MAC Chat: An interview with Mark Carlson, Star Clippers

by Sheona 6/15/2010 5:23:00 AM

A series of 5 minute interviews featuring travel industry leaders. 



This week's MAC Chat features our interview with Mark Carlson, Director of Marketing for Star Clippers. 

For more information:

What makes your cruise line unique from others?
Star Clippers is a cruise line that operates a fleet of authentic tall ships. The unique four- and five-masted vessels boast wide-open decks and the thrill of cruising under sail. Yet the ships have all of the modern luxuries travelers have come to expect. 

The size of the ships — they carry just 227 or 170 passengers — enables them to call at lesser-visited ports and exclusive harbors that the larger ships can’t visit, allowing guests to become totally immersed in the regions we explore.

Water sports also play a big part in our experience. With plenty of water time on many of our itineraries, guests can take advantage of complimentary water sports directly from the ships’ aft marina – including snorkeling, water skiing and wind surfing; and Star Clippers also offers scuba instruction. 

On our ocean crossings, Star Clippers even allows guests to go for a swim in the middle of the ocean, weather permitting, of course!

What destinations do you visit?
Our itineraries are extremely diverse. There’s something for everyone, from tropical to historical to nature infused. 

In the summer, all three ships explore the eastern and western Mediterranean, calling at ports in Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Spain, Morocco, France and Turkey, to name a few.

Come winter, Star Clipper and Royal Clipper cruise the Caribbean, while Star Flyer heads to Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.

We also offer grand ocean crossings that are about more than simply getting from here to there — they are journeys that allow guests to experience the thrill of traversing an ocean under sail, to look out onto the horizon and see nothing but a blue backdrop behind the billowing sails. 

What should clients expect to experience on your ships?
A Start Clippers cruise is like taking a vacation on your own, private mega-yacht — with 170 or 227 of your closest friends. On board, guests dress in resort-casual attire and dine in a single, open seating. And passengers are exposed to an authentic clipper ship experience, whether they enjoy the bowsprit net suspended over the sea, attend a knot-tying class, help raise and lower the sails or climb the mast for a panoramic view.

Staterooms are elegantly appointed, with all the amenities one has come to expect from a fine resort. The decor is tastefully traditional. Guests will find the accouterments of a luxurious classic yacht. Burnished brass fittings and mahogany brightwork recall our nautical heritage. Soft natural fabrics reflect the colors of the sun, sea and sky. Prints of famous clipper ships and sailing yachts grace the walls.

Most days guests can be found lounging on our expansive teak decks with swimming pools and plenty of space to relax and read a good book.

What are your key selling features?
Authentic sailing adventure. 
Just 170 or 227 pampered guests. 
All the modern amenities of a private mega-yacht. 
International cuisine complemented by fine wines. 
Dine with whomever and whenever you want. 
Casual, relaxed ambience – no need to dress up. 
Off the beaten path ports of call. 
Sail in full harmony with the environment. 
No crowds or long lines. 
Full range of water sports. 

Who are the best target customers for travel agents?
Passengers who love to sail or who are looking for adventure. Passengers looking for an intimate experience. We offer a unique vacation, from the type of ships we operate to the intimate mature of our line. Also, travelers who are social. We do not have a casino or show lounge on our ships. The evening entertainment may consist of local performers coming on board or music from our on-board musician, but most of the time our guests socialize with each other in the Tropical Bar in the evening. Our guests are extremely friendly and by the end of the voyage everyone knows each other.

Thank you Mark for that great interview!






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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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