Part 1: Star Clipper – the sailing dream
All pictures of the Star Clipper can be found here under Views of Star Clipper.
Sunday morning. I step out of my door and already hear the clatter of plates and pots. A few steps further and up a staircase, crickets are even chirping loudly – just like last night after casting off. It sounds nice and surprising at the same time: after all, I’m not on a country house holiday in Tuscany, but on board the four-masted STAR CLIPPER from Star Clippers Cruises – the animal companions on deck would probably like to go sailing for once.
In calm seas and a little wind, the ropes on deck and the sailcloth on the masts creak. We are sailing – my goodness, it is beautiful and impressive!
Travelling on such a unique ship is something special that immediately captivates you completely. I’m in good company with this feeling, because 70 of the 128 guests are „repeaters“ as they say. Everyone is like a family and newcomers like me are welcomed with open arms – by passengers and crew alike. Some of the international guests come especially from overseas for the traditional Star Clippers cruises, the rest come from Europe. The Star Clippers spirit unites them and so the journey becomes a common „happening“.
A day at sea heading south
After leaving Rome, we head south in pursuit of the sun: 28°C in October – who would have expected that? On the high seas, to top it off. This is at least as impressive as the first activities in the morning: the favourable weather allows it and in the bowsprit net you can enjoy the view of the fantastic ship silhouette.
Shortly afterwards, the adventure heads high: the Star Clipper masts are 63m tall and those who dare may – well secured – climb into the shrouds. One drawback remains: Passengers are only allowed on the first, 15m-high platform – only the crew can go higher if necessary. But the great view of the ship from this height is already a great reward for the climb.
The rest of the day at sea is pleasantly relaxing: if you like, you can take part in a yoga class, be pampered with a massage (60min = 60€) or visit one of the meals on offer. In between, a refreshing swim in one of the two seawater pools, which have glass panes as a highlight and allow an underwater view of the coming dishes in the restaurant.
The Tropical Bar is the evening meeting place with live music and dancing on the teak deck until after midnight. Time also flies when sailing. Boredom? Not a chance. Pure enjoyment? Any time and until deep into the night with ballooned sails under a canopy of stars.
The Star Clipper Ship Tour
The Star Clipper is thoroughly maritime in character and, unsurprisingly, has a particularly close connection to seafaring that could hardly be more original nowadays. The interior is in good condition and, with many details such as murals and furnishings, presents a very convincing picture. This ship has character and can certainly be called a maritime treasure box.
Part of the character is also that the ship has some patina and traces of use in some places on deck, but this makes it all the more authentic and endearing: After all, the Star Clipper has been sailing the world’s oceans from Asia to Europe to the Caribbean for over three decades. Transatlantic passages are also an integral part of the annual route planning and are very popular with her loyal guests.
Equally popular is the sundeck and that has it all: of course you can make yourself comfortable on a lounger or take a dip in the pool.
It is at least as tempting and interesting to look directly over the shoulder of the captain, his helmsman and the sailors.
When there is no manoeuvre to be done, such as docking at the harbour, you are welcome to look around everywhere on deck. Of course, you should be careful: after all, there are numerous ropes, stairs and other tripping hazards on a sailing ship. If you move carefully, you will get very close to the sailors‘ activities. In personal conversations with the crew, the relevant sailor’s yarn is supplied at the same time: Entertainment and fun are guaranteed.
The main deck of the 4* ship houses the dignified library and the entrance area with the legendary Tropical Bar. Various events and parties take place here in good weather. The piano bar in the interior is the corresponding counterpart – its cosily arranged seating invites you to linger and offers underwater views of the largest pool on the sailing ship through large portholes.
Clipper and Commodore decks house most of the 85 cabins on board. These range in size from 11 to 22 square metres and are of the standard of a good mid-range hotel. The range of power sockets is not quite up to date: it is advisable to bring an adapter from US standard to EU standard for the only power socket. Unfortunately, you will also not find a power source at the cabin bed to charge your tablet or mobile phone.
The Sloop Shop is the small but fine on-board boutique right next to the tiny reception. The products on offer are all maritime in character and of high quality. A visit is worthwhile in any case.
The Clipper Dining Room is the only restaurant on board: here you dine together at a single time. I was surprised at how noisy it can be here, especially at high occupancy. In order to understand your counterpart, you have to listen intently. The outside tables for six people have benches and are quite cramped. Incidentally, all dining times are very generous and diners can come when they please during opening hours.
The front and rear staircases provide the shortest route to the deck at any time and you can enjoy the set sails early in the morning – the start to the day could hardly be more impressive. Speaking of „stairwells“: there is no lift, so guests must bring sufficient fitness with them, as stairs have to be climbed almost everywhere on board.
The Clipper Culinary
Sailing makes you hungry: Star Clippers also seems to know this and so there are six meals a day. The choice is always extensive and the quality is in no way inferior.
Special mottoes such as the deck lunch, gala dinner or the Asian buffet provide additional variety. Drinks cost extra – there are no drinks packages. However, even the thirsty guest does not have to worry much about escalating additional costs: The prices are consistently reasonable.
Advertising: SHIPS@SEA travelled on board the Star Clipper at the invitation of Star Clippers Cruises and Star Clippers Kreuzfahrten with the dedicated support of the agency Will Kommunikation.BACK