Cruise the Eastern Med on the the Star Clipper
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In the past, clipper ships ruled the sea. The British ‘Cutty Sark’ was one of the last and has been preserved in dry dock at Greenwich. While most companies are content with emphasising the bigger and better in their ships, Star Clippers broke away from them all.

Their idea is a throw back to the glory days of the clipper ships that made their way to ports through the wind of the sea with enormous and full-rigged masts. Founded in 1991, Star Clippers has three ships, the Star Flyer, Star Clipper and Royal Clipper.

The Star Clipper

These ships were modelled after the first full-rigged five-mast sailing ship, the ‘Preussen’ of Germany. In 1902, she was the world’s largest sailing ship and dominated the seas.  The Star Clippers fleet is an authentic recreation of this classic sailing ship with all the modern amenities, activities and atmosphere.

Diesel engines are only in use when the winds are not prevailing and to remain on schedule. The vision of company founder, Swedish entrepreneur Mikael Krafft lives on and has been met with each of the three ships.

Nowhere is this better shown than in the Star Clipper (sans the “s”) ship. By only carrying a small number of passengers (only 170) on board it means that the experience is memorable and comfortable for each person. Don’t go away with the impression that just because it’s a sailing ship, the line scrimps on luxury onboard.

cocktail party

The mega-yacht’s cabin rooms are spacious with a nautical theme. There is never a loss of elbow room along the striking teak decks that are perfect for sitting on and watching the sunsets at night. The effect is something less of a bone fide cruise and more of an extended trip onboard a luxurious private yacht.

star clipper cabin

There are two enormous swimming pools in which you can take a relaxing dip and plenty of wide open space to let you get the full view of where you are and take the scenery in.

The ship’s design can also be considered a throwback as well, to the golden age of sailing and nautical exploration. Plenty of elaborate paintings and portraits of ships sailing on the open waters to new lands are featured on the walls. The polished mahogany railings give the ship a classic and elegant appearance.

An elegant dining room (appointed dining is the only type available at the moment) offers a fantastic dining experience. There’s an outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar where you can enjoy a nice drink and listen to some soft music.

star clipper dining

The Edwardian style library features an enormous collection of books and a Belle Époque fireplace that is sure to be a perfect dose of escapism.

Library

The dress code is mostly smart casual, but visitors should be aware of the fact that shorts and T-Shirts are forbidden after 18:30 and you should try to dress more formally during Captain’s night. This takes place two nights before the cruise ends.

The Star Clipper will schedule 7 day Greek Islands and Turkey itineraries departing from Piraeus (Athens), Greece. The Lycian city of Caunos and Bodrum in Turkey and the ‘no auto allowed’ port of Hydra or the perfectly preserved Byzantine fortified fort in Monemvasia, Greece are just a few of the ports of call on selected sailings that could never be visited on a mega-ship.

There’s also an itinerary that departs from Venice for 10 and 11 day sailings that includes even more of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cruising with Star Clippers is one option to definitely look into for a different and delightful experience at sea.

For pricing and availability use the Quick Quote form above or call  0207 183 4870

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Small Ship Cruising
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In the last decade or so there seems to have been something of an obsession within the cruise industry – the quest to have the largest cruise liner at sea. It seems with every new ship that is announced they become bigger and bigger. There appears to be a number of companies constantly competing to have the biggest ship but does bigger always mean better?

What are the attractions of small ship cruising, over the larger behemoths that are dominating the cruise market? Why should you consider picking a smaller, more intimate cruise ship over one of the largest cruise liners at sea? There are a multitude of reasons why smaller ship cruising might appeal to you and your travel companions.

The biggest advantage that I feel is that smaller ships are delightfully more intimate than their larger counterparts. With far fewer passengers and fewer members of staff, you are more likely to make lasting friendships with the people who you are spending your holiday in the company of.

On a ship with an astounding passenger capacity of 6,000 it is easy to meet someone one day and then not to see them again for the rest of your cruise. This isn’t the case with smaller ships and it often is the reason many people prefer to cruise on smaller ships.

Smaller ships are also able to reach smaller cruise ports for example Santorini  that the larger ships simply cannot access because of their size. Small ships are able to dock in the centre of destinations, whereas larger ships have to dock on the outskirts of places and passengers have to be transported into the city centre. Image below: Santorini

Santorini

This is surely a massive bonus of a small ship as it allows for extra time in a destination, as well as the ability to visit destinations that simply wouldn’t be possible on board one of the larger cruise ships.

Another benefit of small ship cruising is that they are often able to let their passengers become more hands on throughout the course of their holiday. For example, Star Clippers, which are part of the White Star Line, allow their passengers to let their sails up and down, assist with navigation and much more. If you’re attracted to cruising because of the actual nautical part of the journey then this would definitely be more suited to you. Image below: Royal Clipper

Royal Clipper

Smaller cruise ships also give you the real cruise feeling. On larger cruise ships it is easy to feel as though you are just inside a really big resort or small town, rather than actually on a vessel sailing on the sea. With a small ship you have the real feeling of being on the water which is closer to the original idea of cruising.

Clearly there are many reasons why smaller ship cruising might appeal to you, why not give it a try?

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