We had been toying with a clipper cruise for some time but hadn’t plucked up the courage, however after a last minute cancellation of a river cruise due to low water we only had 3 days to organise something else and the clipper cruise was one of only a few available. So we went for it and had a great time. It is a completely different experience to the normal type of cruise. like P & O, celebrity etc.
There were 120 passengers on board, 90% were German. The ship could accommodate 170, but I wouldn’t like to be on board with that many. There was insufficient space for relaxing as it was, and certainly not enough loungers. That would be one of my biggest gripes.
Our Cabin, 325, was the one nearest the dining room and was right underneath the tropical bar where music and dancing took place late into every night, but the sound of the air con drowned out the noise. The cabin was obviously quite small, with one porthole, but was very comfortable, with enough storage space. it was cleaned twice a day and had nice toiletries. The cabins are not big enough for relaxing in, other than being in bed, but it didn’t matter because we were hardly in it.
The dining room was lovely, and it was open seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner which meant we could go to dinner when it suited us between 7.30pm and 10pm. The food was excellent – much better than expected. They plated up all the choices and put them out for you to see before going into the dining room which was really useful – there’s nothing like seeing what it is, rather than just reading the menu. Smart casual was appropriate for dinner, no dressing up is required.
They put the sails up every evening as we left port, but there was insufficient wind on our trip for them to be used properly, but I understand that they are usually used. they always played the theme tune to Columbus 1492 as we set sail and it really made the sail aways special. Very stirring.
The cruise was relaxing, it was nice being so close to the water, and it was all about being on deck underneath the sails. this cruise is not for you if you like dressing up and being entertained. Entertainment is very much of your own making. We were lucky as the weather was great, wall to wall sunshine, but I think it might have been a struggle if the weather meant you couldn’t be out on deck.
It was great that you could go on the bridge anytime and chat to the captain, and the crew were all friendly.
I’m not sure I would do another clipper cruise, but that is not to say I wouldn’t recommend it, because I would, but it was pretty expensive for the level of comfort you get. But you are paying for the experience, and being under sail which is really awesome. The most memorable part of the trip for me was being out on deck after dark staring up at the stars through the sails. It was so peaceful, the only sound was the water off the bow. Amazing.