Star Clippers, the tall ship specialist, is to build a fourth vessel for its fleet with the construction of the world’s biggest rigger.
The company, which hasn’t launched a new ship since 2000, also revealed that it is to return to Asia in December 2016.
It hasn’t operated in the region since 2010.
Star Clippers new rigger will be launched in the second half of 2017 and be able to carry 300 passengers. It will be based on France II, a ship which was commissioned in 1911.
Mikael Krafft, founder and owner of Star Clippers, said: “We have already built the five-masted full ship Royal Clipper, which is very much influenced by the Preussen. This time, we intend to build a ship inspired by France II, an ambition I have had for a long time. The ship’s rig will be identical to France II and dimensions will be very similar, although we have added various features that will make this the most magnificent passenger sailing ship afloat.”
The company’s new Asia programme will see it operate a winter season in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore with the 170-passenger Star Clipper.
There will be two itineraries – north and southbound – as well as seven itineraries which either begin or end in Singapore.
Krafft added: “We have been waiting a long time to resume these popular itineraries and are now returning to Southeast Asia to explore beaches, islands and anchorages not visited by any other cruise ship. We know from 15 years of past experience, when we based a ship in this region every winter, how popular these voyages are with nature-lovers and those who enjoy the sensation of sailing on a graceful tall ship in the tropics.”