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Star Flyer, Star Clipper

Royal Clipper

with the emphasis on convivial social gatherings and destination discussions. In the Caribbean in winter and in the Med and Baltic in summer, Sea Cloud Cruises is a German line but with fully bi-lingual voyages and high-quality continental cuisine, plus a river-cruise arm with River Cloud II on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Gratuities not included. NB: a new-build project for a brand new vessel, Sea Cloud Hussar, has been halted after the shipyard went bust.


SeaDream I and II

Rating Type 6*

Boutique 5*

Rating Type


Dining Tonnage P / C 4*-Plus Adventure 18.00 One 2,298 Adventure 22.30 One 5,000 170/72 227/106

Wonderfully evocative vessels, propelled by the wind and visiting far-flung corners and little-seen ports. Comfortable if smallish accommodations, with well-planned, thoughtful international menus for their single-seating dining. Very low-key entertainments, but gracious, friendly service and good watersports. The unique five- masted Royal Clipper is a truly beautiful ship and provides slightly more onboard choice. All three sail around the Med and (for the first time in 2012) Northern Europe in summer and Caribbean in winter, with Star Flyer uniquely based in Costa Rica. Gratuities not included.

SR Dining Tonnage P / C 38.72 Open 4,260 110/95

Acquired by their original Norwegian founder, SeaDream I and II were previously the Sea Goddesses. Just big enough to be ships, still small enough to be yachts, these vessels offer luxury cruising for those who prefer a relaxed, refined environment. Extensive refits gave both ships a completely fresh look, inside and on deck, where notable features include a new library, outside bar and cafe and completely renovated accommodation, plus fabulous Balinese Dream Bed loungers on deck. Fine dining is guaranteed and the service is among the very best. Wintering in the Caribbean, both vessels visit the Mediterranean extensively in the summer and autumn, and offer several transatlantic voyages a year. Sold cruise- only, all fares include port tax, drinks and gratuities.


Silver Explorer Silver Cloud, Wind

Silver Shadow, Whisper

Silver Spirit


SuperStar Libra

SuperStar Aquarius 4* SuperStar Virgo

Rating Type 4*


Resort Resort

4*-Plus Resort

Dining Tonnage P / C

28.56 Open 42,275 1480/740 29.22 Open 51,093 1748/614 39.18 Open 76,800 1960/1000

Rating Type 6* 6* 6*

SR Dining Tonnage P / C

Adventure 46.00 Open 6,072 Boutique Boutique

6*-Plus Boutique 132/111

56.76 Open 16,800 296/212 73.79 Open 28,258 382/295

66.66 Open 36,000 540/376

From inception in 1994 with Silver Cloud and Wind, the all-inclusive policy and high percentage of balconies have been a winner, with fabulous accommodation and easy to use public rooms. Attention to detail is usually the great strength of this ultra-deluxe product, along with their chic Italian styling. Fine dining with well selected menus and well-chosen complimentary wine list, featuring open sitting in the main dining room and an alternative restaurant with bookings required. Between them, the main five ships (Cloud, Wind, Shadow, Whisper and the Spirit) cover much of the globe during the year, spending summer in Europe and Alaska, an autumn series in Canada and New England, and winter in the Caribbean and Mexico, Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Far East and South Pacific, South America and the Amazon. Their Grand Voyages feature cruises from 20-64 days. New (in December 2009) vessel Silver Spirit further refined the Silversea ethos, with more veranda cabins, greater dining choice and onboard amenities, including an ultra-chic Spa. Completely different is the adventuring style of Silver Explorer (ex-World Discoverer) a purpose-built expedition ship with arguably the greatest level of luxury of its kind, visiting Antarctica, Europe’s Atlantic seaboard, the Norwegian Arctic, Africa, Costa Rica and South America. Packaged with tax, flights and drinks. A unique Personalised Voyages scheme allows guests to select their own embarkation/disembarkation points and cruise duration on a cruise-only basis while the line’s lifestyle enrichment programmes are among the very best. Gratuities included.


RMS St Helena Rating Type SR Dining Tonnage P / C 3*-Plus Adventure 70.40 Two 6,767 128/56

A unique cargo ship, but with built-in passenger facilities, the last working Royal Mail Ship serves the South Atlantic Isles and South Africa, including Ascension Island, St Helena and Tenerife. Cabins are basic but include good closet space. No great cruise sophistication, but highly relaxing (with many days at sea), wonderfully friendly service and consistent, plentiful food. Sailing (twice a year) from Portland or round-trip from Cape Town, voyages can be tailor-made, one-way or round-trip, from 13 to 31 days. A real individual in the cruise world. Gratuities not included.



This Far East-based company were the originators of NCL’s Freestyle policy and brought in their own range of similar, new, resort-style vessels. Superstar Leo (now Norwegian Spirit) and Virgo were built to order, with a superb range of amenities, dining and entertainment. The Libra (ex-Norwegian Sea) and Aquarius (Norwegian Wind) have both transferred from NCL in recent years. The standard of cuisine is high, with menus including oriental and international cuisine all available on an informal eat-when-you-like basis. Based year-round in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, they now sail around much of South-East Asia and Japan, including Thailand, China and Vietnam. Sold as part of tour operator programmes from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, plus directly by Star with a cruise-only programme. No gratuities required.

Rating Type 4*-Plus Boutique


Dining Tonnage P / C 35.71 Open 12,500 350/160

This is the original Minerva which was sold off to Explorer Cruises when Swan acquired Minerva II (ex-R8) before the new ship was in turn transferred to the Princess Cruises brand and Swan Hellenic was allowed to die off. Happily, Lord Sterling bought the brand from Carnival and has revived it by allying with All Leisure Group (owners of Voyages of Discovery) and Explorer II is now Minerva once again! With its refined, country house style, this is travelling in relaxed but distinguished style, with open-seating dining in one of two venues and a high-quality guest speaker programme. Public rooms maintain the traditional feel with modern overtones while cabins are comfortable if not especially remarkable. An extensive

Winter 2011-12 WORLD OF CRUISING 95

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