Star Clippers started back in the early 1990s with a pair of 170-passenger tall ships built in the spirit of the speedy 19th-century clipper ships. Star Clipper was the second, and started sailing in 1992 (it was refurbished in 2011). The vessel combines nostalgia and comfort, with its roomy cabins, restaurant serving both buffet and a la carte meals, and generous outdoor deck with two pools and lots of chaise lounges.
What We Love
Getting Hands-on: You can help pull up the sails, climb the rigging, or crawl into the bowsprit net if you so desire.
Good Value: These trips are a lot cheaper than chartering your own yacht, and you still get passage on a gorgeous sailing ship that stops at interesting, offbeat ports in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
Best Known For
Authentic Design: Founder Mikael Krafft and his team studied the original drawings of Scottish-born Donald McKay, a leading naval architect of 19th-century clipper-ship technology, to design Star Clipper and sister Star Flyer.
Casual Atmosphere: You should treat the Star Clipper like your own private yacht: Chat with the captain at the open bridge, invite an officer to join you for dinner, and lounge around deck in your bathing suit.
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Who It's Best For
Couples: Sit on the deck stargazing with the wind in your hair, or cuddle in the bowsprit over the shushing surf.
Sailors and Wannabes: Many passengers own their own sailboats or yachts and can’t get enough of the sea.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Announcements Are Made in English, German, and French: The international mix of passengers is great, but listening to everything three times is tedious.
Dining Room Booths Can Be Inconvenient: Two sides of the restaurant are lined with booths seating six; if you have the window seat for the breakfast or lunch buffet, your table mates will have to get up and down every time you want more grub.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.
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Star Clipper at a Glance
- Line: Star Clippers
- Class: Star Clipper
- Number of Passengers: 170
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 1992
- Refurbish Date: 2011