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Highlights of Venice

 

Highlights of Venice

13th July 2018

While the Adriatic branch of the Mediterranean is home to some of the world’s most impressive towns and cities, it goes without saying that Venice is the jewel in the crown. Its links to the sea have made it a popular cruise destination in recent years, however this is all now set to change following the decision made by the Italian government to implement a ban on larger ships traversing the Grand Canal. This will mean that all vessels over 100,000 gross tonnes will have to dock outside the city centre and make their way in via other means.

The Star Clippers ships are much smaller than most other cruise ships, with the Royal Clipper in particular weighing just 5,000 gross tonnes. The traditional sails of the Star Clippers vessels will enable them to fit right in among the Venetian gondolas and other sailing vessels. Upon you arrival, you will be inundated with landmarks to see and places to visit and so, without further ado, we outline some of the most impressive sites to keep an eye open for during your visit.

Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

Also known as the Palazzo Ducale, Doge’s Palace is a significant Italian landmark that dates back to the 14th century and reflects Venetian Gothic heritage. As the name suggests, it was the residence of the Doge of Venice, which once ruled over the Republic of Venice. This vast and impressive landmark was originally built as a castle between the 10th and 11th centuries, before becoming Doge Ziani’s Palace in the 12th century and taking its current shape 200 years later. It remains a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and a tour of this magnificent building will enable you to admire features including Casanova’s jail and the 500-year-old roof structure.

Bell Tower of St. Mark

Bell Tower of St. Mark

Towering over the city of Venice, the bell tower of St Mark’s Campanile is one of the most recognisable symbols of the city. It stands 98.6 metres tall in a corner of St Mark’s Square, with a structure that comprises primarily of red brick. This is topped by the belfry, which houses five bells, and a golden weathervane sits at the very tip of the tower. Throughout history, each of the five bells performed a different purpose. The Renghiera bell would be used to announce executions, while the ringing of the Mezza Terza proclaimed a session of the senate. The largest bell, the Marangona, would ring to mark the beginning and ending of each working day. It is possible to climb the tower and enjoy the mesmerising views over the city below.

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is arguably one of the most iconic landmarks of Venice and is one of the oldest canal-crossing bridges in the city. Originally built as a wooden bridge in the 12th century, it connects the districts of San Marco and San Polo. It was later replaced by a stone bridge, designed by architect Antonio da Ponte in the early 16th century. Whether crossing this bridge by foot or enjoying a gondola ride underneath it, it has become one of the most popular tourist sites in Venice and an absolute must-visit landmark.


Venice is one of the many destinations you can visit on a selected Eastern Mediterranean sailing with Star Clippers. There are also opportunities to visit other popular destinations throughout the Adriatic including Dubrovnik, Kotor and a range of stunning Croatian islands.

For more information, contact the friendly Star Clippers sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Guide to Croatia

 

Guide to Croatia

5th July 2018

On selected sailings with Star Clippers throughout the summer season of 2018, you can visit a range of stunning destinations in the Mediterranean that are generally considered to be inaccessible to larger vessels. The traditional sailing ships, which are significantly smaller than the majority of cruise ships, offer a refreshing contrast from the cruise which have become a familiar sight in the 21st century. Carrying no more than 227 passengers, each ship offers guests the chance to enjoy all the features of a luxurious cruise but within the surroundings of a traditional ship.

Croatia has become one of the most popular holiday destinations of the Mediterranean in recent years, with many holidaymakers flocking to cities including Dubrovnik and Split. However, on selected sailings aboard the Star Flyer, you explore beyond these larger cities and visit a collection of charming and authentic destinations this country has to offer. This week, we take a look at four of the destinations you can visit on selected ‘Greece, Montenegro & Croatia’ itineraries.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

No visit to Croatia would be complete without taking the time to admire the almighty walled city of Dubrovnik. Dating back to the 10th century, this impressive settlement has been protected by a towering wall that extends out to sea. You can choose to wander along the top of the wall, taking in the city’s highlights and admiring the view over the red rooftops and historical architecture. As well as the city walls, it is also worth taking the time to wander the increasingly narrow streets and admire landmarks including Roland’s Column, the Bell Tower and Sponza Palace.

Korcula

Korcula

It is quite possible that the renowned Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, and you can even visit the town in which it is thought he was born during your visit to Korcula. Much or Korcula is reminiscent of a smaller version of Dubrovnik and you will discover this upon wandering the medieval squares, churches, palaces and houses. Venture outside of the historical settlements and you will discover extensive vineyards, olive groves, quiet coves and relaxing sandy beaches.

Hvar

Hvar

The next island north of Korcula is Hvar, which is known for its fine contrast of fortified towns and rolling hills of purple flowers. Hvar Town, which shares its name with the island, is one of the most fascinating places to visit and is known for its historical architecture and glistening harbour. One landmark worth visiting is the Cathedral of St. Stephen, which was built during the 16th and 17th centuries. There is also a Neolithic archaeological site of particular interest, where you can find a range unique ceramics decorated with spiral ornaments.

Mali Losinj

Mali Losinj

Compared to other destinations, the island of Losinj is a hidden gem that is relatively obscure and unspoilt. Glistening turquoise waters combine with idyllic scenery to create a setting that is exceptionally beautiful. Lucky visitors may also catch a glimpse of loggerhead turtles and bottlenose dolphins during their visit. Mali Losinj is the largest town on the island of Losinj, offering a combination of Mediterranean town houses, 19th century sea captains’ houses and a beautiful harbour area.


Croatia is made up of more than 1,000 islands, with each offering a distinctly unique taste of the nation’s historical heritage. Star Clippers will be operating a variety of sailings within the Eastern and Western Mediterranean regions throughout the summer season, with each itinerary offering a chance to explore different destinations. Alternatively, you can choose to head to Southeast Asia and explore destinations throughout Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

For more information, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

The Islands of Malta

 

The Islands of Malta

21st June 2018

While many holidaymakers will seek respite in major cities throughout the Mediterranean this summer including Barcelona and Rome, there are many more destinations that are often overlooked. One of the most impressive of these is Malta – an archipelagic nation comprising of three islands and providing a home for more than 400,000 inhabitants. Covering an area of 316 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest nations in the world, but also one of the most densely populated.

Three unique inhabited islands make up Malta, with the largest and most familiar of these sharing its name with the nation as a whole. The island of Malta is home to the nation’s capital of Valletta, which is one of the most familiar destinations to visit. The other two islands are often overlooked, with Gozo being less than half the size of Malta, while Comino is considerably smaller with an area of less than three square kilometres.

The islands of Malta and Gozo can both be visited throughout the summer on a Mediterranean sailing with Star Clippers. This week, we take a look at some of the things to do and keep an eye open for during your visit to these charming and historic islands.

Valletta | Malta

Valletta

Docking into the capital of Malta opens up a plethora of opportunities, with much of city’s historic 16th-century architecture remaining intact. Wandering around the city and glistening harbour will offer a glimpse into the vibrant colours and heritage of the city. After taking a moment to soak in your surroundings, there are a number of impressive landmarks worth factoring into your visit.

St John’s Co Cathedral may not look like a landmark worth visiting judging by its exterior, but the inside of this impressive landmark is truly ornate. Featuring some of the finest artwork by famed artist Mattia Preti and intricately-laid marble floor, you will be truly astonished by the magnificence of this historical building. Other buildings worth exploring during your visit include the Palace of the Grand Masters, which home to the President’s office and the Maltese parliament. It is also home to a series of ornate staterooms and the knight’s armoury, which is open to visitors on a daily basis.

Gozo

Gozo

Gozo offers a similar experience to that of which you may enjoy in the Maltese capital, but with fewer tourists and a higher level of authenticity. It is also renowned for its beautiful countryside, spectacular sunsets and dramatic coastlines that will create a truly romantic experience.

The island’s capital of Victoria – referred to as Rabat by some locals – is home to an ancient citadel and was often used as a safe haven when the island was raided throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. Areas of particular interest include the bastions which contain a gunpowder magazine, lower battery, a series of silos and some air shelters. Alternatively, if you are seeking a location within which to relax and soak up the sun, head to the beach of Ramla il-Hamra. Translated, its name means ‘red sands’ and the bay has been entirely cordoned off from development, which means you will be able to enjoy a uniquely tranquil and relaxing experience.


Malta is one of the many beautiful destinations you can visit aboard a sailing through the western Mediterranean with Star Clippers this summer aboard the Royal Clipper. Alternatively, you can embark on one of the many sailings through the eastern Mediterranean aboard the authentically-designed Star Flyer.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Experience Ephesus with Star Clippers

 

Experience Ephesus with Star Clippers

14th June 2018

Turkey is considered by many to the final frontier of the Mediterranean and the European mainland, with plenty to see, explore and admire. On board selected sailings to the Cyclades Islands, in the Eastern Mediterranean, you will have an opportunity to experience the history of Turkey via a call into the port of Kusadasi. This in-turn provides an opportunity to explore the vast historical site of Ephesus – which is thought to date back more than 3,000 years to the 10th century BC.

Despite being situated in Turkey, Ephesus is the site of an ancient Greek city and is highly regarded for its abundance of significant landmarks. This week, Star Clippers takes a closer look at what you might be able to enjoy during your visit to this impressive historical site.

Ephesus

Ephesus

The site as is seen today developed from being an Attic-Ionian colony in the 10th century BC, although it is also interesting to note that Ephesus has been home to settlers as far back as 6000 BC. It is famous for a number of reasons, the first of which being that it once contained the Temple of Artemis – which was recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sadly, only foundations and fragments of the original site remain to this day, having thought to have been either destroyed or ruined prior to 401AD.

Ephesus became a Roman city in 133BC and Augustus named it as the capital of Asia Minor in 27BC, which saw the population grow significantly to a figure of 250,000. It continued to grow and was listed as one of the seven churches of Asia that are listed in the Bible’s Book of Revelation. It is even thought that the Gospel of St. John may have been written within the site of Ephesus. By 100AD, it was home to 400,000 inhabitants, which is where the settlement peaked. Sadly, it was destroyed by the Goths in 263AD and, despite being largely rebuilt, never managed to recover as an economic centre and was destroyed again by an earthquake in 614 AD.

Many of the landmarks that made up Ephesus 2,000 years ago can still be admired today, although many of them are partially ruined. Upon entering the site through the Magnesia gate, you will have a chance to admire the impressive Odeion, located at the foot of the Panayir Mountain. Dating back to 150AD, this venue seated a capacity of 1,500 spectators and was once topped with a wooden roof.

Other impressive landmarks include the Trajan Fountain, Temple of Hadrian and the Scolasticia Baths. Some of the more recent findings, excavated in 1960, include the Terrace Houses dwellings, which were inhabited by wealthier locals, had their own unique heating system and were decorated with frescoed walls and mosaic floors. Be sure to also visit the Great Theatre – a 24,000 capacity spectator venue, while the neighbouring gymnasium and baths were built in the second century AD.


Ephesus is one of the many impressive historical landmarks you can visit on a traditional tall ship sailing with Star Clippers in the Mediterranean. For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Sailing along the Western Italian coastline

 

Sailing along the Western Italian coastline

7th June 2018

Star Clippers offers a refreshing alternative to the larger-sized ships of the 21st century, providing a unique opportunity to delve into a bygone era of traditional tall ship sailing. Each of the fleet’s three vessels – Star Clipper, Star Flyer and Royal Clipper - is fully rigged and equipped with sails, designed ensure they are powered by the force of the natural wind as much as possible.

Not only this, but each vessel is considerably smaller in size than the majority of ships that sail for other cruise lines. This provides a unique opportunity to dock in a range of smaller ports and traverse narrower waterways – ultimately providing a more enriching cruising experience.

It goes without saying the Mediterranean is one of the best places to visit during the summer season, with Italy being one of the most sought-after destinations. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the best destinations you can visit along the western coast of Italy aboard a traditional Star Clippers sailing.

Civitavecchia (Rome)

Rome Colosseum

Built on seven hills, Rome is an absolute joy to behold and is also an ideal option for anyone looking to enjoy a flavour of everything Italy has to offer. From the towering Colosseum to the majestic Vatican City, Rome certainly warrants a little additional time to explore prior to your cruise experience. This will provide you with plenty of time to admire additional sites of interest including the Piazza del Popolo, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and much more. Alternatively, you enjoy a stroll and take in everything Rome has to offer at your own pace. In addition to this being your port of embarkation, it is also where selected cruises draw to a close – so there will be a second opportunity to explore this majestic city.

Sorrento

Sorrento

Overlooking the Bay of Naples, the coastal town of Sorrento known for its beautiful architecture and authentic Italian cuisine. Prior to your arrival, you will instantly be able to notice the city walls, which appear to rise out of the sea and are particularly imposing. Landmarks of particular interest include the Roman ruins of Villa Pollio, the Duomo (Cathedral), St. Francis Monastery and the Basilica di Sant’Antonino. As stated previously, Sorrento is also a fantastic place to try a handful of local dishes including Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (gnocchi with a tomato sauce and mozzarella), gelato and limoncello, which also makes for an ideal souvenir.

Amalfi

Amalfi Coastline

Amalfi will almost certainly be the jewel in the crown of your cruise, renowned for its spectacular coastal location, beautiful architecture and golden beaches. Wandering through the Main Square offers a chance to admire a range of landmarks including the Cathedral and the Cloister of Paradise. Alternatively, you can opt to enjoy a leisurely stroll and admire the brightly coloured buildings Amalfi has to offer. There is also an ideally-located stretch of beach which offers the perfect place to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun. In addition to all of this, there is the opportunity to catch a bus to the neighbouring town of Positano, which is also known for its pastel-coloured houses and beautiful location.


For more information about the full range of cruises along the Italian coastline or to make a booking, contact our friendly Star Clippers sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Sailing to Sicily

 

Sailing to Sicily

31st May 2018

Oozing with charming towns, historical landmarks, delicious cuisine, breath-taking natural landmarks and blissful golden beaches, Italy offers plenty to see and experience. Many visitors head to the cities of Rome, Florence and Pisa, but this vibrant nation offers much more for those who are willing to dig beneath the surface.

The Italian mainland is surrounded by a series of islands, each offering a unique series of things to see and do. Arguably, the most popular of these is the island of Sicily, which sits just to the west of Italy’s southernmost tip. The traditionally-fitted vessels of the Star Clippers fleet are capable of reaching range of smaller-sized ports throughout Sicily and, this week, we take a look at what you can look to enjoy during your time on this mesmerising island.

Syracuse

Syracuse

Situated on the eastern coast of Sicily, the city of Syracuse offers a fine blend of ancient artefacts and modern elements. With so much to see in and around the city, it can be difficult to know where to go during your visit. Some of the most impressive landmarks include Apollo temple, the Greek Theatre, the Catacombs of San Giovanni, and the Necropolis. It is interesting to note that Syracuse was once the largest city in the world – even bigger than Athens – and you can only begin to imagine how many fascinating archaeological landmarks await your discovery. Contrastingly, you can opt to relax in one of the many stylish cafes, admiring the baroque piazzas and the sparkling blue sea.

Taormina

Taormina

Travelling north of Syracuse opens an opportunity to discover the charming hillside town of Taormina – a popular destination and resort town for those seeking Sicilian dolce vita. Founded in the 4th century BC by Greek ruler, Gelon II, it rose to a prominence that is still enjoyed today. Some of the most impressive landmarks to visit in and around the area include Teatro Greco – an open-air Roman theatre – and the Torre dell’Orogio clock tower. During your visit, it is definitely worth trying arancini – stuffed rice balls filled with mozzarella and a ragu sauce.


These are just two of the mesmerising ports you can visit on board a Star Clippers Mediterranean sailing this summer. Sailing the waters of the Eastern and Western regions of the Mediterranean, you will be able to experience a range of charming ports while also enjoying the traditional sailing experience that the tall ships of the Star Clippers fleet are able to offer.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Three off the beaten track destinations to visit this summer

 

Three off the beaten track destinations to visit this summer

24th May 2018

On board every Star Clippers sailing, you will be transported back to a bygone era of traditional tall ship sailing. Unlike larger ships that are fitted with the latest amenities and dazzling features, the Star Clippers vessels offer a unique sense of appeal with their traditional rigging and sails.

One of the other significant advantages of embarking on a cruise with Star Clippers is the ability to travel to a range of smaller ports and along narrower waterways. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the Star Clippers vessels will operate in regions around the world including the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Southeast Asia. In each of these regions, the Star Clippers vessels provide an opportunity to dig beneath the surface and enable you to immerse yourself in the unique landscapes, history and culture. This week, Star Clippers takes a closer look at three of the amazing destinations you can visit during a tall ship sailing in the summer season of 2018.

Gozo | Malta | Eastern Mediterranean

Gozo

Many people are unaware of the fact that Malta actually comprises of three unique islands. The largest of these is called Malta, while the other two are known as Gozo and Comino. Gozo is the second largest of the three islands and offers a charming alternative to her larger sister. While you will find many charming landmarks that are similar to those found in Valletta, you will also be likely to find an abundance of natural features including lush green landscapes and intriguing caves. You will also find many stunning coastlines, each providing an ideal place to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun.

Plage D’Arone | Corsica | Western Mediterranean

Situated between France and Italy, the French island of Corsica offers a much more peaceful setting to other surrounding destinations including those found in the Italian and French Riviera. Corsica is an island that was once home to Napoleon and is now home to a fine collection of lush green environments and golden beaches – none more impressive than Plage D’Arone. Lined by pink rocks and scrub, this mesmerising beach covers a total area of 750 metres while the surrounding waters are clear, calm and warm. Furthermore, due to the size of the beach and its remote location, you are guaranteed to be able to find a space to call your own for the day.

Labuan Haji | Moyo Island | Southeast Asia

Indonesia is one of the most recent additions to the range of regions added to the list of areas you can now visit aboard a Star Clippers cruise. This archipelagic nation is home to hundreds of islands, many of which are uninhabited by humans and offer a distinctly unique landscape. A lack of human interference has enabled nature to take its toll in Labuan Haji, Moyo Island. This unique landscape is home to a total of 86 bird species including the yellow-headed parrot and bird coral. The beaches are difficult to resist but, if you choose to venture further inland, you will be rewarded with the chance to admire the mesmerising Brang Rea Waterfall.


For more information about the full range of sailings available with Star Clippers or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Your guide to Brunei

 

Your guide to Brunei

17th May 2018

This month marks the beginning of Star Clippers’ new range of sailings in and around the south-east Asian island of Borneo. Departing out of Singapore and finishing in the Malaysian port of Kota Kinabalu, or reverse, these mesmerising itineraries offer a chance to delve into the diverse range of cultures this island has to offer, as well as providing a chance to visit smaller ports and traverse narrower waterways.

Also situated on the island of Brunei is Brunei – one of the smallest nations on earth. Docking into the port of Bandar Seri Begawan, passengers on these cruises will be able to enjoy a unique opportunity to experience Brunei and everything it has to offer. This week, we take a closer look at what you may be able to enjoy during your visit.

Sultan’s Palace

Brunei

One of the most iconic landmarks of Brunei is the impressive Istana Nurul Iman Palace. Covering an area of 300 acres and featuring a total of 1,788 rooms, it is the largest residential palace in the world that is still in occupation. With glistening white walls and topped with an impressive golden dome, this is perhaps the most synonymous landmark of Brunei. While it is only to the public for three days every year, it is worth taking a moment to admire the exterior design of the majestic landmark.

Mosques

Brunei

Another building to feature a golden – and should therefore not be confused with the palace – is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. Also featuring Italian marble walls and ornate carpets – combining to make what many consider to be one of the world’s most beautiful mosques. It also features a series of tunnels, which are used by the sultan on journeys through the town.

Other mosques in Bandar Seri Begawan that are worth taking a moment to admire include the Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – the largest mosque in Brunei and was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultan’s reign. There is also the Ash Shaliheen Mosque, for which the architecture is thought to have been inspired by landmarks in Saudi Arabia and Cordoba, Spain.

Museums

Brunei

There are a number of fascinating museums worth visiting during your time in Bandar Seri Begawan, offering an insight into the history of this small nation. A good place to start would be the Brunei Museum, which is located on an archaeological site at Kota Batu. It offers an insight into the Islamic and natural history of the area, housing a number of fascinating artefacts.

It is worth noting the UK has particularly good ties with the Sultan of Brunei and this is reflected in the Bumbungan Dua Belas – otherwise known as the House of Twelve Roofs. Situated in the Jalan Residency, it was originally built in 1906 and war formerly the official residence of British residents and high commissioners in Brunei. It is one of the oldest buildings in Brunei and today serves as a gallery.

Parks

While Brunei is certainly well-known for its abundance of historical landmarks combined with modern shopping centres, it also offers a range of quieter and greener places within which to relax. A short walk away from the city centre offers the opportunity to explore Jalan Tasek Lama, which is known for its walkways that thread through a small park to a range of relaxing sights including a waterfall and ponds filled with water lilies.

There is also the waterfront – a 4.4 acre site overlooking the historical Kg. Ayer. It was one of the more modern sights in Brunei, having officially opened in 2011 and offers a spot to enjoy a more leisurely pace of life. It is also home to a number of outdoor cafes offering a variety of drinks and authentic Brunei dishes.


As well as being able to visit new and exotic destinations, the tall ships of the Star Clippers fleet also deliver a more traditional sailing experience. Sailing aboard the Star Clipper, Star Flyer or Royal Clipper, these ships offer the chance to relive a bygone era of traditional tall ship sailing.

For more information, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Experience Borneo in style with Star Clippers

 

Experience Borneo in style with Star Clippers

10th May 2018

A journey to the mesmerising island of Borneo is considered by many to be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Shared by three nations – Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei – this unique destination offers a fine blend of relaxing beaches, lusciously green landscapes, cultural landmarks and an abundance of wildlife.

Sailing aboard the traditional tall ships of Star Clippers, you can enjoy everything this island has to offer while also taking the time to appreciate a bygone era of transport. Furthermore, you can also extend your itinerary with pre and/or post-cruise stays added to your cruise – enabling you to get the most out of your time in South East Asia. This week, we take a look at why a sail and stay holiday in the island of Borneo should definitely be considered as an addition to the bucket list.

Luxury in Singapore

Singapore

To the naked eye, Singapore may appear to be a city dominated by towering skyscrapers and a bustling financial district. However, among exploring this impressive metropolis, you will also discover authentic flavours, distinctive aromas and beautiful gardens that offer unique appeal.

This is where the magnificent Star Clipper will await your arrival, but it is definitely worth getting a full taste of everything Singapore has to offer prior to your sailing. A pre-cruise stay opens up a range of luxurious options, with opportunities to stay in one of the many impressive hotels. Be sure to sample the Singapore Sling – a refreshing cocktail which was crafted at the Raffles Hotel.

Experience Malaysia

Malaysia

After setting sail out of Singapore, you spend two days at sea heading towards the island of Borneo, with the first port of call being the impressive city of Kuching. Situated in the region of Sarawak, Kuching offers a fine blend of modern shopping malls and eateries with traditional landmarks. These including the Tua Pek Kong Temple, which is of Chinese origin, the Kuching City Mosque and Fort Margherita, which was completed in 1879. Enjoy a stroll along the one-mile long promenade that follows the Sarawak River, which will also take you to the 19th-century Old Court House.

Following an overnight stay in Kuching, your next port of call is the former fishing village of Bintulu. Upon discovering large offshore reserves of natural gas in 1969, Bintulu saw rapid development and the plan is for it to be fully industrialised by 2020. There are many bars and restaurants dotted throughout the city, but there are also many unique experiences to be enjoyed. A journey to the Taman Tumbina zoo offers a chance to admire crocodiles and pythons, while nature-lovers can enjoy a spot of jungle-trekking or hill climbing.

Mosque Kuching

Miri is the place to go for nature lovers, with a visit to the nearby Niah National Park opening up opportunities to visit an impressive collection of caves and waterfalls. There are a number of cultural sites worth visiting including the Unity Tower, Petroleum Museum and the San Ching Tian Temple. Alternatively, you can head to the Esplanade Beach at Luak Bay and soak take advantage of the opportunity to soak up the sun.

Although not actually part of the island of Borneo, the small, uninhabited coastal island of Pulau Tiga is the perfect place to go to for a spot beach relaxation. Formed just over 100 years ago, in 1897, following a volcanic eruption near Borneo, this island offers one of the closest examples to paradise on earth. You can snorkel or dive and uncover the treasures of the surrounding waters, or enjoy a detox session with some therapeutic, natural volcanic mud.

Bandar Seri Begawan | Brunei

Brunei

Although Brunei may be one of the world’s smallest countries, it offers a unique cultural insight and no shortage of things to see. Docking into the capital of the sultanate, Bandar Seri Begawan, you will almost instantly see the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque – regarded as one of the calmest mosques in the world. This could be because of the surrounding trees and the glow from the sunlight as it touches the golden dome.

Bandar Seri Begawan is also home to Kampong Ayer – an impressive village where houses seem to float on the water. The village is fully equipped with all the required services including its own schools, mosques, fire brigade and police station. It is the largest stilt settlement in the world and is thought to date back more than 1,000 years.

Proboscis Monkeys and Orang-Utans

Orang Utan

The Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu is where your sailing comes to an end, but there are plenty of reasons to make the most of your time in Borneo by extending your holiday with a post-cruise stay. This is especially appealing for those excited by the prospect of being able to enjoy close encounters with orang-utans and proboscis monkeys.

A short journey out of Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan will enable you to visit the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where you can observe man’s closest relative being rehabilitated for life in their natural habitat. There is also an opportunity to see sun bears in their natural habitat, via a walk in the tropical low land of Dipterocarp Forest.

One of the best ways in which to see proboscis monkeys as well as a range of native bird species is to embark on a short cruise along the Menanggul River towards Sukau village. These monkeys are known for their distinctively long red noses, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.


The smaller size of the Star Clippers ships enables them to sail to and dock in a range of destinations that are generally considered to be inaccessible to larger vessels. This makes them the perfect base upon which to explore the mesmerising south-east Asian island of Borneo. With so much to see and do across the island, it really does pay to enhance your cruise with pre and/or post-cruise stays.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Sample tall ship cruising in the Mediterranean this September

 

Sample tall ship cruising in the Mediterranean this September

4th May 2018

Unlike larger and more conventional cruise ships, Star Clippers offers a refreshing taste of a bygone era of traditional sailing. The three vessels that make up the fleet – Star Clipper, Star Flyer, and Royal Clipper – are all rigged and fitted with sails that are synonymous of the era of international discovery and trade. Famous explorers including the likes of Sir Francis Drake, Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus all set off on their voyages of the new world aboard tall sailing ships and Star Clippers offers a unique opportunity to emulate this era.

While many of these historic explorers endured treacherous conditions during their many days at sea, Star Clippers offers a much more relaxing experience. Each ship carries passengers to a range of beautiful destinations – many of which are considered to be off the beaten track. Meanwhile, while on board, guests can enjoy elegant surroundings, a spacious pool deck, a refreshing array of beverages and some of the finest cuisine available at sea.

If you are still undecided about whether or not to embark on one of these fabulous sailings for the first time, you may appreciate an opportunity to test the waters. A great opportunity to be able to try this out is on the 12th September 2018 on a three-night sailing in the Adriatic Ocean. Departing out of the iconic floating Italian city of Venice aboard the Star Flyer, this short sailing offers an opportunity to visit some of the gems of the Balkan nations which also getting a taste for traditional sailing.

Sailing

Star Flyer

One of the most memorable experience of any sailing is the magnificent sail-away experience, where the sails are fully unravelled to the fitting fanfare of Conquest of Paradise. It is also worth noting that while many larger vessels are now unable to dock in the heart of Venice, the smaller-sized ships of the Star Clippers are still able to float through the narrower waterways on route to the city.

Guests will then be treated to fine dining in the beautiful on board restaurant, with culinary delights including lobster tail and chateaubriand steak. After dinner, guests can enjoy on board entertainment on the top deck while sipping on a refreshing cocktail, or enjoy a spot of peace and quiet in the library.

Waking up the next morning, you will be able to enjoy a fine breakfast that will set you up for the day ahead, with a range of fresh and cooked options available. Heading up to the top deck opens up a range of possibilities. You can choose to soak up the sun or cook off in the on board pool, or learn about the rigging of the ship and even take advantage of a chance to steer the ship. On selected occasions, there will also be an opportunity to climb the rigging up to the crow’s nest.

Ports of Call

Venice

In terms of the destinations visited along the way, your first port of call in the north Croatian destination of Rovinj. On appearance, this may look like a traditional Mediterranean town, but there are many hidden features worth taking a moment or two to admire. Many of these can be discovered in the charming old town, including the Balbi Arch, market of Valdibora, cathedral of Sv. Euphemia, and the artists’ street of Grisia.

The next port of call is the Slovenian city of Piran, a beautiful coastal town and a hidden gem. This is one of the finest coastal settlements in the region and its history as part of the Venetian empire throughout the 13th century has played a considerable part in this. Some of the impressive buildings include the oval-shaped main square of Tartinijev Trg, known for its statue of the famed violinist, Guiseppe Tartini, and the Venetian House, which is filled with many examples of Gothic Venetian architecture.

After exploring these two ports, the Star Flyer will return to Venice, and why this may mark the end of your cruise, it is worth taking some time to explore the magnificent city for yourself. The city is home to many contrasting landmarks, which are reflective of the many different empires that have ruled Venice throughout the years. Be sure to visit renowned landmarks including the Doge’s Palace and the Bell Tower of St Mark (Campanile di San Marco).


This four-night cruise is one of the many taster cruise options available in the Mediterranean throughout 2018 and 2019, offering an opportunity to experience traditional tall ship sailing before dedicating to a longer escape. For more information about these cruises or to make a booking, contact our friendly Star Clippers sales team today via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

Hidden Paradises of South-East Asia

 

Hidden Paradises of South-East Asia

27th April 2018

South-east Asia is the newest region to be added to the list of destinations offered by the tall ships of the Star Clippers fleet. The Star Clippers vessels are much smaller than conventional cruise ships and offer a traditional way in which to explore regions including the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Their smaller size also enables them to take passengers to smaller destinations including untouched paradise islands and hidden coves – adding a real sense of adventure to every sailing with Star Clippers.

This is no different within South-East Asia, with itineraries combining visits to popular destinations including the Indonesian island of Bali and Singapore, along with calls into some of the most blissful ports you could ever imagine. This week, we take a look at three destinations that you are unlikely to have heard of before but that are more than likely to leave a lasting impression.

Satonda Island | Indonesia

Satonda Island

Formed millions of years ago following a volcanic eruption which took place 1,000 metres beneath the seabed, Satonda Island is covered in lush green vegetation and surrounded by white-sand beaches. The volcano that once erupted is now extinct and has subsequently been flooded by the surrounding waters. As a result, you will find many isolated lakes – some of which are regarded as sacred by the locals, with the ability to grant wishes.

Many pilgrims from across Indonesia travel to Satonda Island in the hope of being able to make a wish and, as a result, you will see many items tied to the trees including coral and rocks. Speaking of coral, the surrounding waters of the island were collectively designated as a Marine Nature Park in 1999 and you can admire this vibrant coral ecosystem for yourself during your visit.

Gili Kondo | Lombok | Indonesia

Gili Kondo is one of 33 islands situated in the Eastern Lombok island region. The word ‘Gili’ offers an insight into the size of the island, which means “small island” is the local Sasak language. This uninhabited spec of lank combines lush green landscapes with beautiful powder-sand beaches to create a tranquil setting unlike anything you will have experienced before.

Best of all, due to lack of accessibility to the island, you will almost have it entirely to yourself. Imagine relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun with no distractions whatsoever. Venture into the calm turquoise waters directly from the beach and you will be able to enjoy a spot or snorkelling, enabling you to admire the abundance of colourful marine life.

Labuan Haji | Moyo Island | Indonesia

Moyo Island

Situated to the north of Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara island is Moyo Island which, in-turn, is also home to Labuan Haji. The island is home to just 1,000 permanent residents, who are spread out among six villages. As a result, much of the island is unknown and unexplored, which offers a unique sense of appeal. Additionally, much of the island occupied by a nature reserve which provides a home to a range of native species including macaques, wild cattle, wild pigs, barking deer and a variety of birdlife. In total, there are 124 species of bird on the island to be discovered, including the rare yellow-headed parrot.

Much like the other two mentioned islands, you can relax on one of the many powder-sand beaches or venture into the forested areas. A journey into the lush green vegetation opens up an opportunity to admire the beautiful Brang Rea Waterfall. Alternatively, a venture into the sea, which is protected from fishing and pollution, offers a unique opportunity to admire untouched marine life.


Throughout 2018, Star Clipper will operate roundtrip sailings out of Bali. There will be a mixture of seven-night, ten-night, and 11-night itineraries throughout the spring, summer, autumn and winter seasons. In addition to these departures, there will also be a series of Thailand departures, which northern and southern itineraries around the island of Phuket.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to a Star Clippers advisor online.

Turkish Delights with Star Clippers

 

Turkish Delights with Star Clippers

20th April 2018

Turkey is renowned by some as being the final frontier of the Mediterranean. This beautiful nation is home to a vast array of warm and inviting beaches, charming towns and mesmerising historic landmarks that will lead you on a journey of intrigue. Throughout the summer season of 2018, that is exactly what you will be able to enjoy aboard selected Star Clippers sailings.

A Mediterranean sailing experience with Star Clippers is regarded as a fantastic opportunity to explore the Greek Islands, but selected sailings also open the gateway to the delights of Turkey. This week, we take a look at some of the impressive sights you will be able to visit on board selected Eastern Mediterranean sailings.

Kusadasi (Ephesus)

Ephesus

Kusadasi is renowned as one of Turkey’s most popular cruise ports, due to its abundance of shops to peruse and bars in which to relax. However, many people use Kusadasi as a gateway to the impressive archaeological site of Ephesus.

This amazing site dates back to the ancient Greek era and is home to a series of impressive landmarks including the 1,500-seat Odeion, the Basilica and the Prytaneion. One of the most interesting landmarks, however, is the remains of the Temple of Artemis. Although it may not look like much today, it was – prior to the 5th century AD – renowned for being one of the seven ancient wonders of the world and is still regarded as impressive piece of Greek architecture today.

Bodrum

Bodrum

Another of the ancient wonders of the world can be found in the Turkish town of Bodrum, which is situated on the southern Aegean coast. The ancient city of Halikarnassus – home to the famed Mausoleum of Halikarnassus which was built at some point after 353 BCE – sadly suffered a similar fate to the Temple of Artemis following successive earthquakes throughout the Middle Ages.

Other impressive landmarks – which are still standing – including Bodrum Castle, which was built in the 15th century by the knights of Hospitalier. It is one of the best-preserved monuments from the medieval era and those who make the effort to climb to the top are rewarded with amazing views over the town. Alternatively, you can enjoy the historical backdrop from the comfort of the expansive beach, which offers waters that are perfect for swimming.

Dalyan River

Dalyan River

You’d be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere a little closer to home during your time on Turkey’s Dalyan River. This river is teeming with fishes and surrounded by a lush marshy delta that even provides a nesting home for native endangered Caretta loggerhead turtles, which hatch during the spring. On the surrounding riverbanks, you will be able to see the Lycian city of Caunos, which is renowned for its ruins of a former basilica and fortifications.


With temperatures beginning to warm up across the Mediterranean, there is no better time to start considering your next holiday escape. The tall ships of the Star Clippers fleet offer a traditional sailing experience and an opportunity to travel to destinations that are considered to be inaccessible to larger vessels.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

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UK and Eire passengers please contact Fred. Olsen Travel, the General Sales Agent for Star Clippers or any ABTA Travel Agent.