Author Topic: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE  (Read 2744 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline George C Griffiths

MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« on: Apr 19, 2016, 04:30 PM »
From 28 January until 6 February this year I sailed for the first time on an actual Sailing Ship - named the Star Clipper.

Our voyage started and finished on the island of St Martin/St Maarten. It has two names as it has a French and Dutch side – with the airport being on the Dutch side.
As a result of this dual rule there are different laws governing each side of the island and the currency differs too.
On the Dutch side the official currency is still the Guilder - whereas on the French side it is the Euro.
That said - the mighty US Dollar is accepted on both sides - so no problems.

I suppose the funniest thing about the different sides is that if you wish to make a telephone call from one side to the other it is classed as an International Call and charged accordingly even though there is no border as such.
This means that if you wanted to talk to your neighbour - but they lived a few yards away across the border - it would be better and cheaper to walk and knock on their door!

Anyway - I digress.
Our voyage took us from St Martin to Nevis (pronounced Neevis) to Dominica (where they film the Pirates of the Caribbean films) to Iles De Saintes to Guadeloupe (where they film Death in Paradise) to Antigua to St Barthelemy (St Barts) and back to St Martin.

The vessel (as I said) was named the Star Clipper - owned by the Star Clippers company  who also have two other sailing ships - The Royal Clipper and the Star Flyer. A fourth vessel is currently under construction in Croatia.

The vessel (the Star Clipper) is a 4 masted, 16 sail ship.
It was built in Ghent, Belgium in 1992 - and was the first Clipper built since the year 1912.
Naturally it must comply with current international maritime laws - so it has Radar and all the other bits and pieces - including stabilisers and lifeboats.
All the sails can be raised and lowered either manually or by electric power - but on some days we, the guests, were invited to pull up the sails - which was such a laugh!
A first for me was to steer the ship out of a port for 15 minutes using the big wheel - although obviously obeying orders! 

As its an access all areas vessel - it broadens the mind to be able go where guests are not normally permitted to go - such as the (standby) Engine Room and galley etc.

Another first for me was to climb the rigging up to the Crows Nest - not a particularly easy task with the ship under full sail but well worth it when up there as my pictures and clips will hopefully illustrate.
My legs were like jelly after I came down - but I was quite chuffed to have done it in my 68th year!
I never thought I’d ever do that in my life - but am so glad I did.

In terms of standards on board - informality is the way. No dressing up for dinner etc.
Then as the maximum guest capacity is only 180 - it makes for a great family atmosphere on board.
I suppose to sum it up - it is a cross between Cunard and River Cruising standards.
Accommodation and food is not far off Cunard standard – with the bar prices being MUCH lower!
If I were only to do one more cruise in my life it would be on a sailing ship - for the reasons stated above.
On the one hand we visit a different island each day - but at the same time are at sea - so it is a nice mix.

For me - the good thing about these smaller sea-going vessels is the fact that they are able go to the smaller islands - some of which I’d never even heard of.
Even at that we used Tenders nearly every time.
That s how small are the islands - in addition to them mostly being tourist free.

I guess I could write forever on that wonderful experience but had better summarise and then stop.

So just a quick word on each of the islands.

St Martin. I stayed there for 2 nights pre-cruise in the Grand Case Beach Club which was fabulous.
I walked to the town main street for local food - which was out of this world.
It was here when I realised just how friendly are the Caribbean people on these smaller islands.

Nevis - lots of evidence of slavery - with decommissioned and ruined Sugar Cane plants everywhere.
No Sugar Cane grown there any more.
It was the island where Alexander Hamilton was born. He was a Founding Father of the United States, chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the founder of the nation's financial system, the founder of the Federalist Party, the world's first voter-based political party, the Father of the United States Coast Guard, and the founder of The New York Post.
We visited his home  now a museum.

Dominica - where the Pirates of the Caribbean films were made - and we went on a Jungle Trip by rowing boat (no - we did not row!) to one of the film sets - ending up in a Jungle bar to partake of the customary Rum Punch!

Iles De Saintes - just a nice and quiet little French Island with a small port town and easy to walk over to the other side of the island  which I did.

Guadeloupe - where they film the British TV series Death in Paradise. Here we rented a taxi for the day and asked to be taken to the various locations. It turned out that the driver, Louis, was involved in the making of the series and rented out his Jeep and horses for use during filming.
He very kindly took us to his home to meet his lovely family and see all his horses - and where he gave us all a Rum Punch - surprise surprise!
He told us that his home will feature in an episode of the next series.
So that was a real stroke of luck!

Antigua - where Lord Nelson had his Dockyard. This is open to the public and extremely interesting.
In the afternoon I went by fast boat out into the Caribbean to swim with and feed Stingrays.
These are not captive Stingrays and can swim away any time they want.
However - they are attracted by the sound of the outboard motor when they know that food is on its way.
We fed them Squid by hand. They are such gentle creatures and love all the attention - so much so that you can do almost anything with them as they see it as fun.
We stood on a sand bar for this with the water only chest high. I had a Snorkel and Goggles with me (supplied by the ship) and was able to swim underwater to really see the Stingrays swim around.
That was another first for me - so this old guy was really doing well!

St Barthelemy - very posh! A French island that makes Nice and Cannes look like slums – quite a contrast to most of the other islands. If I had one pound sterling for every large and luxurious yacht there I’d be able to retire there!
It was here where we went on a semi-submersible vessel which give the feeling of being on a real submarine.
There is so much to see down there - more different types of fish than you could ever imagine.
Needless to say I took many pictures and movie clips as its not a part of the world we get the chance to see every day.

Then back to St Martin  where we had a half-day tour after disembarkation before we were transferred to the airport.
The highlight of this tour was when we were taken to a particular bay to see where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean - at 90 degrees (ish).
When the incoming seas from each meet they produce such wonderful wave formations.

So that’s about it.
Would I do it again – yes - definitely.
Would I recommend it – yes - definitely.

In fact I have already booked up for the same vessel again in 2017.
It has now sailed to South Asia  where it will be permanently based.
The voyage I’ve booked takes us to many small Thai islands none of which I’ve ever heard of before - and Penang - so I’m looking forward to that.

Please don’t let this put you off Cunard (if that is possible!) - but I honestly think it is such a different experience that everyone should at least give it a try.

Clips and pics below.




Online Lynda Bradford

Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 2016, 06:27 PM »
Thanks George, your voyage on Star Clipper sounds like a wonderful experience and the fact that you have booked for another Clipper voyage gives an indication of how much you enjoyed the trip.  You are a brave man to climb to the top of the rigging and you have the photos to prove it. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #2 on: Apr 20, 2016, 12:07 AM »
What a great story, George! I can see you had a wonderful time.

I have been aware of these clippers for a while, thinking they would be most attractive for a cruise, and you have confirmed this idea. Thank you so much for your great write-up.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #3 on: Apr 20, 2016, 09:32 AM »
George did you take any photos of the inside of the ship public areas, cabins etc.?  It would be good to see and hear more about the ship. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

  • Global Moderator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Total likes: 6393
  • Beautiful, elegant QE2 - forever Queen of the Seas
Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #4 on: Apr 20, 2016, 06:02 PM »
Thanks, George, so very much for your commentary on your cruise and the wonderful pictures and videos !  It surely must have been a wonderful experience, especially since you have booked again.  It is certainly a cruise that I would love to do one day.  And the fact that you have access to all areas of the ship is a real plus. 
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Rob Lightbody

  • Administrator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 12287
  • Total likes: 15726
  • Helping to Keep The Legend Alive
    • Rob Lightbody dot com
Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2019, 12:56 PM »
Just watching amazing TV programme about the Royal Clipper, then found George's topic here about it.

I would DEFINITELY do this if I had the time/money - looks stunning.

https://www.questod.co.uk/show/mighty-cruise-ships/video/royal-clipper/EHD_180110C
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Bruce Nicholls

Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 06:21 PM »
The clippers have been regular visitors to us here in Kotor over the years. Royal Clipper is on my to do list, although any of them would be acceptable.

Offline Rod

Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 05:26 PM »
I saw a sailing ship, Barefoot Cruises??? parked in front of us in Nassau once, it looked like the pax were having a blast. I saw ages from about  6-86! Looked into it but very  too expensive for me at the time. Another lost opportunity!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #8 on: Dec 31, 2020, 06:07 PM »
Just watching amazing TV programme about the Royal Clipper, then found George's topic here about it.

I would DEFINITELY do this if I had the time/money - looks stunning.

https://www.questod.co.uk/show/mighty-cruise-ships/video/royal-clipper/EHD_180110C

Well, Rob, you were asking which interesting ships are left at the start of 2021, and this must be one of them!

Online Rob Lightbody

  • Administrator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 12287
  • Total likes: 15726
  • Helping to Keep The Legend Alive
    • Rob Lightbody dot com
Re: MY STAR CLIPPER SAILING SHIP VOYAGE
« Reply #9 on: Dec 31, 2020, 06:43 PM »
Well, Rob, you were asking which interesting ships are left at the start of 2021, and this must be one of them!

Interesting and affordable!!  Marco Polo was cheaper than Cunard for us here!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

 

Cunard-White Star Line advertisement from 1937

Started by Ocean Liner FanaticBoard Relating to both QE & QM

Replies: 6
Views: 11570
Last post Mar 14, 2009, 12:43 AM
by Andrew W
Book Reviewer wanted - Plus get a free £17 Book - White Star Line

Started by Rob LightbodyBoard Sea Shanties

Replies: 13
Views: 4657
Last post May 11, 2014, 09:17 PM
by Peter Mugridge
Northern Star.

Started by Tyne TurbineBoard Ships

Replies: 4
Views: 1572
Last post Jul 06, 2020, 12:39 PM
by shiploversa
Norwegian Star - what a bunch of wimps.

Started by BorisBoard Ships

Replies: 5
Views: 1603
Last post Feb 14, 2017, 01:26 PM
by Clydebuilt1971
SS Dunedin Star

Started by Peter MugridgeBoard Ships

Replies: 3
Views: 2550
Last post Jul 05, 2020, 09:00 PM
by Peter Mugridge