Monday, 11 February 2013

Six Top Tall Ship Experiences In 2013

Few experiences in modern cruising can match that of sailing in classic tall-ship style, with the wind billowing the sails and the chance to lounge in the bowsprit net. With that in mind, sail-cruise specialists Star Clippers have compiled their Top 6 for 2013.

Valentine’s Day in the Caribbean 
Hold hands on a deck-top sun-lounger at midnight watching the twinkling stars in the inky sky high above, lay side by side in the bowsprit net with the waves skimming below, or spot dolphins together at dawn from the decks of a magnificent clipper. The world’s largest full-rigged sailing ship, Royal Clipper, offers some of the most romantic experiences at sea and, for Valentine’s Day 2013, will be in Martinique as part of a 7-night Grenadines cruise. The seven-night sailing departs Barbados on February 9 and costs from £1,390pp, excluding flights.

Transit the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a 50-mile engineering marvel linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, slicing through the mountainous, serpent-like country of Panama. Experience a full Canal transit through the many locks of this magnificent waterway on board the 170-passenger square rigger, Star Flyer, as she repositions from her summer cruising area in Europe to Puerto Caldera in Costa Rica, and vice versa. Because of her grace and beauty, and small size in comparison to other Canal traffic, she is always the focus of much attention during the transit. A 14-night voyage from Panama to St Maarten via the Canal, Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao, the British Virgin Islands and St Barths, departing March 30, costs from £2,610pp, excluding flights. 

Learn to Paint and Sketch
Try the French and Italian Rivieras or, new for 2013, the beautiful Croatian coastline for the chance to take expert art classes under sail. Both of these themed cruises are led by British artist Richard Nichols, who specialises in seascapes and coastal scenes. Daily ‘Art Afloat’ workshops include tuition in a variety of media and the cruise price includes an artist's backpack containing sketchbooks, paper, watercolours, brushes and pencils. The seven-night Art Afloat cruises cost from £1,599 per person for the French Riviera, on board Star Clipper, departing April 27 and including flights to Nice, transfers, full board on the ship, all art equipment, daily tuition and welcome cocktail party. 

Tall Ships Parade in Hamburg
From May 9-12, Hamburg hosts the world's largest sailing festival, during which 1.5 million visitors descend on the 800-year-old port to view the magnificent Tall Ships Parade, an assembly of some of the world’s most stunning sailing vessels. Star Flyer will be in Hamburg harbour for all three days of the event, including the grand arrival and departure parades of tall ships, historic ships, cruise ships, sailing and motor yachts and other vessels. There will be a water ballet performed by tug boats, a firework display and a culinary festival set up all along the harbour front. A three-night stay on board for the Hamburg port party costs from £690pp, including all meals on board and sailing excursions during the event (flights extra).

St Petersburg
Summer cruises in the Baltic mean long, light evenings and the opportunity to sit up on deck at nearly midnight and see the sun finally slip briefly behind the horizon. Experience white midsummer nights in St Petersburg, when the sun only sets briefly in the early hours of the morning. The city’s White Nights festival, or Beliye Nochi, lasts from June 11 to July 2, during which time there are concerts and festivals, and the bridges over the Neva River open all night to let boats through. The magnificent four-masted Star Flyer overnights in St Petersburg on her summer Baltic itineraries; a 10-day voyage round-trip from Stockholm departing June 4 costs from £2,270pp, excluding flights.

Christmas 2013 in Costa Rica
Imagine spending Christmas Day with scarlet macaws soaring over the forest canopy and howler monkeys swinging through the trees, before sitting down to a traditional Christmas lunch in the bay of Golfito on board Star Flyer. This magnificent clipper spends Christmas 2013 cruising the coastline of Costa Rica, stopping at deserted islands for sunbathing and snorkelling and in harbours and ports along the way to allow guests time to explore the national parks, go horseriding along deserted beaches or strolling along the sands. The seven-night sailing costs from £1,305pp excluding flights, departing December 22. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.