deposit legions of passengers ashore for the day.



In St Lucia’s Rodney Bay, we found a more relaxed scene with less crowded beaches, shops and restaurants. At the end of the pier were tour operators waiting for those on excursions but also local guides willing and able to take us on a leisurely, custom tour. Charles from Charles In Charge tours was happy to talk to me for about a half hour about the island, what it had to offer and what he would charge, even after I told him I was not interested. The difference was that Charles was conveying his love of his island and was happy to talk about it with no sales pitch pressure.






Nemo would love this
Dining is a big part of any cruise travel experience it seems and doing so with Star Clippers is no exception. An early riser continental buffet starts the day, followed by a breakfast and lunch buffet. At breakfast an omelet station prepares made to order creations and lunch brings a pasta station with a variety of choices also.



Royal Clipper has one dining room with porthole views of the ocean that are very much like what the crew members might see on a big ship. Gazing out of the window at lunch on the way to St Lucia we were right at water level. Passing through a wave brought an underwater view that, in the crystal clear Caribbean, is something we just don’t see on other ships.






Able Bodied Seniors With A Passion For Life
Sailing in moderately heavy seas the first night, Royal Clipper was rocking and rolling but cabin stewards are prepared, raising sideboards on bed to keep passengers off the floor. To those who enjoy that motion, it was very much like being rocked to sleep, perhaps as a baby in a cradle. Interestingly, the largely senior passenger mix navigated hallways, stairs and open decks with ease on well-traveled sea legs. Veteran hotel manager Steven Adamson told me that is usually the case as passengers who book Star Clipper ships are comfortable with the elements of ocean travel on a ship with sails.



Indeed, it seems every one of them has a story. Ronald from Maryland built model sailing ships as a boy and later worked for the Smithsonian doing the same. Freda from the UK was looking forward to climbing the mast to get an idea of what her father might have seen as a wiry young man who did the same in the Royal Navy.






The People Element Presents Itself Early In The Voyage
Regular readers here know this is not our first mention of how meeting others along the way can make for a rich travel experience. We have found that on the biggest of big ships too. Many of our friends were met on a big cruise ship. Still, it seems that the smaller the ship is, the more apt we are to meet and engage other passengers. We found that on Azamara Club Cruises smaller Azamara Journey. On Viking River Cruise longships we enjoyed meeting many of the 190 people on board. From the biggest to the tiniest ships, each offers a unique cruise vacation experience.



One of the distinct advantages of sailing Royal Clipper is that those on board share a love of the sea unlike we have experienced before.



How interested in ships with sails are the passengers on board? Nearly half of the passenger group were invited to the past guest party after our departure from St Lucia. Held on deck, Captain Tunikov told stories from the sea to the appreciative audience, most of whom had sailed with him before.






Frankly, it would be easy to be embarrassed about our entire cruise history in this environment. I can’t help but think of our friend Peter Knego, a maritime history authority who would be right at home on this ship and could probably swap stories with the best of them.



That said, just a couple days into our Windward Islands sailing, we have learned more about ships, made more new friends who have a passion for travel and gained more of a perspective on the cruise industry than on any dozen other sailings. As this experience unfolds, we are clearly in an entirely different world, that of ships with sails and one we hope to share with you, every step of the way.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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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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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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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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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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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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BJ's Travels: Part 3, Dolphins, the Mast & Secluded Beaches

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 112613 (Tuesday) Isla Parida


The boat rocked pretty steadily for most of the night. We awoke to the sound of the waves splashing our porthole. Because we had set our watches back an hour, it was easier to get up. Well, at least for me. I joined some other ladies on the deck for coffee. We watched some little black dolphins running alongside the boat.



Gymnastics class was pretty crowded today. Tony made an appearance just as the class was finishing.



We had a light quick breakfast because I wanted to climb up to the crows nest. It was a bit scary, but I would do it again.







Afterward we climbed out onto the trampoline and watched the dolphins racing under the prow. 

 

When the dolphins tired of racing, we leaned back and enjoyed the breeze. It was very relaxing!



I took a tour of the ship. We looked at each category of cabin and finished in the owners suite. There wasn't a huge difference in the size of the cabins (except for the owner's suite). The biggest difference between the top cabin categories and the lower ones was the bathroom. The separate jacuzzi/shower combo was nice. 



Some of the cabins have fixed double beds and some can be configured as twin beds.  There are a few cabins that can accommodate 3 people.



The lowest cabin category is inside rooms with bunk beds.






One of the cabin categories has a raised bed with storage underneath. The hotel manager said that this one usually rents to honeymooners.



The tour ended in the spacious owner's suite with plentiful seating and an elaborate bathroom.



After the tour, it was time for lunch. Today we had an Italian buffet. We both tried to stick with mostly salad and some grilled veggies, saving our calories for cocktails and dinner.



We watched the crew set the anchor near Isla Parida and then went to the cabin to change into our swim suits and slather on some sunscreen.






The tender took us to the beach for another wet landing. 



We stopped at the restaurant to ask if there were nature trails. The owner, an American, directed us up a path behind the restaurant that led to a hotel that he owns. 



We saw vultures, crabs and banana trees on our walk. It took us about 25 minutes to reach the small hotel. A couple of pit bulls greeted us with their barking, making us a bit nervous, but thankfully they were tied up.






In front of the hotel was a beautiful secluded beach. It was worth the walk.



We hurried back to the restaurant to have a beer before boarding the tender back to the ship.

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Shades of Gray in Costa Rica

Enjoy this black & white snapshot of life at sea courtesy of Star Clippers Facebook fan Susan Pilcher. These shots were taken during Susan's weeklong journey on Star Flyer through Costa Rica. It's nice to see the beautiful photos of our hard-working crew looking out to the horizon and up to the sails. We're grateful for all they do.


















Thanks, Susan!



Follow Star Clippers on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to see beautiful photos of our Tall Ships daily.
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BJ's Travels: Part 2, Snorkeling at Isla Iguana

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 112513 (Monday) Isla Iguana


We wondered, "Is it really only day 3?"



As usual, I awoke early. I found the 24 hour coffee station and enjoyed a cup on the front deck while watching more sails being hosted.



After the talk, we went to the sports deck to check out snorkels and fins. 



While we were standing in line, we noticed several water spouts in the distance. The captain announced that, due to the 'tornados' the crew would take down the sails and start the engines...






We anchored around noon and had lunch before going ashore. Lunch was a buffet of mostly seafood items. There was a carving station with baked salmon. 



We changed into our swimsuits, slathered up with sunscreen, grabbed our snorkel equipment and took a tender to Isla Iguana for our first "wet landing". That means the tender pulled up "near" shore and dropped a ladder into a few feet of water. Who cares? We're going snorkeling anyway!

 

The beach was deserted except for our little group!












We snorkeled until our fingers shriveled up. We saw lots of big parrot fish, a pregnant puffer fish, some clown fish and some tiny purple fish.



After snorkeling, Tony took the next tender back to the boat so he could have his turn in the shower. I did some exploring on the island and found a path that led to a smaller, even more isolated beach on the other side of the island. 



I also followed the path by the sunning iguanas up to the round visitors center with posters about the area.

 

Back on the boat, I found Tony at the bar, let him know I made it back, and then went to shower.



We went to the top deck to watch the sails being raised and the anchor being lifted. There was always some Russian sounding music as we set sail. Tony said it sounded like the soundtrack from Hunt for Red October.

  




We visited with our new friends on the deck and then went downstairs for cocktail hour where we met more new friends.



Next we went to the back of the boat and sat on the stern. We felt a few drops of rain and started inside. We heard the captain say, 'lots of rain coming' and sure enough, we barely made it under cover before the bottom dropped out.



By then it was 7 and time to meet friends for cocktails.



We had dinner with two other couples. By now, Tony had discovered that the wine list had an extra page he hadn't seen the night before with the house wines - much more reasonably priced, and totally drinkable, especially the Chardonnay and the Cabernet.



After dinner, I went to the fashion show and Tony went to the cabin to model his PJs. The fashion show featured some of the young crew members who were quite entertaining.



There would be a time change when we got to Costa Rica so we set our watches back one hour before going to bed.
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Star Clippers Words of Wisdom Wednesday




Jason Mraz is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter.
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