Royal Clipper – The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

At 439 feet in length, the five-masted, 42-sail Royal Clipper is the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. With 19,000 square feet of open deck and accommodations for up to 227 guests, the Royal Clipper is a sight to behold.

Inspired by the legendary tall ship Preussen, Royal Clipper has the proud distinction of being the largest and only five-masted full-rigged sailing ship built, since her predecessor was launched at the beginning of the 20th century.

Royal Clipper Technical Data

Tonnage: 5,000
Length: 439 feet
Beam: 54 feet
Draft: 18.5 feet
Sail Area: 56,000 Square feet
Mast Height: 197 feet
Total Staff: 106
Passenger Capacity: 227
Masts: 5 Masts, 42 Sails

Royal Clipper spends the winter season sailing weekly from Bridgetown, Barbados on itineraries that include the Grenadines and Windward Islands of the Caribbean. After repositioning to Europe in the spring, she sails a variety of summer voyages ranging from Spain to Croatia in the Mediterranean and North Africa.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

As the largest true sailing clipper ship in the world today, she carries 42 sails with a total area of 56,000 square feet. Unusual for a sailing ship, a three-deck atrium graces the heart of the vessel.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

Her interior is decorated in Edwardian-era style with abundant gleaming wood, brass fixtures, and nautical touches. Light filters into the piano bar, three-deck-high atrium, and dining room through the glass bottom and portholes of the main swimming pool located overhead.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship


The rarely used Observation Lounge is forward of the Deluxe suites and affords great sea views. It is also the location of the computer station for all Internet access.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

The day officially begins when the captain holds an informative daily briefing on deck with a bit of storytelling tossed in.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

The lack of rigid scheduling is one of Star Clippers' most appealing attractions. The bridge is always open, and passengers are welcome to peer over the captain's shoulder as he plots the ship's course. Crew members are happy to demonstrate how to splice a line, reef a sail, or tie a proper knot.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

As attractive as the ships' interiors are, the focal point of Star Clippers cruises is the outdoors. Plan to spend a lot of time on deck soaking in the sun, sea, and sky. It doesn't get any better than that. Consider also that each ship has at least two swimming pools. Granted, they are tiny, but they are a refreshing feature uncommon on true sailing ships and all but the most lavish yachts.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

Although the Star Clippers ships are motorized, their engines are shut down whenever crews unfurl the sails (36,000 square feet on Star Clipper and Star Flyer, and 56,000 square feet on Royal Clipper) to capture the wind. On a typical cruise, the ships rely exclusively on sail power any time favorable conditions prevail.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship


While the feeling of the wind powering large ships through the water is spine-tingling, you will miss the wondrous sight of your ship under sail unless the captain can schedule a photo opportunity utilizing one of the tenders. It's one of the most memorable sights you'll see if this opportunity avails itself. However, when necessary, the ships will cruise under motor power to meet the requirements of their itineraries.Royal Clipper - The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

 

Sources: fodors.com, twistedsifter.com, starclippers.com

All Photos by: © Star Clippers

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