Friday, January 28, 2011

Booty: Return To Luxury

In 1902 the dockyard of J. C. Techlenborg at Geestemunde, Germany launched the largest and fastest sailing ship ever built. The vessel had five masts, was 408 feet long and registered 5,081 tons. With a surprisingly small compliment of 48 men the ship, christened Preussen, was a dominant force in merchant shipping as the siren song of the age of sail was being sung. She grounded off southern England in 1910 and was unsalvageable for future use.

Fast forward to our modern era and the cruise line known today as Star Clipper. They run three sailing ships for pleasure cruises the largest of which, named Royal Clipper, is a tribute to Techlenborg’s storied Preussen but with the added elegance of a private yacht.

Royal Clipper, seen at the header in full sail, is 5,000 tons, 429 feet in length and 54 feet at her beam with a draft of 18 feet. She carries 56,000 square feet of Dacron in her 42 sails and a compliment of 106, including service personnel. Royal Clipper is the ultimate sail cruise experience according to the line’s website, and it is hard to argue with that statement. Just a few of her amenities include: five decks, three swimming pools, access to lounging in the “crows-nests” located on all but one mast, a sunlit dining room beneath a three-deck atrium, a marina platform that descends from her stern for diving and the Captain Nemo Lounge, a spa that is equipped with portholes underwater. Because Royal Clipper’s passenger list is small, just 227 compared to thousands on the modern tankers advertised on TV, her service is arguably the best in the business.

Of course, all this drool-worthy luxury comes at a price. The starting cost is $2,000 U.S. per person with value packages as high as $6,000 per person. Then too, sailing is not for everyone. Despite Royal Clipper’s state of the art navigation system and anti-roll tanks she is a sailor. You’ll feel the sea aboard her even in the finest weather, unlike the floating warehouses mentioned earlier.

I’ll leave you this Friday with a few more magnificent views of a magnificent ship. Pop over to the
website for more of the same and information on all destinations available. Though I’ll surely never climb aboard her, I salute Royal Clipper and her sisters for keeping the dream of elegant sailing ships alive. Long may she sail.

Pictures via


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! That's pretty impressive. Who knows, maybe your next husband will be more seaworthy (and rich) and you'll get to take on cruise on her after all...

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Timmy! In all honesty, this is a little rich for my blood. I'm more of the barefoot cruise type; actually get your hands dirty and that.