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!
  209 Hits
  0 Comments

Photo Journal: Hiking to Trafalgar Falls at Dominica

Jim Bottoms is a travel consultant based out of Annapolis, Maryland, who recently sailed on Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary. Along the way he took some fabulous photos. In this edition of Jim's photo journal, guests of Royal Clipper hike to Trafalgar falls and enjoy isolated beaches on a call at Dominica.






Look for more fabulous photos after the jump!









  206 Hits
  0 Comments

Underwater Adventures in the Caribbean

[caption id="attachment_15505" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photos by Michi & Daniela.




Water sports are a huge part of the Star Clippers experience. From kayaking to waterskiing guests love to get in touch with the crystal seas of the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Today we plunge into the waters of the Caribbean. Star Clippers are able to access quieter ports which means guests can snorkel in remote regions where the tropical fish outweigh the human population.



These photos are from an underwater adventure in the Caribbean that was captured by German photographers Michi & Daniela as they sailed on Royal Clipper through the Windward Islands.



[caption id="attachment_15509" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Michi & Daniela.




[caption id="attachment_15506" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The Caribbean waters are teeming with life! Photo by Michi & Daniela.




[caption id="attachment_15508" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Michi & Daniela.




[caption id="attachment_15507" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper keeping watch. Photo by Michi & Daniela.




A special thanks to Michi and Daniela for the underwater adventure photos. To visit their website click here.



Do you have photos of snorkeling from a Star Clippers sailing? Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured on social media.
  184 Hits
  0 Comments

Photo Journal: Beach Barbecue at Antigua

Jim Bottoms is a travel consultant based out of Annapolis, Maryland, who recently sailed on Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary. Along the way he took some fabulous photos. For the first of Jim's photo series, here's the ever-popular beach barbecue at Antigua. Stay tuned for more.



[caption id="attachment_15215" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The view doesn't get much better than this!




[caption id="attachment_15206" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Tendering toward shore, guests take in the white sands and turquoise waters of Antigua.




[caption id="attachment_15207" align="aligncenter" width="550"] No need for a dock -- the tender eases gently into shore.




[caption id="attachment_15208" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The beautiful beaches of Antigua.




[caption id="attachment_15210" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The more the merrier!




[caption id="attachment_15212" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The beach barbecue begins!




[caption id="attachment_15211" align="aligncenter" width="550"] It's all about fun, sun, and feast at Antigua.




[caption id="attachment_15213" align="aligncenter" width="550"] A beautiful ship on a beautiful day.




Stay tuned for Jim's next photo diary, "Snorkel & Swim with the Sting Rays."



Do you have a series of photos you'd like to share? Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured!
  224 Hits
  0 Comments

Royal Clipper: Your Questions Answered

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, chriscruises.com.





Sailing on Star Clippers Royal Clipper, we happened upon an entirely different style of travel: sailing. We just thought we knew what cruise travel was all about until we came on board the ship with sails on a trip through the Caribbean’s Windward Islands. Quite frankly, our island-hopping itinerary was much more than we anticipated but followed a tried and true formula that took us away from ‘the real world’, allowing a quality travel experience like no other. Along the way we answered questions from readers with posts specific to common concerns. Today we take a look at other elements of the Star Clippers sailing style; parts not covered in other writings about our amazing adventure.



Motion In The Ocean
One of the big questions that came up along the way is best put by Roger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who asks “So, a ship at sea with sails; lots of movement? Only hearty souls need apply?”



Pretty much, Roger. When we were at sea, you knew it without looking outside to be sure. Commonly recommended to ‘avoid touching hand rails when walking up and down stairs to avoid norovirus’, there was no choice here: hang on for dear life or die trying…at times. On our itinerary the time of concern was leaving and coming back in to Barbados where the seas were the most rough and the most movement was felt. Still, it was kind of fun ‘walking like drunks’ without drinking.



I asked hotel manager Steve Adamson about that, wondering “Do you have a lot of passenger injuries?”. Surprisingly few actually because “passengers know what to expect” when booking a Star Clippers ship. Most have sailing experience or are past guests (more than 50% are) and have handled the motion in the ocean successfully before.



The Nautical Aspect
Riding on a ship with sails that actually propel the vessel is quite a different experience than sailing a big ocean ship. on the first sailaway, grand seagoing music was played while the sails were set for us to journey off into the night. After our first sailaway, Rob R from Kansas City asked “I wonder if they do that every time they set the sails. If so, it might get old fast”. It didn’t get old, it got better.



Throughout the journey, passengers learn more about ships with sails, what it takes to make them work and what a big part of the experience that movement of the ship is. By the time the last sailaway rolled around we had gained a great appreciation for what our crew did to make that happen, if not a glimpse into what those on the early sailing ships of yesteryear might have felt. That last sailaway was a bit emotional for many on board.



Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
“Ok, you were on a ship with sails, appear to have liked it. Would you do it again?” asked Sally B from Atlanta. Absolutely Sally. This is not a three times a year experience to be sure, but at least once in every cruise traveler’s lifetime they should do this. Beware: Post-cruise depression is alive and well in those who have done this and look back in the direction from which they came upon disembarking, hoping for one last glimpse of “our ship”.



I hope we can sail on a Star Clippers ship again some day. The experience is so remarkable that passengers are left wanting to share it with others who will appreciate it.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
  469 Hits
  0 Comments

A Day In Terre de Haut Via Royal Clipper

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, chriscruises.com.





Nearing the end of our Windward Islands itinerary with Star Clippers we have been to a different port each day. Sailing round-trip Barbados to St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St Kitts, we stopped at the French island of Terre de Haut on the way to Martinique.



Royal Clipper anchored just off shore as she had for all our ports of call, running continuous tenders to the seaside town’s marina and to a nearby beach. On a self-guided walking tour, we enjoyed a fresh baked baguette, just out of the oven while snapping a few photos along the way.



Quite a colorful place, the French-speaking town was full of activity from tourists visiting by land as well as luxury yachts docked next to our ship with sails. This is one of those places that would be nice to come back to one day and spend more time.


















To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
  195 Hits
  0 Comments

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
  191 Hits
  0 Comments

Postcards from a Windward Islands Cruise

These photos were taken during our 2005 Windward Islands cruise on the Royal Clipper. Enjoy! — Susie Schuermann
































  156 Hits
  0 Comments