Joining Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper for a Cruise through the Southern Caribbean

Star Clipper’s Royal Clipper in Bridgetown, Barbados on December 12, 2015. She is the only five-masted, full-rigged sailing ship to be launched since the Preussen of 1902. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Saturday, December 12, 2015
Tucked within the maze of gleaming white cruise ships that loomed tall over the piers in the port of Bridgetown, Barbados was a smaller, more unassuming cruise ship. She doesn’t have row upon row of balcony staterooms, nor does she have poolside movie theatres or rock climbing walls that scale her funnel. In fact, Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper doesn’t have a lot of things that the big megaships have – and that’s entirely the point.

Don't like big cruise ships? Royal Clipper, left, could be the ship for you! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Don’t like big cruise ships? Royal Clipper, left, could be the ship for you! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Royal Clipper isn’t your average cruise ship. Royal Clipper is a masterpiece of design and engineering; a classic throwback to the glory days of ocean travel. She is the world’s largest full-rigged, five-masted sailing ship in the world.
The masts are the first things that guests arriving in the Port of Bridgetown are likely to notice. I traced them down with my eyes to Royal Clipper’s striking blue-and-white superstructure. I’ve seen her before – ironically, twice here in Barbados. Once in 2010, and again in 2012. Yet I was unprepared for the surprisingly opulent world that awaited me once I stepped onboard.

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