When the 227-passenger Royal Clipper debuted in 2000, she was greeted with great fanfare, thanks to her five towering masts and 26 gorgeous pirate-shiplike square sails. Even though it looks like a blast from the past, the clipper ship is large enough for modern amenities, like a multilevel restaurant and 14 Deluxe Suites with private balconies.
What We Love
Unexpected Amenities: The Royal Clipper may technically be small, but it has three pools, a water sports platform, and a library — so there's always something to do.
Sunset Gazing: There’s something profoundly breathtaking about seeing a streaky orange sunset through the rigging of a tall ship, drink in hand, and leaning against the solid teakwood railings.
Best Known For
World's Largest True Clipper Ship: This is the first five-masted, fully rigged clipper ship built since 1902, when the Royal Clipper’s inspiration, Preussen, was launched in Hamburg, Germany.
The Gym and Minispa: You can revel in the adventure of a clipper ship, with the creature comforts of a much larger, mainstream ship. The gym's best feature is the underwater portholes for ocean viewing during your workout.
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Who It's Best For
Couples of all Ages: This alluring ship is a perfect place for couples to reconnect and enjoy simple pleasures, like happy hour at the open-air Tropical Bar or sunbathing in the bowsprit that juts out over the sea.
Families With Teens: Older kids will ditch their devices to enjoy swimming, water sports, and the workings of a bona fide old-school sailing ship.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Engines Do a Lot of the Work: Given the ship has to stay on schedule no matter which direction the winds are blowing (or not blowing), the vessel will typically rely on sails alone only about 25% to 50% of the time.
Pull-Down Bunk Beds Aren't Roomy: If you have a cabin with a third berth, it will be a bunk bed that protrudes a few inches from the wall.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.
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Royal Clipper at a Glance
- Line: Star Clippers
- Number of Passengers: 227
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 2000
- Refurbish Date: 2010