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-   -   Anyone found a cruise comparable to Windjammer Barefoot Cruise experience? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/anyone-found-a-cruise-comparable-to-windjammer-barefoot-cruise-experience-812418/)

PaulaMO Oct 30th, 2009 08:02 AM

Anyone found a cruise comparable to Windjammer Barefoot Cruise experience?
 
I took a Windjammer Barefoot Cruise back in the 90's that sailed around the BVI's and I loved it. I always meant to take one again. I loved being able to dive off the boat right into the water after several rum swizzles! Unforturnately, I learned a couple of years ago that once the founder died, the fighting among his heirs over the running of the company managed to run it out of business.

I can't find anything comparable. I've looked at the Star Clipper Line, but my husband refuses to wear slacks to dinner. Also, he gets a little sea sick so a barefoot charter is out of the question. Our jobs require that we wear business attire during the week so we like our vacations to be as casual as possible. The last couple of times to the Caribbean we have stayed at Gallows Point Resort as Cruz Bay, St John, USVI. I love it but want to get out on the water more. The trips to Virgin Gorda and Jost just are not enough!.

Anyone have any suggestions?

tejana Oct 30th, 2009 08:45 AM

I know you said a charter is out of the question, but have you considered a catamaran instead of a monohull? Much more stable, and perfect for sailing the BVI.

jefftego Nov 4th, 2009 01:45 PM

Hi. Great timing on your question. I went on a windjammer cruise to the BVIs a 4 years ago and was bummed when they went out of business.

A group of former die hard windjammer passengers recently started a new company Island Windjammers which sounds like they are re-creating the Windjammer experience. They are sailing from Grenada to the Grenadines, which is the itinerary that the WJ Yankee Clipper sailed. I never hit that itinerary with WJ, although I wanted to as I heard it was amazing. I'm going to try and sail with Island Windjammers this winter or spring.

Their website is www.islandwindjammers.com

PaulaMO Nov 17th, 2009 06:33 AM

Thanks for the reply jeffego. I got on the sailingshipadventures.com website and found other former Windjammer ships that you can book. It lists: Legacy, Mandalay, Polynesia and Yankee Clipper. The itineraries are different than when they were with Windjammer though.

I wish I had known about these sites sooner. I own a vacation house at the Lake of the Ozarks in MO with a friend and we always sit around and bitch about not being able to take a Windjammer cruise anymore.

I'd like to hear how the sailing is from Grenada to the Grenadines. I've heard that the BVI is where the boys go to play and the Grenadines are where the men go to sail. If that is really the case I'll have to leave my husband, who is prone to sea sickness, home and go with my friend instead.

jefftego Nov 17th, 2009 10:41 AM

Hi Paula,

I haven't been yet to the Grenadines, but it is supposed to be some of the best sailing waters around. And apparently the island windjammer people are loving their ship. I've been following updates from their maiden voyage on their facebook page. You can get there from a link at the bottom of their site: www.islandwindjammers.com

It sounds like they are having a great time! I'll be booking a trip this winter.

AndyLH Feb 20th, 2010 10:02 PM

Hi,

The Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships offers windjammer cruises from the Nassau, the Bahamas on the 125-foot Liberty Clipper. They have week-long cruises offering a very relaxed atmosphere and are a lot of fun.

You can check them out at
www.libertyfleet.com

wiley1827 Mar 7th, 2010 06:40 AM

Tell your husband "slacks" can be khaki and missing Star Clippers is the worst decision he will ever make. There is not a company/ship like them in the world - the big one (Royal Clipper) from Barbados does great visits and has a real sailing experience that Windjammer never gave. WJ was fun but let's not kid outselves - this was not state of the art sailing. Star Clippers is. Clippers are not snooty or fussy - just because people barfed on WJ ships and fell overboard (instead of diving) doesn't mean you can't enjoy
something that is the best it will ever be.

Michael_Vegis Aug 20th, 2011 05:19 PM

I was Marketing and PR Director for Windjammer Barefoot Cruises from 1990 to 1998. it was great company under CB (aka Capt. Mike or Capt. Burke). It was really a shame that the kids put it through some serious mis-management. They were always fast and loose with the books but things must have really got messed up after I left. It's a shame because it really was the best product in the Caribbean. I absolutely loved the product...

BellaClaire Aug 20th, 2011 05:53 PM

Michael - did you hear how the company went down - CREW deserted....SHIPS deserted...............SO SAD. Legacy rotted away and used for scrap....Yankee Clipper in the Trinadad boat yard sinking, Poly - acquired by their original company - she's back in Europe (smile)....Mandalay in the Galapagos -but not sailing those islands- a lot of work has been done to her which is great - maybe she'll say again some day....Don't know if you know - but I'm sure you would like to know - Capt Casey passed away as dis Capt Neil. S A D.

Michael_Vegis Aug 21st, 2011 03:57 AM

Yup. Heard all that. I've got a ton of former employees (Capt. Max, Capt Stuart a bunch of pursers and office staff) on my Facebook friends list... I also spoke extensively with the writer from Cruise Critic when he was writing his "end of the company" articles...

belpers Aug 23rd, 2011 09:34 AM

good to find all this info... took my first and only windjammer cruise on the yankee clipper thru the grenadines 8 years ago... just found my poster I had stored away, with the map of everywhere we went. It's signed by Capt Julian? second mate Blaze... Chief Mate David Thom... and the Purser/1st mate... but I can't read his signature.

What a truly laid back crew and fantastic voyage. Still remember the black sands of St. Vincent and the seven sisters of Grenada... I always wanted to go back. Thank you all for sharing this info... looks like there are some good alternative choices for going again.

belpers Aug 23rd, 2011 09:37 AM

so it looks like three good possibilities are...

www.sailingshipadventures.com
www.islandwindjammers.com
www.starclipperscruises.com

Paul_Marcus May 9th, 2012 07:09 PM

I took a barefoot cruise in 1982, on the Flying Cloud. I LOVE IT. Always hoped to go again, but like others saddened by the news they are gone. Thanks for the websites that offer WindJamming. Anyone know what happened to the Flying Cloud? I posted pics on my facebook page of her today.

James_Taylor Jul 5th, 2012 07:48 AM

Just found these reports & snippets of data on sail cruising or As I referred to it in the 80s barefoot sailing or Windjammer. I had two tickets me & my female model subject had won through Gallery Magazine & because my wife would not allow me to go it is now lost forever. I am now heartbroken the founders offspring snorted it all away I'm only assuming or some other misadventure. I'm much older now but am still hearty enough to enjoy a chance someday to see what I missed. Bless you guys. Bruce

BellaClaire Jul 5th, 2012 04:49 PM

Well guess what.....The Mandalay (Windjammer Barefoot Cruises ship) was recently purchased from a guy who bought her when Windjammer collapsed. He put a lot of money into her and was going to sail her in the Galapagos.....First cruise sails July 22nd or around there. The home port is Grenada. There is a great sale going on - Google Windjammer Sailing Adventures.

In addition, there is another company who has a ship called The Diamant...also in the Grenadines....101 feet long, holds 12 people and took the best of what Windjammer offered and added their own touch. That company is called Island Windjammers. They get RAVE reviews.

If you want tons of information, google Windjammer Flotilla - go to the index page and then you'll be on the forum!

Kristen1206 Jul 6th, 2012 05:18 AM

How about Windstar?

mirolex May 22nd, 2014 07:42 PM

We took a Windjammer cruise quite a while ago & loved it, too! We were on the Fantome which was then the flagship of the line. I think the best part was how casual it was; food was very good.
Too bad the heirs ran the company into such debt it had to fold.

TomTerw Jun 2nd, 2014 11:38 AM

I am looking for the same thing and came across the Liberty Fleet. In addition io Andy's boat, they also have a 67 foot "Star" out of St. Thomas. Does anyone have any experience with either of these? From what I could tell from the website and a phone call, the deal breaker is there are no restrictions on smoking; apparently many of the crew smokes any old place they please. That will be a real deal-breaker for me. Certainly seems like it could be restricted to quarters.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I am definitely "in the market". Thanks.

ggssail Aug 29th, 2014 01:54 PM

Tom
I have sailed on all in the last 3 years
We loved the Mandalay crew was awesome food ok islands and the boat beautiful We stayed in cabin 5 which was on the main deck and very nice

We also love the royal clipper and star clipper different bigger again beautiful but a little more upscale but still sailing did a trip out of st martin and one on the amalfi coast. Lots of fun

And now the liberty clipper
Crew is horrible boat is old and dirty one old zodiac the other boat they use for garbage. On our 7 night sail. The sails didn't go up for the first four days. Very disappointed islands were beautiful just not w crew fighting with each other
Hope this helps
Some great sailing out there

Gina

TinaMarion Sep 4th, 2014 04:25 PM

I took my 1st cruise on the Polynasia in 1979. It was a graduation/b-day gift from my mother. It was and will always be a highlight moment for me. I still have the sarong with the ship silkscreened on the material. I have pictues of my mother (a chiropractor) giving adjustments to the crew on the deck. It opened my eyes to the world of sailing. I have since gone on to crew on a 44ft racing yacht and several other boats but nothing will ever eclipse that first sailing experience.


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