A Royal Adventure - Dani's Blog
21st November 2013
Danielle Dudley, UK Account Manager for Star Clippers, tells us all about her recent trip aboard the Royal Clipper.
I have just returned from a 4 night 'taster sailing' on board the Royal Clipper. The cruise, which began in Civitavecchia - Rome, gracefully explored sleepy towns and harbours in Corsica & Sardinia before gliding back to Rome at the end of the trip. These 'taster' sailings are very popular for guests wishing to sample Star Clippers for the first time. Four nights provides the perfect amount of time to settle in to life on board a true tall ship and it will certainly leave you wanting more.
Although a shorter duration than most of our sailings, we were still lucky enough to benefit from all of the ‘Star Clipper favourites’ including; the Captain’s dinner with a speech from the Captain, baked Alaska, nightly entertainment, the opportunity to climb the masts and take tours of the bridge and engine room. There were knot tying lessons on two of the days and the Marina Platform was lowered from the back of the ship allowing us to take advantage of the complimentary watersports.
As it was the end of October, we weren't expecting fantastic weather, but we were very pleasantly surprised. The sun scorched down on the teak decks with ample time for sun-bathing and a dip in one of the three swimming pools. The sunsets were magnificent and the ocean often lake-like in it’s still serenity. The ports of Portoferrio, Costa Smerleda and Porto Vecchio offered a combination of town & beach days for guests, some taking the shore excursions offered by Star Clippers with others happy to meander around with the informative maps provided by the ship, independently.
The food on board was outstanding, as always, a great choice each evening from the a’la carte menu making it almost impossible to decide what to have - a positive dilemma all the same. On Captain’s night we enjoyed fresh Lobster or Chateaubriand, on other evenings the culinary delights included; lemon sole, baked goats cheese and pork belly, all washed down with very fine wines, of course. The dining room has a very opulent feel to it, with the sweeping staircase atrium and the split level dining, the intimate atmosphere is bustling with the chatter of guests and new sailing friends over a delicious 5 course dinner.
A real personal highlight of this trip for me was sailing alongside Star Clipper. In the Caribbean our ships often meet, however, it is a rare occurrence in Europe, so we were very lucky. Initially, the sails of Star Clipper looked tiny in the distance of the open ocean, almost not real. As she sailed closer the beauty of the billowing white barquentine shaped sails radiated amongst guests on board and the excitement began to grow. The sun deck was filled with expectant guests waiting for Star Clipper to finally come along-side the Royal Clipper so two of the three of our ships could sail together in unison. When the moment finally came, the crew bravely stepped on to the bow-spirit of each ship waving their countries flag in the ‘Star Clippers salute’ with passengers waving to one another from ship to ship. It truly was an exhilarating moment, with both ships under full sail full steam ahead with the sounds of Vangelis booming around the decks of both Star Clipper & Royal Clipper - authentic tall ship sailing at it’s best!
You can arrange a similar trip to the one that Dani took here by calling us on 0845 200 6145 and booking one of our excellent Western Mediterranean cruises.