4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
Swedish owner Mikael Krafft turned his childhood dreams into reality by recreating spectacular Golden Age tall ships and operating them in beautiful warm-weather locations. The line's fleet of sailing ships includes the 227-passenger Royal Clipper, which holds the Guinness World Record as the largest square-rigged ship in operation.
Passengers, many of whom own their own sailboats, usually run anywhere from 25 to 75 years of age, with an average in the 45 to 55 range. The line pulls in a large repeat rate, with more than 50 percent returning to the line within the year. The greatest number of passengers comes from North America, followed by Germany and the U.K., and 80 percent are English-speaking. You'll also find honeymooners, who come onboard for the romance, and solo travelers who are drawn to the friendly onboard culture. Star Clippers also sees multigenerational groups, particularly during holidays and in the summer, with the youngest children in the 8 to 10 age range.
No, and you aren't likely to see a single tie onboard. Most people wear pants or shorts and T-shirts by day -- swim suits are only to be worn on deck. The only rule for dinner in the dining room is no shorts or flip-flops.
As with river cruising, Star Clippers passengers don't spend that much time in their staterooms. They climb 60 feet up the masts to lookout stations (with supervision and safety vests) or lounge by the pool or in the bow rigging. On ships with water sports options, all passengers more than the age of 12 have complimentary access to the equipment. Evening trivia games can get pretty passionate.
Wherever they are onboard, you'll see passengers checking their watches to be sure they are on the deck when the crew picks up the ropes to raise the 42 square sails to the sound of Vangelis' "Conquest of Paradise." And, since the passengers can't normally get pictures of the ship with the sails up -- they're lowered in port -- the crew try to provide a photo tender ride that circles the ship with all sails flying, a very popular feature.
No. All dining and access to the water sports equipment is free, but you'll pay extra for shore excursions, gratuities, drinks (including both alcohol and soda) except coffee and tea, spa services and laundry.