The family company, which owns the Star Clippers fleet harbours hopes of building another ship.
Captain of the Royal Clipper Sergey Utitsyn, who has been with the fleet since the flagship was launched in 2000, told Cruise Passenger everyone hoped another could be built as demand was growing and the three vessels in the fleet were often full.
“We run at 60 percent repeats and we are getting many new passengers from larger lines like P&O and Cunard, because of our unique experience and because our ship is like a family,” he said.
“They come to us and say wow! It’s because of the crew and the sailing experience.”
But he said while he had spoken to Swedish-born owner Mikael Krafft and even suggested a name for the new ship – Royal Flyer – it was not certain when such a venture could start.
“It is a family business, and the owner Mr Krafft has a son and a daughter. “
Capt Utitsyn told Cruise Passenger there were no plans as yet to create an Australian itinerary, though as someone who had sailed to Fremantle many years ago it was something he dreamed of doing.
“There are usually Australians on board when we sail – sometimes five, sometimes 10 or 15,” he said. “They love the experience.”
The problem, he said, is safety concerns and insurance for the company’s three ships, which would have to pass pirate-infested waters around Somalia.
Because the clipper ships are slow, it is feared they would be easy prey for the pirates. However, security concerns are subsiding so there are hopes the position may change.
Star Clipper’s fleet of three is headed by the Royal Clipper, still in the Guiness Book of Records as the largest tall ship in the world.
She is a steel-hulled five-masted fully rigged tall ship designed by Zygmunt Choreń, for Star Clippers Ltd. of Sweden, and built using an existing steel hull.
She is sailing the Mediterranean this season, and will then switch to the Caribbean.