Dozens of cruise lines offer voyages to and around the Caribbean, each trying to one-up the others through unusual entertainment offerings–from hand-carved carousels to bumper cars onboard. However, one cruise line truly is different from the rest, but not because of its over-the-top amenities. Meet Star Clippers, a fleet that combines authentic sailing traditions with modern tall ship sailing adventures.
The fleet consists of the Royal Clipper—the world’s largest and only full-rigged five-masted sailing ship, and the twins—the four-masted Star Clipper and Star Flyer.
I recently had the opportunity to sail to the French Indies via the Star Clipper. From the time we set sail, with Viking music pumping through the vessel as the billowing sails were raised, I knew that I was in for a true adventure. I quickly learned that because these ships are so unusual, it takes a unique person to truly enjoy this type of voyage.
So, how do you know if a Star Clippers voyage is right for you?
You Enjoy Hanging Out
During my time on the Star Clipper, hanging out didn’t mean sitting on a lounge chair all day by the pool. Suspended over the sea in a bowsprit net is how most of us chose to enjoy the trip from port to port.
You Like to Achieve Balance in Life
The voyage on a large cruise ship can be so smooth that oftentimes, passengers don’t even know they are moving. Not so on the Star Clipper. Having a keen sense of balance is key if you want to enjoy what can be a windy and bumpy ride.
You Crave a Family Atmosphere
Remember that need for a keen sense of balance? Star Clippers ships are not the best choice for small children, as there tend to be more hazards on these vessels than on large ocean liners. However, the overall ambiance simply generates a family atmosphere. The ships, while tall, are purposefully small and intimate to encourage guests and crew to spend time with one another. Your fellow travelers and crew hail from all over the world, and learning about their customs and cultures fosters genuine hospitality.
You’re Tired of the Same Old Entertainment
Hands-on experiences abound on the Star Clipper. We learned how to tie knots, we helped raise the sails, and we visited the open bridge. Watching the crew at work was our entertainment, and listening to them discuss the history of sailing was more engaging than any lounge singer could ever be.
You Prefer Unusual Décor
Elegant and modern brasswork juxtaposed with old-school rigging and masts create an unusual ambiance aboard Star Clippers ships. The exterior teems with billowing sails while the interior is surprisingly spacious and beautifully appointed.
You Love a Great View
The Star Clipper crew encouraged us to climb the mast to the Crow’s Nest for a stunning panoramic view. This feat is not for the faint of heart! But the view is worth the tricky ascent.
Island Hopping is on Your Bucket List
While we departed from the popular port of Philipsburg on St. Martin, we then sailed to some of the Caribbean’s smallest ports, including Nevis, a small Dutch island sprinkled with sugar plantations; the rainforest of Dominica; the volcanic island of Guadeloupe and her archipelago, Iles Les Saintes; and elegant St. Bart’s. Our little Star Clipper navigated through the crystal waters to each of these islands so that we could spend time on the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches and hike through lush rainforests and volcanic mountains.
Ready to begin planning your unique sailing adventure? Request a consultation with Natalie to find the right Star Clippers experience for you.
Tags: antigua, Caribbean, gudeloupe, mast, nevis, rigging, sail, sailing, st. bart, st. bart's, st. barth, st. barth's, St. Martin, star clippers