Joan and Tony's Star Clipper Adventure - July 2014
Saturday 12th July
After an early morning flight from Newcastle we arrived on time into Palma de Mallorca and quickly cleared customs. As we had time to spare we decided to take the local bus (number 1) which goes to the port via the town and marina. The journey took just over 20 minutes and the cost was a mere 3 Euros per person.
On arrival at the port we were greeted by Star Flyer crew who checked us in and gave us our cabin keys and identity cards. We were then able to board the ship where we were given our welcome drink and went to our cabin.
After freshening up we made our way on deck for the compulsory safety drill and then had dinner before sail away at 10pm. As always, a magical experience, as the ship departs under full sail, and with Vangelis Conquest of Paradise playing over the ships speakers.
Sunday 13th July
Today we sat up on deck as the ship sailed past Ibiza heading towards Formentera. The captain, Mariusz Szalek, advised us that Star Flyer sails at 17 knots with the sails and 10 knots with engine. He explained that if a ship sails faster under sail than when using the engines it is a true sailing ship.
The cruise director, Monja Salvati, announced that she had a surprise for us, there was a German Michelin Star Chef onboard, Otto Koch. Otto has a restaurant in Munich and has had a Michelin star for 10 years! Otto together with a small team from his restaurant prepared an additional dish to the main menu every evening. Highlights included Spiny tailed lobster mousse with wilted spinach and seafood sauce and roast rack of lamb with mushroom mash.
On arrival in Formentera we moored off shore and took the tenders into town. Formentera is a very popular little island with a small harbour and a number of large yachts and motor cruisers moored along the coast. The island has no airport but attracts thousands of visitors on the many frequent ferries from Ibiza. Never have we ever seen as many hire shops for bikes and scooters! Bike hire for a month was working out at 5 Euros a day.
Monday 14th July
This morning the ship docked in Ibiza town and it was only a 5 minute stroll to the beginning of the old town. It was quite a steep but picturesque walk through narrow streets to the old fort which offered stunning views down to the Star Flyer in the harbour.
Tuesday 15th July
Today we went into Valencia City centre by local bus from the port, this was a very easy journey and only cost 1.5 Euros each. When we got to the city we decided to do the city tour on an open top bus which took approx 1 and a half hours and cost 16 Euros per person, including headphones.
Wednesday 16th July
Up early to watch SF sail through the narrow channel which had been especially dredged for her. We arrived into port just after eight am and as SF was the first cruise ship ever to arrive in the port of Sant Carles de la Rapita we were met by a large number of press and TV crews. There followed a small ceremony along side the ship where the captain and local dignitaries exchanged gifts. The plaque presented to the SF is now displayed in the piano bar.
By coincidence SF's arrival coincided with the annual blessing of the fleet ceremony. This is a colourful festival involving a band leading the local fishermen and towns people down to the port before boarding over 60 gaily decorated fishing boats, who then sailed en-mass out to sea.
Thursday 17th July
After an amazing 24 hour sail the SF entered the spectacular port at Mahon at three pm for a stay until midnight. This extended stay allows passengers, who wish to do so, the opportunity to dine ashore at one of Menorca's superb restaurants. The visit was during Menorca's music festival which had a wide selection of free open air concerts taking place throughout the town.
Friday 18th July
Star Flyer anchored, at midday, just outside the beautiful bay of Puerto Soller, north Mallorca and we took the tender into the centre of the resort. Puerto Soller is a very picturesque and upmarket resort with an attractive marina and a wonderful sandy beach all located inside an attractive bay.
Puerto Soller is famous for its railway with restored carriages dating from the 1920's. The railway runs daily to Palma.
Saturday 19th July
Sadly, after having breakfast and saying tearful goodbyes, it was time we disembarked after another amazing week on Star Flyer where we met many new friends.