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Nikki's Blog: Star Clipper - everyone should sail like this at least once in their lifetime

After a fantastic time in the city heat of Rome, I was really looking forward to heading for the coast and my trip on Star Clipper.

I made my way to Roma Termini to catch the train to Civitavecchia, the port of Rome - it was only 50 minutes away.

It was a very enjoyable journey through the rural countryside, following the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

On arrival at the port, it appeared to be full of container ships and cruise liners, but no sign of Star Clipper. However, a helpful bus driver knew where she was berthed and took me to the furthest docking point of the harbour and there she was - a magnificent sailing ship with four masts, beautiful superstructure and twenty sails when fully rigged.

This was going to be some adventure.

My cabin was well appointed and classic sailing ship decor.

I explored the ship and it was glorious wood and brass in every direction; crew and officers were friendly and our host Carlos was very knowledgeable.

Right from the first evening's get together, all the passengers began to bond.

The evening meal was sit where you wished, and although it was silver service, the atmosphere was very relaxed and the food was excellent - as it was for every meal.

At 22:00 hours, we were all summoned on deck for our departure. It is something I will never forget - sails were raised, and to the music of Vangelis we slipped our moorings.

Throughout the next day, I lay on a sunbed, slipped into the pool, ate, drunk and met many lovely fellow travellers, and all the time surrounded by calm seas and a beautiful cloudless sky.

The following morning, at 10:00 hours, we arrived at our first destination - Lipari - one of many islands off the north coast of Sicily. This group of islands are well worth visiting and I had a great time enjoying the abundance of history on view.

Now I could go day by day describing each place we visited, but this blog would be too long so instead, I will just say we called in at Messina in Sicily, just opposite the toe of Italy.

Then onto the very touristy Amalfi coastline where the mountains plunged into the sea and buildings clung to the sides in seemingly impossible positions.

Then onto Sorrento where we took a tour to Pompeii, and no words can describe this monument to a Roman lifestyle way ahead of its time.

Finally, Ponza, an island that had a wonderful relaxed feel about it where you can sit, have a drink or meal, and look out at the bay where your sailing ship waits majestically for your return.

That sums up the beauty of this holiday. No matter how busy the venue you visited was, you knew that at the end of the day, the tender would pick you up and within minutes, you would be back on board with only the breeze, the fluttering of sails and the setting sun to disturb you.

Having said that, every night there was some great entertainment put on by the crew from both above and below deck.

On the final night, it was the captain's dinner, and what a spectacle it was, with him marching into the dining room with his officers to napkin waving and cheering from all the delighted passengers.

After the meal, up on deck, sails up and floodlit, Vangelis belting out and many of us in tears as we sailed for our home port and the end of a truly fabulous holiday.

Everyone should sail like this at least once in their lifetime.


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