Full sails and tranquil waters

Cannes to Monte Carlo
  • Portofino Portofino

A Quick Glance

Destination(s) Cannes to Monte Carlo

Duration 7 days / 7 nights

Traveller(s) Friends

Trip highlight Something new every day but at the end of the day was pulling up anchor in preparation for sailing into the sunset towards another enchanting port.

Travel Advisor Judy Gillard

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Picture this - high summer in the Mediterranean, full moon, gentle warm breezes and you are cast under the spell of the wind, the stars and the tides… 

You are sailing on a yacht; you are a free agent and you feel like a millionaire without a care in the world.

This is how we felt on our seven day cruise on the Star Clipper.  She is a four-masted, 110 foot long barquentine, inspired by the mighty clipper ships that revolutionised the tea trade routes to China in the 19th Century.  A truly beautiful ship!

I fell in love with her at first sight, moored off Cannes on the French Riviera.

With my five seafaring friends, a suitcase filled with only swimsuits, t-shirts, a couple of casual outfits to wear for dinner and a packet of Kwells, I climbed the rope & chain gangplank to be greeted by the captain, Brunon from Poland, and his cheery crew…  I knew in an instant it would be a wonderful week.

The crew of 70 hail from all over the world - a mix of French, Balinese, Swiss, Swedish & Croatian, although Norman from Jamaica who at exactly 7.45am each day  brought a pot of Earl Grey tea to my cabin.  What a perfect way to start the day, lazing in my double bed and listening to the waves gently lapping with a lovely cuppa!  Then looking out the porthole to see what magical place we were about to visit for the day...

We would cruise at night to arrive each morning in a new port where we would spend the day exploring, before returning to the ship late afternoon in time for last light to sail into the sunset.

Our glorious journey sailed from Cannes to St Florent in Corsica, then on to the capital of Corsica, Bastia, then Portoferraio on the island of Elba, across to Italy to Portovenere at the southern end of Cinque Terre, to the most famous fishing village of them all – Portofino - and then to the millionaire’s playground of Monte Carlo.

At each port, the tenders would scurry around, taking us either to the beach to try a variety of water sports or into town where we could participate in a guided tour by the lovely French cruise director, Elsa.   The more adventurous could wander at their own pace, exploring the towns.

We tended to wander off by ourselves, to shop and find somewhere inviting for a leisurely lunch with a glass or two of local wine.  Some days, it was hard to choose from the exquisite cafes and restaurants which would give us the best vantage point to watch the world go by!   In the afternoons, we would return to our yacht and sit by the pool and relax on a lounge with a book.

At Portovenere we went on the local ferry and visited each of the exquisite Cinque Terre villages, having café latte at Riomaggiore, walking along the coastal path to Manarola for pesto pasta, swimming at Vernazza and wandering around Monterosso before returning to our yacht.

The highlight at the end of every day was pulling up anchor in preparation for sailing into the sunset towards another enchanting port.

All the passengers and crew would gather on the deck as we set sail, the sails gently unfurled while we listened to the haunting music of Vangelis, complete with a flute of champagne in hand,  it was pure magic as you felt the yacht gently glide through the water and into the open sea.

One night as we set sail, Felicity (the ships parrot who was always present as we left port) managed to slip and slide down the sails into the sea.  Of course, we couldn’t turn back, but in a flash, the Swedish sports instructor jumped into the Zodiac as it was launched into the sea to save poor Felicity who was bobbing up and down in our wake.   We cheered and clapped as Sven and Felicity, complete with the Zodiac, were winched back on board.

Full sails and tranquil waters Full sails and tranquil waters

The last day, we were docked in Monte Carlo, and we truly felt like millionaires!  We enjoyed a helicopter flight over the Riviera, taking photos of our yacht from the air, and the amazing collection of sparking yachts all moored waiting for their owners.  We sampled a delicious but very expensive coffee sitting outside the Hotel de Paris, counting the Ferraris and Lamborghinis driving past before having a wonderful time enjoying the shopping and fashion on offer.

As the afternoon sun slipped away, we returned to our yacht for our last night.  This turned out to be the most magical experience that still leaves me breathless.  After a delicious dinner, we all gathered on the deck looking at the midnight lights of Monte Carlo while toasting our new found friends, and then all of a sudden, the sky lit up with a spectacular fireworks display!  It was beautiful standing there on the deck looking up into the night sky filled with a thousand twinkling lights over Monte Carlo as the yachts sails filled with the warm breeze and we gently sailed away into the night… The cruise is a romantic, carefree experience and a perfect way to visit the beautiful ports. Travel with friends or go for a romantic holiday.   I would go back and do it all again and so would my friends as we had such a wonderfully relaxing time away.

a little luxury onboard... a little luxury onboard...

For a holiday with a difference, discover new waters around the world and a new age of sailing on a grand tall ship. On board, enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, friendly crew and international cuisine, all in modern and pampered comfort. The choice is yours as to whether you lend a hand to hoist the sails, or you can just sit by and watch the crew at work.  You can even climb the mast if you’re up for the challenge!