Yesterday (May 21), tall ship operator Star Clippers confirmed the news that it was building a 4th ship, some 15 years after the last newbuild of the line.
The still unnamed vessel will be able to accommodate 300 passengers and will be launched in the second half of 2017. Construction works have already started at Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia.
Owner Mikael Krafft admitted he had long wanted to recreate the largest square-rigger ever constructed, France II. This will be the most ambitious project for the sailing specialist from Monaco. His new ship's dimensions will be very similar to France II and the rig will be identical, although various features will be added to make this "the most magnificent passenger sailing ship afloat".
The 227-guest Royal Clipper, the last new build of Star Clippers, is a near-replica of Preussen, a world-famous sailing ship in the early 20th century.
The newbuild will measure 8,770 tons. Wind permitting, it will be powered by 6,350 sq. metres of sails and will have 5 masts, all square rigged. Onboard features will include 3 pools. One of them will funnel sunlight through ship's atrium into the below-located dining room. Another pool for dive training on the aft deck will descend 6 metres down through 2 decks, with glass sides.
A watersports platform will be situated in the stern for use when the vessel is at anchor. A wealth of cabin grades will be offered, including 34 balconied suites, a first for the line, and 4 chic owner's suites.
The restaurant in the atrium will be able to accommodate all guests for open-seating dining. Highlights of the other Star Clippers' three ships will be also present: the bowsprit net, where travelers can sunbathe high above the water, the al fresco Tropical Bar hosting evening entertainment, and an intimate library.
The new ship will initially sail the most popular itineraries of the company in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Cruises go on sale in 2016.