Saturday, 5 February 2011

Message in a Bottle and Astronomy

Passengers on the tall ship Star Flyer, one of Star Clippers vessels ,will enjoy the company of an on-board astronomer for the four-masted square-rigger's transatlantic crossing from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean this spring.

Gerald Kistner, a journalist, author and astronomer, will accompany the three-week sailing from St Maarten to Lisbon, offering nightly stargazing sessions and a fascinating series of talks, including the sun; galaxies and nebulae; the Solar System; black holes; and photographing the night sky. In the middle of the Atlantic, with no light pollution, the stargazing is spectacular, with the Milky Way clearly visible.

Gerald's wife, Roswitha, an arts and crafts expert, will accompany him and show guests new technologies and styles of needlework and jewellery making.

Sister ship Star Clipper's spring crossing, meanwhile, which departs St Maarten on April 9, will be accompanied by war correspondent Anthony Paul, an expert in locations from Indochina to Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Anthony has reported for US Readers Digest, Business Tokyo, Fortune and The Straits Times and will deliver talks on subjects ranging from the fall of Phnom Penh to the war in Afghanistan.

His wife will accompany him. Anne, a noted gemologist and cataloguer with Christie's auction house, who will talk to guests about precious stones.

A transatlantic crossing on a Star Clippers tall ship is an unforgettable experience; a chance to appreciate real peace, and to commune with the sea and sky for days on end, either from a lounger on the sun-warmed teak decks, or from the bowsprit nets, high above the ocean.

For those who prefer to keep busy, days begin with tai chi or yoga on deck, while entertainment includes Captain's story time, where passengers can learn about the wind, the sails and navigation. There are classes in knot tying, origami and dancing, and instead of sending emails, guests are encouraged to post messages in bottles. Evening entertainment includes all the usual Star Clippers favourites, from guest talent shows to movies and music quizzes.

The 18-night crossings, which include just one port of call at Punta Delgada in the Azores, cost from £1,062 per person, including all meals and port taxes and a 20% discount on the published rates. Transatlantic crossings often attract single travellers and, as such, Star Clippers has reduced the single supplement for these sailings to just 20% in cabin categories 2 to 6. Prices exclude flights.

For more information, visit or check with the adventure cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.