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Windjammer Cruises

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Windjammer Cruises

Postby KarenS » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:02 am

The Globe and Mail reports: "ABOARD THE POLYNESIA ‚ÄĒ The sails flap weakly as they climb the four huge masts. Ride of the Valkyrie blares from the speakers as a cannon booms, then fires again.

Catching the wind, the ship slowly turns, the sails fill, masts creak and 248 feet of oceangoing history is on its way. Bagpipes and Amazing Grace replace the martial music. The sailors, some new to the sea, some crusty old salts, all share the same shiver of emotion.

This is no Errol Flynn movie. And, as the T-shirt says, 'This ain't no foo foo ship.'

And this is no ordinary cruise. Some people will never understand the attraction of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. Those who get it do so immediately and will start planning their next trip as soon as they get home.

A disclaimer: I'm one of the believers -- 27 weeks aboard since 1996 (that's compared with some who have sailed more than 100 weeks).

Windjammer's four sailing legends, plus a charming old tub, ease into some of the more obscure ports up and down the Caribbean each week on their own itineraries. The steamer Amazing Grace even made its way to Tahiti for a series of sails in 2005.

In port, a few dozen Windjammer passengers -- ships range from 64 to 122 passengers -- go ashore to explore and experience, unlike the thousands who disgorge from the gleaming white cruise ships (derisively known as 'foo foos' among Windjammer faithful) to overwhelm the small islands.

The size of Windjammer ships makes visiting out-of-the-way islands possible: Mayreau, Bequia, Tobago Cays, Dominica, Carriacou, St. Barts or Norman Island, all in the Caribbean. Going ashore usually means climbing into a rocking launch, disembarking on a pier or climbing down a ladder onto a beach for a 'wet landing.'...Contrary to myth, WJ passengers don't have to work, unless you count time spent on their tan. Cabin stewards make the bed every morning and meals are served, though you do have to make your own way to the bar. But if you'd like, you can help raise sails or even take a turn at the wheel, the one that really does turn the ship."

For the whole story go to: ... ravel/home
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