Star Clippers fleet
Review of Star Clippers
Star Clippers Ltd (starclippers.com) is a Sweden-based (Monaco-headquartered) company and "tall sailing ship cruise" travel brand with a fleet of three luxury motorized sailing yachts. All vessels are fitted with computer-controlled sails in addition to the diesel engines.
The company's current fleet includes Star Clipper (4-masted barquentine/1992-built), Star Flyer (4-masted barquentine/1991-built), Royal Clipper (5-masted ship/2000-built). The brand's newest vessel (under charter) was planned to be Flying Clipper (now Golden Horizon). However, the 5-masted sailship (2019-built) was instead chartered to Tradewind Voyages UK.
The "tall ship cruise" company officially started operations in 1991, since when provides 5-star luxury (private yacht-like) vacation travel product and services to its sophisticated clients, with ~60% customer repeat rate. Founded by Mikael Krafft, Star Clippers Ltd now owns and operates the world's largest full-rigged sail ships. Star Clippers flag-states are Malta (registered in Valletta) or Luxembourg - unlike large cruise liners which are usually flagged Panama or Bahamas.
Each of the Star Clippers ships has an aft-located marina platform that is lowered (when the ship is anchored) to serve the company's complimentary scuba diving and water sports activity program. The marina also serves the passenger tendering operations in areas without port infrastructure and facilities (piers, quays, wharves, terminals). When the ship is anchored (at sea), passengers are disembarked via tender boats or Zodiacs (inflatable high-speed boats also used for landings). Each ship has 2-3 outdoor swimming pools (on Sun Deck) which are filled with seawater and open only if weather permits. All the clippers are fully stabilized and with two bilge keels (on both sides of the vessel) to reduce rolling.
The ship's dedicated Water Sports staff assists and guides passengers on water-based activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, banana boating, sunfish/dinghy (sailboat) sailing, kayaking, water skiing, windsurfing. Onboard pre-scheduled on each cruise activities (also provided complimentary to all cabin category passengers) include outdoor aerobics and yoga classes, swimming pool (sundeck), deck BBQ parties, talent nights, crew show, fashion shows, local (itinerary/ports-based) entertainment (live folkloric performances by local artists boarding the yacht).
Above-deck lookout stations (mounted on each mast) are equipped with safety rails and comfortable lounge seats to allow passengers 360-degree observation. Access to these stations is via climbing the masts - with supplied safety vests and dedicated deck crew supervision and assistance.
Shore excursions are optional and cost extra (not cruise fare inclusive). Optionally can be also booked pre-cruise and/or post-cruise tours in both homeports (departure ports) and non-port cities. Cruise line's vessels can be also privately chartered. Ship charter deals are with unique (customized) itineraries and tailor-made activities both onboard and ashore.
Onboard purchases can be made in cash, with travellers checks or via international credit cards ( Visa, American Express, Mastercard) and will be added to passenger's invoice (debited in EUR). Cash or travellers check payments require a EUR 300 deposit. Gratuities (onboard tipping) is not included in the fares (suggested EUR 8 pp per day).
Company's provided cruise documents also include luggage tags, which must be filled out with passenger's name and attached to his/her bags before checking in. Bringing alcoholic beverages on the ship is forbidden. Ashore-purchased alcohol (in call ports) will be taken at the gangway (upon reboarding the ship), stored and returned upon debarkation.
All staterooms are fitted with twin beds (convertible to a double Queen bed), smart HDTV (with DVD player), satellite phone, electronic safe box, dressing table with an armchair, en-suite bathroom (WC, washbasin, shower, hairdryer), 110V flat plugs (for a deposit, adapters can be borrowed from the Reception Desk) and 220V European plugs (on the 5-masted ships).
During summer, Star Clippers cruises as itineraries visit some of the best-known coastal destinations in Europe's Mediterranean, including the Italian and French rivieras, Balearic Islands (Spain), Adriatic Sea's Dalmatian Coast (Croatia), Greece, Turkey. European homeports include Civitavecchia-Rome, Venice, Cannes, Piraeus-Athens,
During winter, the fleet is deployed in regions like Caribbean (Central America) and Southeast Asia. Star Clippers Caribbean homeports include Bridgetown Barbados and Philipsburg St Maarten Island. In Asia, the company homeports in Phuket Thailand, Singapore, Benoa Bali-Indonesia.
When seasonally chnaging the regions, the cruise line offers ship relocation (repositioning) Transatlantic crossings or Suez Canal transits on longer but low-priced voyages (RepositionCruises.com).
(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, Star Clippers canceled all Asian cruises with pre-scheduled departures in 2020 March 21, 2020, through August 2021.
Operations restarted in 2021 on August 3 (Royal Clipper/Mediterranean from Piraeus-Athens), August 7 (Star Flyer/Mediterranean from Athens) and November 20 (Star Clipper/Southeast Asia).
All affected bookings received full refunds in FCC (future cruise credit) available for rebooking.
Itinerary of Star Clippers
During summer, Star Clippers cruises as itineraries visit some of the best-known coastal destinations in Europe's Mediterranean, including the Italian and French rivieras, Balearic Islands (Spain), Adriatic Sea's Dalmatian Coast (Croatia), Greece and Turkey. European homeports include Civitavecchia-Rome, Venice, Cannes, Piraeus-Athens,
During winter, the fleet is deployed in regions like the Caribbean (Central America) and Southeast Asia. Star Clippers Caribbean homeports include Bridgetown Barbados and Philipsburg St Maarten Island, In Asia, Star Clipper's homeports in Phuket Thailand, Singapore, Benoa Bali-Indonesia.
When seasonally changing the regions, the cruise line offers ship relocation (repositioning) Transatlantic crossings or Suez Canal transits on longer but low-priced voyages (RepositionCruises.com).
itineraries 2021-2022-2023 (Mediterranean-Asia-Central America)
Three smaller-side Greek islands (in the Dodecanese archipelago) - Halki, Kastellorizo, and Symi - are new destinations for Star Clippers in 2021. Also new for the company is Fethiye Turkey - popular for its golden sands, forested mountains, and waterfront bazaars. The new ports were included in the roundtrips of Royal Clipper from Athens (Piraeus) on 2 itineraries in July 2021. For the remainder of season 2021, Royal Clipper sails the islands and coastline of Italy, visiting ports in Corsica, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Cote d'Azur (French Riviera). More Turkish and Greek itineraries can be booked on Star Flyer, which is also deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean for summer 2021.
In 2021, Star Clipper remains in Southeast Asia, visiting ports in Indonesia, Borneo, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand. Star Clippers' program features itineraries from 3- to 14-nights in length, as well as B2Bs (back-to-back cruises).
In October 2020, Star Clippers announced the launch of its newest "Sailing Collection" brochure detailing the company’s worldwide itineraries from April 2021 through March 2023. The 3-ship fleet operates itineraries in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, also Transatlantic crossings (seasonal repositioning voyages). All bookings on April 2021-March 2023 cruises received 65% off brochure pricing, complimentary pre-paid gratuities, stateroom upgrade (valid for categories 2-6), OBC (onboard credit) up to USD 300 per cabin (depending on category booked).
Star Clipper's Mediterranean 2022 season marks the first time (since 2016) when Star Clippers's entire fleet sails together in this region. Star Clipper has a special itinerary from Safaga Egypt (in April 2022) with Suez Canal transition. In the Mediterranean, the boat offers various itineraries including the 7-day "Yachtman’s Paradise" (between Istanbul and Piraeus-Athens) as well as roundtrips from Civitavecchia-Rome and Cannes (May-October 2022). Follow Southeast Asian voyages around Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Borneo.
Star Flyer and Royal Clipper cruise in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, with new itineraries. A 7-night "Greek Island Gems" itinerary (roundtrip from Athens) visits the lesser-known Greek islands Milos and Halki. Two 10- and 11-night voyages (between Athens and Venice) visit Katakolon-Olympia and the Adriatic port cities Korcula, Dubrovnik, Kotor.
"Grand Prix Sailings" 2021-2022 (Royal Clipper) visit Monte Carlo Monaco leaving roundtrip from Cannes, to coincide with Grand Prix Trials. The Cannes to Rome itinerary stops in Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix Finals.
Star Clippers’ season 2021-2022 also features new call ports - including Salt Whistle Bay (Mayreau island, Grenadines) during Royal Clipper's Christmas Cruise 2021. In 2022, Royal Clipper offers the opportunity to enjoy the Mardi Gras Carnival on Martinique.
For the first time since 2014, Star Clippers plans to visit ports in Nicaragua and Costa Rica (starting November 2022) with Star Clipper's Central America schedule. Voyages range from 7 to 14 days (for Panama Canal crossings), with fares from USD 1560 per person with double occupancy.
Two 7-day sailings roundtrip from Puerto Caldera-Puntarenas call on popular Costa Rican towns and ports in Panama or Nicaragua. Quepos Costa Rica is close to Manuel Antonio National Park (with and ~450 bird species). Isla Tortuga's beaches are among the best for snorkeling and scuba diving. San Juan del Sur Nicaragua's beaches provide incredible surfing opportunities.
Two cruises between Panama City and Costa Rica visit the uninhabited Isla Iguana (wildlife reserve on Panama’s Pacific coast) featuring coral reefs with 500+ marine species (including olive ridley sea turtles). A “deserted island” experience is offered at Isla San Jose (Pearl Islands).
Two Panama Canal cruises (at the season's beginning and end) are 14-night itineraries (between Bridgetown Barbados) and Balboa Panama) with call ports in Aruba, Grenada, Columbia, among others.
With all 3 ships cruising together in the Mediterranean in summer 2023, Star Clippers is offering 65+ sail dates to choose from with itineraries in Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, and France.
Star Clipper offers her second season in the Mediterranean after completing several years in Southeast Asia. In April 2023, the line debuts a new 8-night, all Spain itinerary out of Malaga to Barcelona, including 2 new ports of call: the fishing village of Saint Carles de la Rapita, popular for its beaches and restaurants offering shell-fish delicacies; and the historic Tarraco, home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site complex of Roman ruins. The cruise company also sails 7- to 10-night itineraries in the Ligurian Sea, French Riviera, Amalfi Coast, and Sicily.
In the Eastern Med, Star Flyer spends the summer season in Greece sailing out of Venice Italy, Athens (Piraeus) Greece, and Istanbul Turkey with itineraries ranging from 7 to 10 nights. The vessel again sails the popular 7-night Northern and Southern Cyclades along with the Sporades Highlights, which visit the ports of Skopelos and Skiathos, where the original Mamma Mia movie was filmed.
The flagship Royal Clipper spends the summer season in the Western Mediterranean and the Adriatic sailing 3- to 11-night itineraries in Sicily, the French Riviera, and Amalfi Coast as well as Montenegro, Slovenia, and Croatia. In addition to sailing round-trip cruises from Cannes France for the Grand Prix Trials and Finals races, as well as the Saint-Tropez Regatta, the ship visits ten different ports in Corsica, seven in Croatia, and 20+ coastal villages and towns in Italy.
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