Star Clippers, the tall ship sailing specialist, has started building a fourth ship to add to their fleet of graceful square riggers and the first new build since the launch of “Royal Clipper” in July 2000. The new vessel will be the biggest and most ambitious to date, carrying 300 passengers, measuring 8,770 tons and powered by more than 6,350 sq m of sails. Technically a five masted, square-rigged barque, the new ship will be launched in the second half of 2017 and is yet to be named.

The company’s flagship “Royal Clipper” is modelled on the legendary German sailing ship “Preussen”, but the new member of the fleet will be a near-replica of the even more dramatic “France II”, commissioned in 1911 and the largest square rigger ever built. Just as the original “France II” eclipsed “Preussen” more than a century ago as the world’s largest square rigger, Star Clippers’ new build will replace its sister, “Royal Clipper”, as the largest ship of its kind afloat today.

As well as generous deck space, the new vessel will have a watersports platform in the stern, for use when the ship is at anchor. Three pools, with one that funnels sunlight through the ship’s atrium into the elegantly appointed dining room, will ensure those who like a swim are well catered for. A restaurant in the light filled atrium will accommodate all passengers for open seating dining.

Regular guests will be pleased to find the hallmarks of all Star Clippers ships, such as the cosy library, bowsprit net and the al fresco Tropical Bar, where evening entertainment takes place. Adding to the comfort levels for the 300 passengers are four luxurious owner’s suites, 34 suites with balconies plus a variety of cabin grades.

The new ship, which is to be delivered in the second half of 2017, will have ecologically sound high-tech engines, but like its sisters, will rely on wind power and its sails wherever possible. She will initially sail the company’s most popular itineraries in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Operating three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels, Star Clippers visits ports often untouched by larger cruise ships and offers passengers the activities, amenities and atmosphere of a private yacht. Passengers can enjoy the romance of sailing on board a true tall ship in a relaxed atmosphere, with high standards of service.

Star Clippers, with headquarters in Monaco, was founded in 1989 by Swedish entrepreneur and classic boat connoisseur, Mikael Krafft, who initially operated two identical four masted barquentines, “Star Flyer”, which set sail in 1991 and her twin, “Star Clipper”, launched in 1992. The vessels were the first sailing clippers to be built since 1910 and heralded a renaissance of a golden age of sail. In 2000, he added a third vessel, “Royal Clipper”, a fully square rigged vessel with 42 sails. “Royal Clipper” holds the Guinness World Record as being the biggest five masted ship in the world.

Sandra Tiltman

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