Cruise News Daily Newsfile
June 5, 2006

Star Clippers Sets 2007-2008 French Polynesian Programs





MIAMI (June 5, 2006) -- Star Clippers is to enter the French Polynesia cruise market for the first time when it deploys Star Flyer to Tahiti in December 2007. The three distinct products -- seven-night round-trip Papeete cruises, 10- and 11-night round-trip Papeete cruises and 10- and 11-night cruises between Papeete and Nuku Hiva, Marquesas -- are packed with several overnight calls and breathtaking scenery from the lush hills to the azure sea.

The 11 ports of call that compose the destination-intense itineraries take the ship to the Society, Marquesas and Tuamotus Islands. Along the way, sunset departures, cruising in crystalline lagoons and opportunities to dive and snorkel in some of the most spectacular sites in the world enhance every itinerary. And shore excursions are designed to introduce guests to the fascinating culture and history of the Polynesian people.

"The French Polynesia cruises are among the most beautiful and romantic itineraries we've ever offered," said Anjie McFarlane, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Star Clippers. "Star Flyer's size enables us to sail inside the atolls and circumnavigate the islands, allowing our guests to become totally immersed in the region, both on land and in the water."

The Society Islands: The land of mythical tales and Paul Gauguin Considered a paradise on Earth, the Society Islands were given their name by Captain James Cook in 1769 when he named them after England's Royal Society, the United Kingdom's preeminent scientific academy. Most of these rugged islands are volcanic in origin, and six of Star Flyer's calls will be at the Society Islands, including the turnaround port of Papeete.

Tahiti is the capital of French Polynesia and the largest tropical island in the region. The town of Papeete, meaning "basket of water," is spread along the coastline of Tahiti's north coast and adorned with double rainbows, countless waterfalls and deep green valleys covered with rainforests. Star Flyer arrives in Papeete the evening before disembarkation, giving guests an extra night to explore the beauty of the island and walk in the steps of French expatriate painter Paul Gauguin.

Geologists report that Moorea, which means "yellow lizard," is twice as old as Tahiti and once contained a volcano that reached 11,000 feet into the sky. The triangular-shaped island is decorated with rocky volcanic peaks and mountain slopes. Encircled by a lagoon of translucent green brimming with exotic sea creatures, both white and volcanic black sand beaches adorn Moorea's coastline.

Bora Bora is known as the most mythical of the Pacific islands, and it has been described as an emerald set is a sea of turquoise surrounded by a smattering of pearls. The island itself is rather small, with a lagoon three times the size of the landmass, and the scenery offers an amazing range of blue and green hues. Guests will have the chance to see the island by sea or air on a variety of shore excursions, from a flightseeing tour by helicopter to the adventurous shark and ray feeding experience. A romantic sunset sail on select itineraries provides a golden spectacle as Star Flyer makes its way to the next paradise.

Once the heart of royalty, religion, culture and history of the region, Raiatea, or "clear sky," is the administrative and trading center of the Leeward Islands. The island is filled with pearl farms and vanilla and pineapple plantations, and because of it's surrounding lagoon and ocean, Raiatea offers ideal sailing, scuba diving and deep sea fishing.

Sharing the same lagoon with Raiatea, sister island Tahaa is accessible only by boat. It is the only island in the Society Islands that can be completely circled by boat inside the protected lagoon, and due to the ship's size Star Flyer will circle the island inside the lagoon on the way to Bora Bora. With inside cruising, guests are privy to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Often called the "Vanilla Island," Tahaa produces about 80 percent of all French Polynesian vanilla.

Known as the "Garden Island" for its abundance of lush tropical foliage, wild jungle-like scenery and steep mountains descending into protected bays, Huahine is composed of two islands joined by a bridge. Legend has it that the two islands were once united and the isthmus was formed when Hiro, a god of thieves in Polynesian mythology, sliced his canoe through the island, dividing it in two. Huahine's lagoon, bordered by white sand beaches, is rich with sea life, and there are archaeological sites that go back a thousand years.

The Marquesas Islands: Tropical haven with exotic adventures Farther from a continental landfall than any other group of islands on Earth, the Marquesas include 12 islands, only six of which are inhabited. Shrouded in an almost constant cloud cover, the islands' volcanic pinnacles jut out from the landscape and the vegetation overflows with the sweet smell of orchids, ginger, ylang-ylang, jasmine and tiare flowers.

Nuku Hiva gained popularity after it served as the location for the popular U.S. television show "Survivor" in 2002. The largest island in the Marquesas archipelago, Nuku Hiva also serves as the administrative and economic center of the island group. Star Flyer guests can view one of the world's tallest waterfalls, the Ahuii Waterfall that is 1,148 feet (350 meters) tall, on a flightseeing tour or journey through the interior of the island to Taipavai Valley, made famous by author Herman Melville.

The final resting place of Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel, the island of Hiva Oa is shaped like a seahorse and has a glorious mountain range that forms a wall around the port of Atuona. Best known for Tahuata, the visible remains of a huge sunken volcano, Hiva Oa is the largest and most fertile island in the southern group of the Marquesas.

On Fatu Hiva, the jungle greenery begins at the water's edge and sheer cliffs plunge into the surf. The Bay of Virgins, one of the most striking sites in the South Pacific, is shrouded in rock curtains that Catholic missionaries said resembled veiled virgins. Because it is the wettest and greenest of the Marquesas, the picturesque landscape is shrouded in fern- and moss-covered mountains.

The Tuamotus Islands: Crystalline lagoons and black pearl paradise Tuamotu is an archipelago comprising 78 low islands or coral atolls scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific. The remote location of the islands conjures up images of the traditional tropical haven. Abundant sea life -- more than 400 varieties of rainbow-hued fish shimmer in the sheltered lagoons -- provides underwater entertainment for snorkelers and divers.

Star Flyer calls at Tiputa on the island of Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Rangiroa's lagoon is world renowned for scuba diving in the clear warm water, and the ship will spend a day and a half alternating between visiting the port and scenic cruising in the lagoon.

Fakarava is a virtually untouched paradise where nesting birds and marine life live in harmony. In the fantastic purple water, visibility of 150 feet is the norm, and the immense lagoon has several black pearl farms and idyllic white sand beaches.

Five different itineraries: Seven-, 10- or 11 nights Star Flyer sails a seven-night, round-trip Papeete itinerary that is port intensive with almost all overnight calls. Along the way, the ship visits Huahine (overnight), Raiatea, Tahaa (overnight), Bora Bora (overnight), and Cook Bay and Opunohu Bay (overnight), Moorea, with an overnight in Papeete before disembarkation.

The 10-night round-trip Papeete cruise takes Star Flyer to the Society and Tuamotus Islands, with special cruising in the Rangiroa Lagoon. The ship calls at Fakarava, Rangiroa (overnight with lagoon anchorage), Bora Bora (overnight), Raiatea, Tahaa (overnight), Huahine and Moorea. The 11-night voyage adds an overnight call at Huahine.

For guests wishing to visit all three island groups, Star Flyer is sailing 10- and 11-night cruises between Papeete and Nuku Hiva. The 10-night sailing journeys from Nuku Hiva to Papeete and calls at Hiva Oa, Fatu Niva, Rangiroa (overnight with lagoon anchorage), Bora Bora and Moorea, ending with an overnight call at Papeete before disembarkation. The 11-night itinerary reverses the schedule and journeys from Papeete to Nuku Hiva, adding overnight calls at Niva Oa and Nuku Hiva before disembarkation. Passengers fly round-trip Papeete for these cruises, and the flight between Papeete, Tahiti, and Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, is included in the fare.




MIAMI (June 5, 2006) -- Starting in December 2007, Star Clippers will offer guests a new way to discover the exotic beauty of French Polynesia when the line's 170-passenger Star Flyer repositions to the South Pacific. Cruising round-trip Papeete or between Papeete and Nuku Hiva on seven-, 10- or 11-night itineraries, guests will be able to immerse themselves in the journey as they sail along the islands' sandy beaches and green-hued landscapes.

Star Flyer's size enables the four-masted vessel to easily circle the islands for scenic cruising and glide inside the atolls that larger ships are unable to visit, giving passengers exclusive access to some of the most spectacular landscapes and marine environments in the world. Guests will be treated to cruising in the Rangiroa Lagoon, a 47-mile-long, 16-mile-wide natural aquarium where 150-foot visibility is common, as well as circumnavigating Tahaa's protected lagoon.

"Star Flyer is uniquely suited to exploring the beautiful islands of French Polynesia," said Anjie McFarlane, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Star Clippers. "Immersed in the sea, the sun and the exotic culture of the South Pacific, our guests will create memories to last a lifetime."

Feeling more like a private yacht than a passenger vessel, Star Flyer moves smoothly from one island to the next mainly under sail, making the ship the most environmentally friendly cruise vessel in the region. Water sports are a highlight of the Star Clippers experience, and the French Polynesia itineraries allow for plenty of time to take advantage of the complimentary snorkeling, sunfish sailing, waterskiing and windsurfing. (Scuba diving is available for a fee and certification is required.) And some of the most picturesque beaches in the world provide venues for Star Clippers' popular beach parties.

French Polynesia Cruising -- Honeymooners' Paradise Combining the romance of the islands with the adventure of sailing on a tall ship, Star Flyer's intimate atmosphere creates the perfect environment for a honeymoon. Couples can cuddle in the widow's net under the bowsprit with only the ocean below or take a nighttime romantic stroll on deck under a blanket of stars. Newlyweds are greeted with a bottle of champagne in their stateroom, as well as a host of other surprises. Sunday departures make it convenient for couples celebrating a Saturday wedding to escape to their French Polynesian honeymoon.

Star Clippers combines the pampered luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of the tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships.

The four- and five-masted clipper ships feature a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a panoramic view of the horizon, a unique sailing adventure awaits.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at 800-442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call 800-442-0556.

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