In December 2012 I had the amazing opportunity to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica for a one week long sailing cruise on the Star Flyer, one of three ships in the Star Clipper fleet. These are some of the world’s largest and most luxurious sailing vessels, with a length of 360 feet and four masts. The ships can accommodate about 150 guests, but we only had 90 plus crew. The atmosphere on board is very casual and relaxed. Guests are encouraged to associate with each other as well as the crew, and the result is almost a family atmosphere. I had booked the cruise last minute and wasn’t able to find anyone to go with me, but from the moment I arrived, the other guests introduced themselves to me, invited me to sit with them at meals, and made me feel very at home. I honestly never felt alone or by myself the entire time.
Our time at sea was some of the most relaxing of my whole life. The ship has several lounges, live entertainment several times a day, a library, even wireless satellite internet. There are two pools as well as lots of deck chairs to lay in the tropical sunshine and enjoy the warm sea breezes. We could even lay in the bow spirit net out in front of the ship, and even climb the mast (attached to a harness of course!)
We docked at five ports, one in Nicaragua, and four in Costa Rica. While in three of those ports I went on shore excursions. The best one was in Nicaragua, where we spent all day and traveled nearly all the way to Managua, visiting the Masaya volcano, Lake Nicaragua, the colonial town of Granada, and a local market. In Costa Rica we visited a beautiful ranch and took a boat ride in Santa Rosa National Park. Finally on the last day of the cruise we took a nature hike through a private wildlife reserve.
By the end of the week, the amazing thing was that the time hadn’t seem to pass very quickly–it seemed like a long week but in a good way of course. I think I was so relaxed that the time didn’t fly by like it normally does. Star Clippers is an awesome way to cruise–there is nothing like standing on deck as the crew hoists the sales and pulls up the anchor. They play “Conquest of Paradise” by Vangelis (from the movie 1492) as the ship slowly turns and majestically sails into the blue yonder. This is a very highly recommended vacation–perfect for honeymoons or anniversaries or just about any other reason!