How France II influenced the world

26th October 2017

The newest addition to the Star Clippers fleet is currently being constructed at the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia and is set to launch in 2018. Complete with five masts and fitted with traditional sails, the Flying Clipper will become the most contemporary tall ship to date and offer a wide range of luxurious amenities. She will carry a total of 300 passengers in some of the most beautiful regions on earth including the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Far East Asia.

To build a ship in this style in the 21st century can certainly be considered a feat of engineering. While modern cruise ships continue to be built larger and larger and offer an increasing range of glittering amenities, the Flying Clipper will offer a chance to experience a bygone era of traditional tall ship sailing.

Flying Clipper

Star Clippers founder and CEO, Mikael Krafft, was inspired by magnificent tall sailing ships throughout his childhood. Since 1991, he has gone about creating his own range of traditional vessels, offering passengers an alternative holiday experience. Each of his vessels has been based on historical tall ships, with the legendary Preussen being the main influence behind the Royal Clipper.

The main influence for the brand new Flying Clipper is the iconic France II – a five-masted vessel built in 1911. This spectacular vessel was the second largest commercial merchant sailing ship ever constructed and offered those who sailed on her a wide range of luxurious amenities and a traditional décor. She was built with many impressive wooden components including a wooden deck covering and a beautiful lounge area complete with piano and precious furniture. She also offered seven luxury cabins, a library, darkroom and even equipment for seawater therapy.

She combined the best of both worlds by being able to carry large amounts of cargo while also offering luxurious accommodation. Often, those on board would be a crew that consisted of a captain; second captain; naval officer; first, second and third mates; and 40 able seamen including a cook, steward, sailmaker and carpenter.

The vessel was originally fitted with diesel engines, but these were later removed in 1919. She sailed the world on numerous journeys, transporting nickel from Caledonia and even embarked on successful voyages around Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin throughout the course of World War I. Sadly, the vessel met an early grave in 1922 when she ran aground on Ouano reef in New Caledonia. Her owners had the opportunity to rescue her but, due to the impending fallen cargo rates, they refused to pay the fee to tow her free from the bay. The wreckage remained at the bay until American bombers destroyed what was left during target practice in 1944.

Flying Clipper will be equally as impressive when she launches next year, offering a fine blend of tradition and luxury. Much like France II, the new build will be equipped with engines to ensure she travels efficiently between destinations. She is expected to be capable of travelling at a rate of 20 knots under favourable weather conditions and 16 knots under power from the engine. Referring to the destinations visited by France II listed above, it is also interesting to note that the Flying Clipper will be built to meet ice class requirements and will, therefore, be able to sail in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.


Details for itineraries onboard Flying Clipper have yet to be confirmed, but the new build did receive an official launch party in June when Mikael Krafft and his wife, Ann Krafft, successfully broke a bottle of champagne against the ship’s hull. While this vessel receives her final touches, you can still enjoy a journey on board one of her sister ships including Star Clipper, Star Flyer or the Royal Clipper.

For more information, contact us via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

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