Last updated: 01:05 PM ET, Wed May 27 2015

Star Clippers Confirms Fourth Sailing Ship

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Theresa Norton | May 27, 2015

Star Clippers Confirms Fourth Sailing Ship

PHOTO: This rendering depicts Star Clippers’ fourth ship, now under construction. (Courtesy of Star Clippers)


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Star Clippers Founder Mikael Krafft confirmed he is building a fourth ship, which he says will be the world’s largest five-masted, square-rigger sailing ship.

The as-yet-unnamed ship, now under construction at Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia, will accommodate 300 passengers in 150 staterooms and suites, including four owners' suites and 34 balcony suites. Krafft said the new vessel is modeled on the France II, which was built in 1911 and at the time was the largest merchant sailing ship in the world.

The new ship is due out in the second half of 2017 and initially will sail in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Sales are expected to open in 2016.

It will be primarily wind-powered, with 68,000 square feet of sails, although the vessel will have a diesel-electric system as well. It will have 140 staff and crew members. Word on the new ship leaked out last week after Krafft held a press conference with European journalists.

The vessel will have many of the features found on the other ships in the Star Clippers fleet, including three pools, piano bar, library, outdoor bar, observation lounge, bowsprit net, and a marble-accented spa with waterfalls, four treatment rooms, hammam, and a gym.

One of the three swimming pools will funnel sunlight through the ship’s atrium into the dining room. A watersports platform in the stern will be lowered when the ship is at anchor.

The new ship will be slightly larger than the Royal Clipper, which entered service in 2000. The Royal Clipper accommodates 227 passengers and 106 staffers and has five masts with 42 sails.

Krafft said it is not easy to find a shipyard that will build such ships, which are essentially hand-made. “It’s rather complicated and not mass-produced,” he said in a conference call with U.S. cruise journalists.

Krafft also announced that the company will return to the Far East in the winter of 2016-17 after an absence since March 2010 with the 170-passenger Star Clipper. “We did it very successfully for 15 years, but then there were too many pirates,” he said. “Now it’s much, much better, so we decided go back to this very successful itinerary.”

The ship will operate from Phuket, Thailand, from where it will operate two different seven-night round-trip itineraries as well as seven departures that begin or end in Singapore starting Dec. 2, 2016.

Meanwhile, the 170-passenger Star Flyer will continue to operate Cuba voyages from Havana and Cienfuegos for the winter of 2016-17, interspersed with longer cruises in the Caribbean and to the Panama Canal. Royal Clipper will sail from Barbados all season, exploring the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands. The winter 2016-17 program goes on sale in June.

The expansion comes as Star Clippers is stepping up its sales and marketing in the U.S. The company recently appointed Mirell Reyes as president of sales and marketing for North America, South America and Canada. Based in Miami, Reyes heads all sales and marketing initiatives in the Americas and reports directly to Krafft, who is based in Monaco.

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