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Crossing the ocean on a sailing ship: Is It For You?

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Assessing this voyage and your suitability for it, I must caution that such a crossing is not for everyone. If your sea-going experiences have been limited to traditional cruise ships you’ll have to ask yourself if you’re willing to forgo the casino action, night club shows, specialty restaurants, spa treatments, mani-pedis and daily shore excursions. […]

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Viviers to Avignon

Aboard AmaDagio–Again we departed in the wee hours—in time to arrive in Avignon around breakfast-time, and to commence our shore excursions. One of the things that attracted us to this cruise, in addition to the wine theme and the itinerary, was that all shore excursions were included in the price. A decision we often faced—which […]

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Lyon to Viviers

ABOARD AmaDagio—We departed Lyon around midnight and with the assistance of a fast current, arrived in Le Pouzin around noon. This was the port of debarkation for our first excursion and it was memorable. While cruising in the morning, Cruise Manager Kriss provided a general destination briefing for all interested passengers, followed by our first […]

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Star Flyer mealtimes — Best of times!

A luncheon buffet onboard Star Flyer.

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER – No doubt, mealtimes were the most popular event of the day, offering both good food and stimulating conversation. Although I rarely eat lunch at home, I didn’t miss a single meal – but surprisingly, I gained only a couple of pounds during the voyage. The ship’s menu included plenty of […]

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A sudden change of direction…but we made it to our river ship!

EnROUTE TO THE AmaDAGIO – As we prepared to depart Barcelona, we were suddenly faced with the need to change direction. We had purchased train tickets from Barcelona to Arles weeks before, but on our final day in Barcelona we were contacted by AmaWaterways and advised that the Celebration of Wine cruise was now going […]

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A look at Royal Caribbean’s brand new Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s revolutionary new Quantum of the Seas, now cruising out of New York City, is billed as the first “smart ship.” Quantum, the world’s third largest cruise ship behind Royal Caribbean’s sisters, Oasis and Allure, carries 4,180 passengers and offers a bunch of “firsts at sea.” I found these firsts great fun on a […]

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Out To Sea…a crossing of 13 days!

View from atop the mast, Star Flyer.

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER – Dawn on Monday, October 27 found us bound for the open Atlantic and 13 days of sailing – without sight of land. I must confess that I was becoming a bit nervous about the crossing, wondering how I would take to the repetitive, day after day process of inching at […]

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Tenerife — Lofty Heights & Lava

Pico del Teidi (12,198 ft) is Spain

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER – A short overnight voyage landed us on Sunday, October 26, at the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Largest of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is also the highest, topped by soaring Pico del Teide, a dormant volcano of 12,198 feet, making it Spain’s highest peak. Teidi also ranks as […]

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Before our cruise, we visit lovely Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain — A 40-minute walk from our hotel, including one wrong turn, finally brought us to our restaurant in el Raval district, about 20 minutes late for our 8 p.m. reservation. We found the lights out and the door locked. A man greeted us. He said they had a problem with the water and […]

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Las Palmas’ hidden charms

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER – I questioned the appeal of Las Palmas, which has mushroomed from a cozy seacoast getaway of 60,000 people in 1970 to its present population of more than 400,000. Although the city center and its historic Old Town district of Vegueta are easily reached from the harbor, I decided to join […]

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Tangier plus sherry & horses

Cadiz was built with wealth generated by gold and silver from the New World, Cadiz, Spain.

ABOARD THE STAR FLYER — Once underway from Malaga, a quick overnight run to Tangier, Morocco set the stage for our first shore call. On Sunday, October 19, most passengers joined the ship’s “Secrets of Tangier” excursion – a three-hour mostly walking tour through the city’s ancient medina – an intriguing labyrinth of narrow streets […]

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Marrying romance & modernity

Star Flyer was the first of three sailing vessels built by Star Clipper founder Mikael Kraft, a Swedish-born entrepreneur and life-long sailing enthusiast. She was built in Ghent, Belgium in 1991, followed a year later by sister ship Star Clipper – and in 1994 by Royal Clipper– a larger five-masted 439-foot rendition of the same […]

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Crossing the Atlantic aboard a sailing ship, the Star Flyer

Mercado de Atarazanas, Malaga, Spain.

Crossing the Atlantic on a sailing ship had been on my bucket list for many years – inspired largely by a couple of voyages I made with Star Clipper vessels Star Flyer and Royal Clipper in 1991 and 1995 respectively. When the opportunity came about to join Star Flyer on a 22-day transatlantic crossing from […]

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