Tuesday, 22 June 2010

TREASURE ISLANDS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN


In the burgeoning world of big-ship cruising, a small family company with a fleet of luxury sailing ships is re-discovering hidden treasures along the spectacular coastline and islands between Athens and Istanbul.

In the 2011 European summer, the Monaco-based Star Clippers will offer six new Mediterranean itineraries and make 10 maiden calls to picturesque ports in places generally inaccessible to mega liners.

The new ports of call include Canakkale, which has historical links to wars from the Trojan times to the Gallipoli campaign; several Greek ports including the long golden beaches of Skiathos; Skopelos, the film location for Mamma Mia: the tiny volcanic island of Poros, a favourite with the rich and famous, and Skyros.

Others are the Agean gem of Chios, the glamorous Greek islands of Kos, Myrina on the island of Lemnos, and the port of Sarti on Halkidiki, with its blue seas and imposing green mountains.

Among the six new itineraries for the 170-passenger Star Flyer are: Greek Isles and Turkey (seven nights between Athens and Istanbul); Yachtsman's Paradise (Istanbul/Athens) visiting seven of the 10 maiden-call ports; Monaco-Malta and Malta-Athens calling at ports in Corsica, Sardinia, Tunisia, Sicily and Greece; Western Mediterranean ­Ligurian (four seven-night round-trip cruises from Monaco or Cannes calling at L'lles Rousse, Bastia, Portoferraio, Portofino, Hyeres, Sanary-sur-Mer and St Tropez); Western Mediterranean ­Tyrrhenian from Monaco or Cannes to Calvi, Bonifacio, Costa Smeralda, Giglio, Lerici and St. Tropez.

Following the sell-out Monaco Grand Prix sailings this year, Star Flyer will be moored in Monte Carlo on May 26 2011 for the time trials, and again on May 29 for the actual race.

The other two ships in the fleet, the 228-passenger flagship Royal Clipper and 170-passenger Star Clipper, will also have a busy summer season around the Mediterranean, before moving to the Caribbean for the northern hemisphere winter season.

Star Flyer will also cross the Atlantic to new pristine sailing grounds along the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Prices start from under $3000 per person for the seven-night itineraries including taxes and all meals and entertainment on board. Early booking discounts of up to 35% are available.

For reservations contact your travel agent or Star Clippers on 1300 362 599
or email: starclippers@creativecruising.com.au  www.starclippers.com