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Sailing on the “Royal Clipper” Ship

She’s tall and a real beauty. Meet the Royal Clipper!

Modeled after the greatest German clipper ship, the historic 1902 Preussen, the 439-foot, 227-passenger Royal Clipper is one of the largest true sailing ships in the world.

She’s operated by Star Clippers; our most recent cruise with them was a Caribbean cruise on the Star Flyer.

Flaunting 56,000 square feet of sails – 42 sails in all – the Royal Clipper is under sail whenever possible (not engine power).

The "Royal Clipper" is one of the largest true sailing ships in the world.

Read next! See what it’s like to sail on the Alila Purnama, a deluxe Indonesian phinisi, around Komodo (and see Komodo dragons too!)

Royal Clipper ship

The Royal Clipper recently came in at #2 for “Best Small Cruise Ship” in USA Today‘s “10 Best” Awards for 2021.

The Royal Clipper under full sail

Several years ago, we sailed on the Royal Clipper through the Grenadine Islands in the Caribbean.

Rummaging through old pics, we found these Royal Clipper photos – taken on our trusty film camera!

Pool on the Royal Clipper ship

The Royal Clipper has two smaller and older sister ships, Star Clipper and Star Flyer.

For Mikael Krafft, the 70-something Swedish entrepreneur who owns Star Clippers, these ships are the product of a lifelong dream to recreate and build real clipper ships that sail the world. (The word “clipper” comes from the phrase “to go at a good clip”.)

Indeed, the Star Clipper and Star Flyer are the first clipper ships since 1911 to be certified as passenger sailing vessels by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.

Climbing the mast of the Royal Clipper cruise ship

Star Clippers cruises

We love this line – their intimate sailing ships are among the “greenest” in the world.

And we can’t wait to sail at a good clip with them again!

Royal Clipper ship facts

  • Tonnage: 5,000
  • Length: 439 feet
  • Beam: 54 feet
  • Draft: 18.5 feet
  • Masts: 5 masts
  • Sail area: 54,000 square feet
  • Number of sails: 42
  • Mast height: 177 feet
  • Crew: 106
  • Passenger capacity: 227

See the Star Clippers website for more information on the Royal Clipper.

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Royal Clipper ship

Photo credits: © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except lead image, courtesy Star Clippers)

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

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