May 30, 2015


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


May 15, 2014

Cuba, just the name conjures up exotic images of its glamorous heyday in the 1950s. Elegant hotels, nightclubs with entertainment and big dance bands playing latin swing music, Cuban Havana cigars and casinos, as a gambling haven for rich Americans.

After Fidel Castro’s revolution put a stop to all the fun and a large proportion of the population fled to Florida, Cuba has been trapped in an exotic time warp set to funky music and swaying palms.

_JMK6009Brightly coloured 1950s cars still fill the streets, lined with the once grand Spanish architectural buildings, now mostly in a sad state of disrepair. Even though they are crumbling, these buildings are still clinging to life, waiting to be rescued and restored when more prosperous times return, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Once the political scene changes in Cuba, the pace of life there will probably move very swiftly to try and catch up with neighbouring countries. Tourism will probably boom, bringing with it all the associated negatives and positives, such as glitzy hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, traffic and of course, hordes of people eager to explore this new destination.

Star Clippers have made it possible to experience Cuba now, with all its quaint charm, before the expected tourism boom, once the political scene changes. Their Star Flyer luxury tall ships embody a new age of sailing in Cuba, where the traditions of the past are happily married to the comforts and amenities of the present day. Star Flyers have been created for luxury loving passengers, who also enjoy the traditions and romance of the legendary era of tall sailing ships. With a total capacity of 170 passengers, guests will not feel lost in a crowd and also it allows for a social and personalised experience in pampered comfort.

sc-sf-Owners-Suite-1From secluded islands with extraordinary wildlife, to one of the world’s most unique cultures filled with amazing people, architecture, music, history, and food, Star Clippers’ guests will experience a true insight into the real Cuba as they sail around this breezy country on two new itineraries.

Whether sailing on either the new seven or eighteen night cruises, which both start and finish in Cienfuegos, on the south coast of Cuba. This port is known as the pearl of the south where, it is said, men once ordered their rums by the finger whilst women bathed by the bay sipping exotic punches. It is here in the sundrenched streets of this calm bay facing the Caribbean Sea that the journey begins. The cruise will drop into Caylo Blanco, an idyllic private island and Casilda (Trinidad) for a look at a perfectly preserved Spanish settlement, built on huge sugar cane fortunes. Guests will explore the rambling cobblestoned streets filled with guitar wielding musicians, donkeys and locals selling trinkets.

Divers, snorkelers and swimmers will enjoy Cayo Largo with its colour and sea life. Fine sand, sparkling harbours and fishing villages will add to this unique experience.

Both the seven and eighteen night Star Clippers’ itineraries include all accommodation, meals, onboard activities, port charges and gratuities.

Sandra Tiltman