Voyage Recap: Star Clippers Royal Clipper in the Caribbean

Recapping Our Journey Through The Age of Sail with Star Clippers

Star Clipper's Royal Clipper, illuminated at sunset in Soufriere, St. Lucia. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Star Clipper’s Royal Clipper, illuminated at sunset in Soufriere, St. Lucia. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Sailing Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper in the Caribbean was like stepping back in time, but without giving up any of the modern cruising amenities I’ve come to know and love.

On the one hand, there was the 227-guest Royal Clipper – the largest square-rigged sailing ship ever built, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records and admired by those who see her gracefully sailing past. And sail she does; in a week, we only used the ship’s diesel-electric propulsion a handful of times. The remainder of the time, we operated under full sailing conditions.

Royal Clipper, as seen from our tender in St. Lucia. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Royal Clipper, as seen from our tender in St. Lucia. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Even our off-the-beaten-path ports of call were a throwback to a different kind of Caribbean; the Caribbean that’s very different from megaship cruise ports like St. Thomas or Grand Cayman. Quiet, laid-back and sometimes completely uninhabited, ours was a journey through a Caribbean rarely seen – sailing on a ship that is truly a one-of-a-kind beauty.

Our full day-by-day Voyage Report:

Day 1: Embarkation in Bridgetown, Barbados

Day 2: Captain’s Choice: Union Island, Grenadines

Day 3: St. George’s, Grenada

Day 4: Tobago Cays, Grenada

Day 5: Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Day 6: Fort-de-France, Martinique

Day 7: Soufriere, St. Lucia

The Ship

Inside the beautiful Royal Clipper: spacious, elegant and surprising. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Inside the beautiful Royal Clipper: spacious, elegant and surprising. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Royal Clipper is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous and inviting ships I’ve sailed on. To use my favorite German phrase, she displays a wonderful amount of Gemütlichkeit – roughly translated, it means ‘a feeling of coziness.

For such a small ship, Royal Clipper sure packs a punch. It’s also loaded with unexpected features, like a four-story atrium topped with a reinforced glass skylight that acts as the bottom of the midships swimming pool. Then, there’s Captain Nemo’s Gym and Spa with its undersea viewing portholes that look out into the briny deep.

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