Review: Riviera’s French Riviera and Corsica aboard Star Clipper

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But the French Riviera and Corsica is simply half the story. Throw in Elba and Rome too. Seven nights on the sails-billowing Star Clipper are wrapped with resort nights in Nice and Rome.

Nostalgically rekindling the golden age of sail, the four-masted 366-feet lengthy clipper sails by the Mediterranean. From the bikini and jet-ski hedonism of Nice to the pure white cassocks and imperial grandeur of Rome.

This fairy-tale tall-ship calls in on the French island of Corsica on its voyage from the Côte d’Azur to Italy.

The welcome

A month earlier than departure, a personalised cruise booklet drops by the letter field. From flight occasions by cabin quantity to dinner costume code, every little thing is included.

On arrival at Nice airport, Riviera’s representatives information company to a coach for switch to a metropolis centre resort.

On Day 2 we go away Nice for Cannes, driving previous the final foothills of the Alpes-Maritimes and Hemingway’s beloved Antibes. This is a panorama the place you may ski within the morning and swim within the afternoon.

A tour of glittering Cannes takes us previous the well-known crimson carpet, cleaned thrice each day in the course of the Film Festival. Handprints recall stars of the film world. We stroll alongside a brief stretch of the elegant Croisette promenade after which right into a market the place stalls are laden with the produce of Provence.

Late afternoon, a young crosses to the Star Clipper moored within the bay. Cool flannels, an iced punch and afternoon tea welcome us aboard.

The cabin

Smoothly lacquered wealthy mahogany blends with heat brass to create admiral stylish. Staff service the cabin twice a day. Most cabins may be configured as twins for pals travelling collectively.

Space at sea is at premium so there’s room below the mattress for instances in addition to many drawers for storage to maintain every little thing ship-shape. In true Hornblower fashion, a porthole provides an ocean view. But Hornblower by no means had a wall-mounted tv with DVD participant, air-conditioning and en-suite lavatory with bathe.

The amenities

Cooled by sea breezes the open-air Tropical Bar is the venue for drinks all through the day and post-dinner dancing, quizzes and exhibits. It leads right into a guide lined library, the type of room  with inexperienced baize bridge tables, the place Nelson would have deliberate technique.

Breakfast and lunch are grand buffets served within the restaurant. An egg chef flips omelettes while different company mix-and-match from fruit, continental and a conventional English breakfast. Undoubtedly, top quality meals is among the Star Clipper’s strengths.

Usually lunch is a buffet within the Clipper Dining Room. Though a deck high buffet, served within the limestone amphitheatre port of Bonifacio, must be certainly one of Corsica’s most stunning lunch spots.

There is open seating for the a la carte dinner service which stretches over two hours. Clipper company are usually adventurous souls, usually well-travelled, and so they benefit from the alternative to swap yarns. A Captain’s Dinner, with lobster and steak on the menu, and a waiter’s procession of flaming baked Alaska desserts is a memorable event. Throughout the cruise, waiters in blue-hooped sailor apparel present discrete and environment friendly service.

Two splash swimming pools, on solar and aft decks, are surrounded by sun-loungers. Alternatively, there’s the bowsprit web for absorbing the solar. Guests searching for the final word in rest sign-up for an Asian therapeutic massage.

Then for a real Hornblower heart-stopping second, harnessed company learn to climb the rigging, if they want.

Excursions

Tenders take company to a seashore, close to St Tropez, for a morning of swimming, paddle-boarding and kayaking.

Arriving within the billionaires’ playground of arty St Tropez, the yachts are extra mega, the bronze tans deeper and the bikinis briefer than in Nice and Cannes. Helicopters buzz overhead.

It could be that Brigitte Bardot’s efficiency within the 1956 film, “And God created woman” now shapes this tiny city’s decadent persona greater than when the physique of Christian martyr St Topaz was washed ashore in AD 55.

Five excursions on Corsica deserve a put up of their very own on one other day. From Ile de Russe there’s a drive by the mountain villages, a full day in Ajaccio to discover Napoleon’s legacy, gorgeous views from the limestone peninsula of Bonifacio, water sports activities and swimming on a seashore cease and at last historic Bastia.

Three hundred days, the size of Napoleon’s exile, inspired travellers on the Grand Tour to incorporate Italy’s third largest island. After docking at Portoferraio, a scenic drive takes us to Porto Azzurro, generally known as Little Portofino.

Arriving on the working farm of Tentua Chiusa, the place the vineyards run right down to the seashore, cypress and olive timber deliver a really feel of Tuscany to the panorama. A wine tasting is accompanied by cheese, olives, salami and bread dipped within the property’s further virgin olive oil. Drunk cake constructed from Tentuta Chiusa’s candy crimson wine, with almonds and grapes, encapsulates the flavours of this stunning property.


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Rome is the grand finale. Walking spherical St Peter’s basilica, immaculately restored after an 1826, our information introduces us to a world of structure the place each color, pose and texture has which means.

A coach tour introduces the stays of historical baths and metropolis partitions, the Coliseum and Mussolini’s rail terminus. And the Circus Maximus that after provided chariot races now hosts the likes of Bruce Springsteen. It’s a journey from The Emperor to The Boss. Then it’s a stroll by piazzas and pizzas to the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. But don’t clamber in for a cooling dip the effective is €800.

Other good touches

Importantly, when Riviera constitution the Star Clipper, only one language is spoken. English. A each day programme, delivered to each cabin, encompasses a potted historical past on every port of name, usually with a map too. Self-service tea and low can be found within the Piano Bar. In addition, there’s an early chook breakfast out there and likewise late night time snack. On the final night, a duplicate of a guide “The Star Clipper World,” is left on the mattress in the course of the flip down service, as a farewell present.

The finest bit

Riviera care for every little thing. Booking the flights and sending the check-in codes. Transfers are seamless. Luggage is delivered and picked up to and from rooms and cabins.

Two French-speaking Riviera employees are readily available to advise on the each day programme and kind out any points. Setting up their impromptu “office” within the Piano Bar, they’re readily available to assist with any drawback from a blocked sink to a medical emergency.

The value

On July twelfth 2024, Riveria will provide The French Riviera and Corsica: From Rome to Nice by way of Sardinia and Corsica, this time on The Star Flyer. Beginning in Rome, the 11-day journey concludes in Nice, calling at Portoferraio, Bonifacio, Alghero, Ajaccio, Calvi, St Tropez and Cannes.

Prices start from £2,799, which incorporates flights, transfers, full breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and a la carte dinner while onboard, breakfast with resort stays and an knowledgeable tour supervisor. View the itinerary right here.

The remaining verdict

Riviera’s epic journey from Nice to Rome, by land and by sea, is ideal for the traveller eager to chill out with the consultants taking good care of organising an adventurous itinerary staffed with educated and enthusiastic native guides.

As virtually all excursions are included within the worth, there is no such thing as a have to guide forward. Travellers have the liberty to make up their thoughts on the spur of the second.

This intimate small ship, the place cruisers shortly make new pals, is ready to entry coves and ports past the attain of the big cruise ships.

Disclosure: Our voyage was sponsored by Riviera Travel.



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