Key Differences: Star Clippers and Windstar Cruises

To the casual observer, if docked side by side both Star Clipper and Windstar Ships look similar.

Both cruise lines belong to the niche market of small ship cruising, and both have sails (more on this below). There are no lines, no time wasted with transfers, most of the time the vessels dock right near the heart of the town. The service and the hardware gives you the feel of cruising on your own private yacht. The vessels are equipped with a watersports marina and they take you to less explored, exotic parts of the world inaccessible via large ship.

With that said, there are still few recognizable differences to consider:

Star Clippers

-The Star Clippers fleet is comprised of 3 sailing ships with wind-operated sails: Star Clipper, Star Flyer (sister ships), and Royal Clipper. All launched between 1991-2000. A new ship, the Flying Clipper is to be delivered by the end of 2017

-The first two mentioned are true clipper ships, each accommodating 170 Guests with tonnage 2,298, boasting 4 masts and 16 sails

-The flagship of the fleet, the Royal Clipper is the largest and the only 5 masted full-rigged sailing ship built this century, complimented with 42 sails. With tonnage 4,425, the vessel accommodates 225 Guests

-Guest Profile: Savvy and adventurous travelers, passionate about the art of sailing. Although the average age is 55 and up, in the past years Star Clippers became popular among multigenerational families, and teenage kids can be seen on board.

-More than 50 % of the guests are European and naturally more smokers can be seen

-Staterooms range from inside staterooms to suites

-Star Clippers cruise line is family owned, headquartered in Monaco

-Star Clippers service staff is a good mix between European and Asian

-Complimentary Welcome Cocktail Reception

-Soft drinks, coffees and teas are included with breakfast, lunch and dinner

-Dining — the Main Dining Room serves breakfast & lunch buffet & plated dinner, and with its open seating policy, no reservations are needed. Afternoon canapes are served by the Tropical Bar and once per itinerary, alfresco buffet lunch

-Activities & Entertainment — On sea days, the main activities are concentrated around the pools or the bridge, such as navigation classes or how to tie a knot. The Piano bar or the alfresco Tropical bar are center of the night entertainment, where the talent crew engage the guests with dance competitions and stand up comedy. At least once per voyage, a local dance troupe is brought onboard

-Complimentary Watersports Marina lowers down for non-motorized fun aquatic activities such as kayak, snorkel, paddleboarding

-Star Clippers offer itineraries in Europe (Mediterranean), Caribbean, Panama Canal and SouthEast Asia.

Windstar Cruises

-Windstar Cruises fleet is comprised of 6 power yachts — Windstar & Wind Spirit (sister ships) are equipped with 4 masts and and 6 computer-operated sails with approx. tonnage 5,300 they both accommodate 148 guests

-The flagship in the fleet, the Wind Surf is a power sailing yacht equipped with 5 masts and 7 computer-operated sails with tonnage 14,745 and accommodate 310 guests

-The All-Suite Yachts Star Pride, Star Breeze and Star Legend are the newest addition to Windstar Fleet (entered the fleet 2014 & 2015) and accommodate 215 guest on board with registered tonnage 9,975

-Guest Profile: Savvy and active travelers, seeking to explore the world in a casual, yet elegant yacht style without following a rigid schedule. Windstar Cruises caters to adults only, there are no children facilities on board. The average age is 55 with couples in their 30s on certain voyages.

-Majority of the guests are Americans

Staterooms range from picture window stateroom to suites (No inside staterooms)

-Windstar Cruises is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, one of the world\’s most environmentally responsible travel and hospitality company

-Windstar Cruises service staff is a good mix of European and Asian

-Complimentary Welcome Champagne Reception

-Non-alcohol beverages are served throughout the day

-The Main Dining Room (AmphorA) serves breakfast and lunch buffet and plated dinner and with its open seating policy, no reservations are needed. The Veranda restaurant with indoor and alfresco seating is open for breakfast and lunch, Candles alfresco dining restaurant offers elegant dining under the stars, additional specialty restaurants, free of charge are offered on the larger vessels (reservations required)

-Activities and Entertainment: During sea days, guests gathered around the pool bar and the jacuzzi, while the night entertainment is centered around the Lounge & the Mini Casino, the Yacht Club and additional bars on the larger ships

-Complimentary Watersports Marina lowers down for non-motorized water sports. Scuba Diving Packages are offered as well.

-Windstar Cruises offer itineraries in Europe (Mediterranean, Northern Europe), Caribbean, Panama Canal and Tahiti

A highlight of the voyage is a Complimentary Private Event which takes place on land — in cultural or landmark settings, showcasing the best of the visited destination.

Key differences that cruisers will note between Star Clippers and Windstar Cruises:

-Wind Operated Sailing Ships vs. Computer Operated Power Yachts

-One dining venue vs. multiple dining rooms & alfresco dining

-Entry level inside cabin vs. entry-level porthole window cabin

– Mix between Multigenerational family travel & adults vs. mainly couples

-Learn New Nautical skills vs. Private Event on land

Thank you for reading !

Gergana(Gia)Dimitrova with Glamour Quest Travel helps travelers who are interested in history and culture, with little sense of adventure to get closer to cultural sites, connect to the local people and experience the destination as an insider by land or small ship voyages. Contact us and read our travel blog at http://www.gqtrav.com

Gergana(Gia)Dimitrova with Glamour Quest Travel helps travelers who are interested in history and culture, with little sense of adventure to get closer to cultural sites, connect to the local people and experience the destination as an insider by land or small ship voyages. Contact us and read our travel blog at http://www.gqtrav.com

Author Bio: Gergana(Gia)Dimitrova with Glamour Quest Travel helps travelers who are interested in history and culture, with little sense of adventure to get closer to cultural sites, connect to the local people and experience the destination as an insider by land or small ship voyages. Contact us and read our travel blog at http://www.gqtrav.com

Category: Travel
Keywords: small ship cruising, off the beaten path, luxury cruising, sailing yacht, exotic, immersive

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