Flying Clipper launch moved to 2018

26th January 2017

Flying Clipper

Since 1991, Star Clippers has offered cruisers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a bygone era of tall ship sailing. The three-masted Star Flyer was joined, one year later, by sister ship, Star Clipper, both operating itineraries in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. The turn of the Millennium saw this impressive fleet added to by the five-masted Royal Clipper – the largest sailing ship built since the 1902 German vessel, Preussen.

2016 and 2017 both proved to be interesting years for the line, with the introduction of new itineraries in Far East Asia, enabling guests to visit the islands of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It also saw the announcement of a fourth ship and the first new addition to the Star Clippers fleet in 15 years. The Flying Clipper is set to become the largest sailing ship in the world, with five masts and a rigging made up of square sails.

The 300-passenger ship has been designed as a replica of France II, a five-masted barque that sailed as part of the French merchant navy in 1911. She is currently under construction at the Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia, with work having started in 2015. This is a shipyard which has specialised in building smaller niche ships over the years.

The initial plan was for the ship to launch in August 2017 but, due to unconfirmed reasons, this launch date has been pushed back to 2018. News of the ship’s launch being moved was announced last week by a spokesperson from the Brodosplit shipyard. In an email to Cruise Industry News, they stated: "Brodosplit has been recognised as one of the few shipyards that are capable for building such unique ship, from the design phase, building and fitting it with complex equipment and luxury interiors. Estimated time of delivery is the first quarter of 2018."

This news was confirmed by Star Clippers founder and CEO, Mikael Krafft, who spoke to Seatrade Cruise News earlier this week. “There will be some delay in construction. It is well worth giving the extra time and I believe the resulting quality of build will be excellent when Flying Clipper is delivered in 2018."

The Flying Clipper is, undoubtedly, the line’s most ambitious project to date. She will feature 150 cabins including 34 balcony cabins and four owner’s suites; a two-deck restaurant; a platform for water sports; an 18ft dive pool spanning two decks and an additional two pools on the top deck. She will operate Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer season and transfer to the Caribbean for the winter.