In early December 2009, I visited the Windward Islands aboard the S.P.V. Royal Clipper.
The Royal Clipper is the largest true sailing clipper ship in the world today.
The steel-hulled vessel is 439 feet long, has a beam of 54 feet and draft of 18.5 feet.
She carries 42 sails with a total area of 56,000 square feet. Her highest mast,
at an extraordinary 197 feet, includes a 19 foot hinged top section that can be
folded down for passing under bridges and power lines. Royal Clipper accommodates
227 passengers and 105 crewmembers, of whom 20 are needed to handle all sails.
On this cruise, there were only 157 passengers.
Having sailed on the Royal Clipper in the Mediterranean in late 2001, this ship
was my primary attraction to this itinerary.
The islands visited on this tour were St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua,
St. Kitts, Iles de Saintes, Martinique and Barbados.
The total distance traveled was 702.8 nm.