Star Clippers is not a well known cruise line. It is small. It sails (really sails) its ships. And it has long been one of my favorites, ever since I sailed with it during its inaugural season.
Those that sail on Star Clipper’s three ships really do love the experience and are always asking for new itineraries. So it is nice to see that they are finally going to sail to the Baltic…the homeland of the company’s owner and president, Mikael Krafft.
Star Clippers has now opened the books and confirmed port details on the line’s new Baltic itineraries that debut in summer 2012. With the positioning of Star Flyer in the northern European region from May through August, the tall ship cruise operator expands its European offerings to stretch from the eastern Mediterranean up to Norway.
Star Flyer will sail a variety of itineraries with departures out of Southampton, England; Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Kiel and Warnemuende (Rostock), Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Ranging from three-night samplers to 11-night explorations, the ship not only calls at some of the Baltic’s most popular capital cities, but also visits several smaller, charming, lesser-visited ports along the way.
“When we were developing the Baltic itineraries we knew we had to make them special and unique, which is why we included so many intimate ports that are going to leave a lasting impression on our guests,” said Mark Carlson, director of marketing for Star Clippers Americas. “Our guests like adventure and they seek memorable experiences, and we expect the Baltic cruises to be among our most popular ever … so guests should book early.”
With the exception of three back-to-back 10-night Sweden, Russia and Finland cruises that sail round-trip Stockholm, the itineraries are non-repeating and offer extensive options for thoroughly exploring the region’s natural beauty, cultural diversity and historical depth.
Three departures out of Germany’s Hamburg (May 10), Kiel (June 22) and Warnemuende (Aug. 10) will coincide with annual sailing parades, which attract tall ships from around the world. Additional ports in Germany through the season on various cruises include Borkum, List/Sylt, Flensburg and Sassnitz/Ruegen.
Nine additional ports in Sweden appear among the itineraries and ensure that the homeland of Star Clippers’ owner and president Mikael Krafft is well represented: Marstrand, Gothenburg, Halmstad, Helsingborg, Stromstad, Simrishamn, Kariskrona, Visby/Gotland and Goteborg.
Guests will explore the stunning landscapes of Norway during scenic cruising and calls at Kristiansand and Arendal, while the Danish ports of Esbjerg, Ronne/Bornholm, Nyborg/Fyn and Kalundborg offer Nordic charm. Finland, one of the world’s most beautiful countries, features calls at Helsinki, Hanko and Mariehamn/Aaland. In addition to Amsterdam, guests on select cruises will visit the ports of Texel and Ijmuiden, the Netherlands, or also visit close-by Antwerp and Zeebrugge, Belgium.
The Baltic cruises also feature a variety of additional exotic and cultural port options throughout several countries — Gdansk, Poland; Ventspils, Latvia; Tallin, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight), and Klaipeda, Lithuania.
Extended port stays ensure guests have plenty of time for exploring the sites on one of the line’s exciting shore excursions or sampling the local cuisine and shopping for souvenirs.
To request a brochure, call toll-free 800-442-0556 or e-mail brochures. To make a 2012 Baltic reservation, contact a travel professional. For information, call Star Clippers at 800-442-0551 or visit www.starclippers.com to view a video about the line or take a virtual tour of the Star Clippers ships.