Juliet Archer from blue water holidays spent a week with Star Clippers in the Caribbean, sailing from Barbados on board Royal Clipper.

Sailing on Royal Clipper gives you a whole new perspective on the stunning Caribbean. These islands offer the ultimate sailing experience, and Royal Clipper is the perfect ship to bring the romance of a voyage under full sail into the modern era.

Life on board is relaxed and informal, reflecting the laid-back ethos of the Caribbean. There is plenty of time to sip a cocktail on the beautiful teak sun deck watching the crew hoist the sails, or for those feeling more energetic there is the chance to climb the rigging to the crow’s nest, or swim, kayak and windsurf from the watersports platform.

As Royal Clipper is a sailing ship, cabins are compact but thoughtfully designed and beautifully furnished in mahogany and brass. The magnificent dining room features a 3-deck atrium, open-seating and easy-going dress code. Breakfast and lunch are tempting buffets with hot and cold choices, whilst dinner is an excellent à la carte menu. There is also a spa and gym on board.

We spent a lot of time in the Tropical Bar, where guests meet for pre-dinner drinks and enjoy the deliberately low-key entertainment. This ship is not aimed at customers who need glitzy cabaret and Broadway shows to enjoy their cruise. The highlight of the evening is the magical sail away, where all 42 sails are hoisted by the crew to the evocative sound of Vangelis’ ‘Conquest of Paradise’.

Whilst the islands visited on this cruise are familiar to fans of the Caribbean, at only 4425 tonnes and carrying just 227 guests, Royal Clipper can visit places off the beaten track, where larger ships cannot venture. We moored off picturesque beaches, including Rodney Bay in St Lucia and Pigeon Beach in Antigua, complete with white sand, crystal-clear seas and friendly beach bars selling the obligatory rum punch.

However, it’s not all about the beaches on this cruise – the range of optional excursions give a real insight into the culture and traditions of the islands. We took a rowing boat trip up the tropical Indian River in Dominica where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed, took a hair-raising off road trip in Barbados, and a tour of beautiful St Kitts.

This is the ideal ship for those who love small ships and the thrill of sailing, or those who have been to the Caribbean before and want to experience a more intimate side to these spectacular islands.

FAST FACTS
Guests: 227
Decks: 4
Crew members: 106
Length: 134m

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BARBADOS STAY & SAIL, EIGHT NIGHTS DEPARTS JANUARY 13, 2017 Seven nights aboard Royal Clipper visiting Bridgetown, Barbados, Rodney Bay, St Lucia, Cabrits and Roseau, Dominica, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, Basseterre, St Kitts, Iles des Saintes, Fort de France, Martinique, Barbados, Bridgetown. Price includes return flights from London, one night pre cruise stay in Barbados, all non-UK transfers and port charges. From £2199pp. 0845 200 6145 starclippers.co.uk

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