Tropical Thailand with Star Clippers
February feels like a distant memory now, when I stepped onboard the beautiful Star Clipper for a voyage around the remote Thai Islands and Langkawi, Malaysia. Our 7-night round-trip set sail from Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand, with 145 fellow sailing enthusiasts and 75 dedicated and friendly crew on board.
Prior to the trip we stayed one night at The Amari Phuket, a pre-accommodation option I would recommend booking before departure through Star Clippers, as it is located only a short distance from our embarkation point the next day. The hotel accommodation had sweeping views across Patong Bay and when I woke up the next morning, ready to board our cruise, I looked out the window and saw our Star Clippers ship anchored. There were people pointing out the ship and commenting on how stunning it was, which added to my excitement for our trip to come!
The check-in process before boarding the ship was simple. We headed to a local hotel where there was an area dedicated to Star Clippers check-in and confirmed our details with staff, tagged our luggage to be transferred to the ship and then headed straight to the ship via tender boats. For those arriving earlier than check-in time without access to a hotel, there were facilities available such as internet, tea, coffee, snacks and a safe spot to leave your luggage.
We experienced exceptional customer service from the moment we stepped on the ship. We were offered canapes and a drink before a crew member escorted us to our room and demonstrated how everything worked. We stayed in a twin category 3 cabin with a porthole which was great for natural light. Our medium sized suitcases slid under the bed easily, so we could unpack then store them out of the way.
As we got to know our ship and fellow passengers, we found ourselves settling into daily life on board:
Once we’d settled into our cabins, we explored the ship and sat ourselves at the Tropical Bar, which became a spot we visited frequently over the coming days. We introduced ourselves to other guests on board, many from the UK or Germany. There was a good mix of guests from all different walks of life which made for excellent conversations over the coming days.
Evening meals took place in the dining room and dinner was always served a la carte with lots to choose from and many courses, so you’d never go hungry! There was always at least one local cuisine dish on the menu, as well as European style meals with plenty of variety from lobster tail one-night to green curry, steak and pastas. Although they promote no need to dress up, everyone dressed smart casual in the evenings. I’d recommend packing a few dresses for ladies and a pair of trousers for men.
After dinner on the first night, we headed up on deck for the raising of the sails and champagne party. The ship used sail power each evening, and as much as they could during the they, only using engine assistance as needed.
Breakfast on board exceeded my expectations with so much choice including an egg and omelette station, full continental and cooked breakfasts, pastries and cheese. Lunch times were a delicious buffet with lots to choose from, served in a relaxed environment, sometimes in the dining room but other times on a beach or up on deck.
Excursions & Activities:
Each day we were taken to visit an island. Occasionally, there were other day trippers on the island, but many times we had the island to ourselves. The crew arranged tender boats to take guests across to the shore where we found beautiful sandy beaches with beautiful clear to swim in. The sports team onboard would be on hand to facilitate included activities such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and water-skiing. Each guest was also offered a snorkel, mask and fins at the beginning of the cruise to use on our island visits. In certain areas, we could head out on the tenders to deep water snorkelling spots, which was an incredible experience with large amounts of tropical fish swimming all around you.
Star Clippers also offer several shore excursions and additional activities throughout the trip at a small cost. On our trip, these included a day trip around Langkawi and a tour to see James Bond Island. To book these in, you can decide this a couple of days in advance and sign up on the ship. There’s also a dive master onboard all Asia cruises for beginner or advanced diving – this was offered at great prices and those who participated reported that the surrounding diving conditions were excellent.
Each evening, Star Clippers arrange an activity for guests to join if they choose. A few of the activities on our cruise included a film which was projected onto the sails, a quiz night and a fashion show involving crew and some guests.
Our Star Clippers experience sailing through the Thai islands and Langkawi was thoroughly enjoyable. I would highly recommend a trip with Star Clippers for anyone who typically enjoys land and sea holidays to give try it out. It isn’t your traditional cruise experience, which makes it all the more special!
You can browse the Star Clippers journeys available to book here or call our team on (AU) 1300 295 049 or (NZ) 0800 238 368 to book today.
O'Loughlin | with 0 comments