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

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. On the other hand, if you’re a sailing enthusiast you’ll definitely want to consider a Clipper crossing — nobody does it better …

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Star Flyer mealtimes — Best of times!

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 “healthy” options, including lots of fruits and veggies. The trick was to avoid the rich desserts, appealing and delicious though they may …

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Out To Sea…a crossing of 13 days!

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 8-10 knots across the Atlantic. I’ve always loved cruising but had never taken a voyage that involved more than two or three …

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Tenerife — Lofty Heights & Lava

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 the world’s third largest volcano, behind Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii. Naturally it was the object of the day’s excursion. …

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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 the ship-sponsored excursion, figuring I’d see and learn more on the guided five-hour tour than I would poking around on my own. …

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Tangier plus sherry & horses

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 and bazaars. Highlight of the guided tour was a stop at an elaborately decorated tearoom for some refreshing mint tea and local …

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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 basic design, built in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Meant to marry the traditions and romance of the past with the comforts and amenities of …

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Star Clippers offers discounts and free air on Panama Canal sailings

Star Clippers is offering free round-trip air and savings of up to $800 per person off brochure fares on select Panama Canal sailings during the upcoming 2011-12 winter season. The November 2011 through March 2012 departures are 14 or 20 nights, and take Star Clipper and Star Flyer through the lakes and locks of the man-made marvel. Eleven gateways qualify for free air either to or from San Jose, Costa Rica; Balboa, Panama; Barbados or St. Maarten, …

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Star Clippers is accepting bookings for new Baltic program in 2012

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 …

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Star Clippers puts the Star Flyer in the Baltic for summer 2012

Baltic cruise itineraries make their debut on Star Clippers’ roster in summer 2012 with the positioning of Star Flyer in the northern European region from May through August. Ranging from three-night samplers to 11-night explorations, a variety of itineraries to some of the Baltic’s most popular capital cities as well as several smaller, more intimate ports of call are featured on the 170-guest tall ship. With departures out of England, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, …

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