Flying Clipper Review and Specifications
Specifications of Flying Clipper
|Year built||2018 / Age : 2|
|Builder||Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)|
|Class||5-Masted Schooner (sailing ship)|
|Building cost||EUR 100 million (USD 110 million)|
|Owner||Star Clippers Ltd|
|Operator||Star Clippers Cruises|
|Speed||20 kn / 37 kph / 23 mph|
|Length (LOA)||162 m / 531 ft|
|Beam (width)||19 m / 62 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||8770 gt|
Review of Flying Clipper
Flying Clipper cruise ship is Star Clippers company's newest (fleet's 4th) sailing vessel. The megayacht (square rigger / 5-Masted Schooner) is also the world's ever largest clipper (tall-sailing ship).
History - construction and ownership
The 300-passenger Flying Clipper is a tall sailing ship owned by Star Clippers Ltd (Sweden). When in 1991 the Swedish yachtsman Mikhail Krafft established the cruise line, company's first ship was Star Flyer (1991) followed by Star Clipper (1992). Both are traditional-design tall sailing ships (4-masted schooners). The company went on with building the world's largest sailing cruise ship - the 5-masted schooner Royal Clipper (launched in 2000).
Flying Clipper is Star Clippers' biggest ship, and also the company's first newbuild since Royal Clipper. The shipbuilder is Brodosplit shipyard (in Split Croatia). The vessel was scheduled for delivery in end of 2017 but was re-scheduled for spring 2018.
The ship is modelled on France II, the legendary sailing vessel which, when it was launched in 1912, was the biggest in the world. Previously, Star Clippers modelled Royal Clipper (capacity 227 passengers) on Preussen (German, steel-hulled 5-masted ship, launched in 1902). The new ship's rig is the same as that of France II, that sank in 1922. Flying Clipper is the largest and most ambitious for the company, with passenger capacity 300 (plus 140 crew-staff). The ship has GT-gross tonnage 8770 tons and is powered by 39288 ft2 (3650 m2) of sails (all square-rigged). Alternative power is provided by new-design, fuel-efficient diesel engines.
Cruise itinerary program
During the summer, Flying Clipper cruises in Europe (Mediterranean). Following Transatlantic repositioning crossing, during winter the ship cruises in the Caribbean. Itineraries (as homeports, ports of call, lengths and port times) are yet to be announced.
Flying Clipper has 150 cabins, including 34 balcony staterooms and 4 Owner Suites. All cabins are with en-suite bathrooms (WC, shower, washbasin) and plenty of luggage storage space. Cabin decors reflect clipper ships' Golden Age - plenty of polished wood and prints on the walls of world's most famous sail ships.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
The ship has one restaurant (dining room) spanning 2 decks and with the open-seating arrangement, large windows, wood-panelling. Restaurant's entrance is from the Lobby level of the 3-deck high Atrium. Meals include buffet-style breakfast and lunch. Dinner is waiter-served, with a choice of gourmet dishes and vegan-vegetarian options. BBQ parties are held in Tropical Bar (on sun deck) and also ashore. There is no room service. Tea, coffee and fresh fruits are complimentary and always available.
Ship's focal point is the al-fresco Tropical Bar (Star Clippers' hallmark) where talks, live musical entertainment, shows and exercise classes take place. Inside, there is an elegant Piano Bar for those who prefer casual buffet lunch, calm music and air-conditioning. The ship also offers a Dive Bar by the swimming pool on the aft deck. It is for the first time that the line has made space for an alternative evening venue.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
There are two plunge pools on Flying Clipper. One of the swimming pools is glass-bottomed, funnelling sunlight through into the Atrium below. A third pool (scuba diving pool) is located aft (close to the stern), descending 18 ft (5,5 m) through 2 decks. This pool is glass-walled, allowing guests to watch the divers. Diving classes are offered onboard as the ship carries its ow professionally-trained Dive Master.
The aft-located water sports platform (marina at the ship's stern) is lowered when Flying Clipper is at anchor. Complimentary water sport activities include snorkelling, dinghy sailing, waterskiing, sea kayaking. When the ship is at open sea, a signature onboard fun activity is the supervised mast-climbing. Passengers are also allowed to lounge in the 2 nets strung either side of the bowsprit.
This sail cruise ship also has a small spa (facials, manicure/pedicure, Thai massage), a library, function room (for guest lectures and private events). Star Clippers has no kids programming. Babysitting and childcare are also not available onboard. However, kids-friendly activities are occasionally organized on select itineraries during the summer holidays.
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The cruise ship Flying Clipper is a close replica of "France II" - French sailing ship built in 1913 by Chantiers et Ateliers de la Gironde shipyard (Bordeaux). The sailing cargo ship was ordered in 1911 by the company Societe Anonyme des Navires Mixtes and served the shipping route connecting Rouen France with Australia, New Caledonia (Noumea, Grande Terre island) and the USA. The ship ran aground in July 1922 (on Teremba Reef / Urai Bay, approx 110 km northwest of Noumea) while en-route to Europe and loaded with chrome ore. As the shipowner refused to pay for towage, the wreckage remained at Ouano Reef until 1944, when was destroyed by US aircraft bombing it for target practice. The original France II ship had a total of 38 sails (including 20 square, 12 staysails, 4 fore, 2 spankers), total sail area 68350 ft2 (6350 m2), 4 lifeboats, cargo capacity 7420 tons, crew capacity 50, max speed 20 mph (32 kph).
Flying Clipper is larger than France II, but its sails and rigging are exact copies. The cruise ship has steel hull (with teak decking) and is ice-strengthened. This 5-masted square-rigger has 42 sails, with overall sail area 68300 ft2 (6345 m2). Hull's ice-class allows the vessel to navigate in all oceans, including Arctic and Antarctica. Its max speed is 23 mph (37 kph) under sails or 18 mph (30 kph) under diesel engine power (two engines, diesel-electric propulsion, fuel tanks capacity 800 tons, fuel consumption 2 tons MDO-diesel per hour). Under sail power (with both engines off), the ship can navigate for ~400 hours (16,5 days) or ~11100 km (6900 mi).
In June 2015, KfW IPEX Bank GmbH (the largest subsidiary of KfW / German government-owned bank) provided a syndicated loan to finance the ship's construction. In June was also signed the corresponding agreement with the shipowner Star Clippers. The bank provided a tranche (a portion of the money) covered by export credit guarantee from the Croatian export credit agency HBOR.
In late-January 2017, Mikael Krafft (Star Clippers CEO) officially confirmed that due to delay in construction (caused by shipyard's financial problems), ship's initially planned inauguration (August 2017) was pushed back to 2018.
On June 10, 2017, was vessel's launch at Brodosplit Shipyard (Split Croatia).
Flying Clipper is the world's first sail ship built to comply with IMO's SRtP (Safe Return to Port) requirement introduced by SOLAS in 2009. The SRtP was prompted by the ever-increasing size/capacity of passenger ships as the bigger the vessel is the longer evacuation lasts. The SRtP defines how long the ship should remain safe for evacuation or to be able to safely return to port without evacuating its passengers.
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