Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers has selected ten of its most exciting, adventurous and romantic cruises for the 2014/15 season. Each voyage highlights a different aspect of life on three of the world’s finest tall ships, from the great cultural sites of Europe to the most picturesque Croatian ports, the best beaches in the Caribbean and the most fashionable spots in the Balearics.
Guests can choose between 16-night transatlantic voyage, or a three-day taster cruise. There are opportunities to learn yoga, to attend lectures or simply to relax on the sun-warmed teak decks, gazing up at a mass of billowing sails, as the wind carries the ship to its next destination.
All voyages include full board on the ship, entertainment and use of the watersports equipment on board.
Top new cruising area: Cuba
Star Clippers is sailing the Cuban coast in 2014 for the first time, offering a spectacular series of itineraries exploring the island in depth, visiting stunning beaches and anchorages, colonial towns and villages and with a pre- and post-cruise option to stay in historic Havana, famous for its cigars, nightlife, architecture and the legacy of Hemingway.
Top spot for attending the Monaco Grand Prix
Star Flyer will sail a one-off Monaco Grand Prix cruise as part of a series of voyages from Monaco and Cannes. The ship will spend the day of the Grand Prix in the harbour at glamorous Monte Carlo, near the heart of the action, before sailing to Corsica and ports along the French Riviera. Many of the Monaco and Cannes departures visit the Scandola Nature Reserve on Corsica, a new call for Star Clippers, cruising an area known for its dramatic rock formations and bird life, including sea eagles.
Top for body and soul
Star Clippers is offering guests free daily yoga and meditation classes on the spring and autumn 2014 transatlantic crossings of the line’s flagship, the 227-passenger Royal Clipper.
With nothing but the vast, open ocean as a distraction, yoga classes will take place in the open air, on Royal Clipper’s sun-warmed teak decks, under 56,000 square feet of billowing sails – the ultimate relaxation for body and soul.
Qualified yoga teacher Christel Vollmer, back on board by popular demand, will be holding the daily sessions of Astanga yoga, also known as power yoga, on deck in the cool morning air, with a second session just before sunset, including meditation. Christel will also deliver lectures on the philosophy of yoga and advice for practice at home.
Top for culture
Take in some of Europe’s most dazzling historic sites on a nine-night voyage from Valletta to Malaga. Calls include La Goulette in Tunisia, from where it’s possible to visit the antiquities at Carthage; Mahon, known for its dramatic harbour and association with Lord Nelson and Admiral Collingwood; Cartagena, one of the oldest cities in Spain, dating back 2,000 years; and Motril, for the beautiful Alhambra’s Palace at Granada and the Generalife Gardens.
Top new European itinerary – the hip Balearics
Star Flyer will operate a series of seven-night voyages from the yachting paradise of Palma de Mallorca in summer 2014, cruising the Balearic islands (a favourite sailing spot of the King of Spain) and calling at anchorages only accessible to small ships, including the sleepy but beautiful islands of Formentera and lively Puerto Pollença on Mallorca.
Top Caribbean voyage – Venezuela and the ABC islands
Royal Clipper will spend winter 2014/15 operating her usual enticing Windward Isles and Grenadines itineraries out of Barbados but a new, exciting cruise has been added, circling the entire southern Caribbean. Departing Barbados, the 14-night voyage calls at four ports in Venezuela (the coast of which is scattered with beautiful, unspoiled islands); the ‘ABC’ islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean; and the Grenadines and St Lucia.
Royal Clipper will sail three short ‘taster’ cruises in 2014, out of Venice (three nights), Rome (four nights) and Malaga (five nights). The Venice cruise calls at Rovinj in Croatia and Piran in Slovenia. The Malaga itinerary visits the Balearic Islands and the Rome departure calls at ports in Corsica and Sardinia. Star Clipper will also offer a five-night voyage from Athens to Valletta, via ports in Greece and Sicily.
Top educational voyage
Cross the Atlantic on a five-masted square rigger on a one-off voyage hosted by TV naturalist Tony Soper. This is a fantastic chance to spend time with Tony, one of the pioneers of adventure cruising and founder of the popular TV series Birdwatch, while experiencing the thrill of a transatlantic crossing under sail. During the voyage, Tony will give five lectures and will mingle with the guests, including at a welcome cocktail on the first night and a farewell talk on the last night of the voyage before arriving in Malaga.
Top for spectacular scenery
Join Star Clipper for a spectacular 11-night voyage from Athens to Venice, visiting some of the most beautiful and iconic ports in the eastern Mediterranean. From pretty Mykonos with its famous windmills, the voyage takes in the dramatic volcanic cliffs of Santorini, Katakolon (for Olympia) and Corfu, characterised by stately Venetian architecture and graceful cypress trees. Then it’s onwards to Kotor, Montenegro, situated at the end of a dramatic fjord and surrounded by mountains, and Dubrovnik, its medieval centre perfectly preserved. The final three calls are some of the prettiest in the Adriatic; Korcula; Hvar, surrounded by lavender fields; and the yachting favourite of Mali Losinj.
Top for beaches
Bask on some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean on Star Clipper’s Treasure Islands itinerary. Sailing from St Maarten (itself blessed with stunning beaches), the voyage calls at Anguilla, famed for its soft, white sand; Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, which give new meaning to the concept of laid-back beach life; St Kitts, known for its long, unspoiled stretches of sand; and chic St Barths, where the pretty Shell Bay is an easy walk from the harbour at Gustavia.