Mikael Krafft and the Cinemiracle

24th September 2015

Royal Clipper

Trying to imagine how the world of cruising would evolve before the present day in the 1940’s would certainly have proven a difficult task. Who would have thought that cruise ships of today could take you on journeys around the world and offer amenities such as climbing walls, swimming pools, multiple restaurants and luxurious staterooms? One man, Mikael Krafft, born in 1946, fell in love with the world of sailing at a young age.

His childhood love for sailing has remained with him his whole life and today, he is the owner and president of Star Clippers. Whilst other cruise lines strive to offer the most modern and futuristic facilities, Mikael Krafft has provided people with the opportunity to sail on traditional tall ships to stunning destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. This week, we take a closer look at the inspiration behind Mikael Krafft and Star Clippers.


It is not known who, in 1958, invented the wonder that was the Cinemiracle, but it had a significant impact on Mikael Krafft. The Cinemiracle was the composition of a 100 by 40 foot curved screen with three cameras – each of which would project onto the screen simultaneously. Rather than unravelling an extensive plot, the main feature of the film was the Christian Radich full-rigged ship. The footage would play to the music of the Boston Pops Orchestra, where string and brass instruments would bring the footage to life.

Mikael Krafft recalls his reaction to seeing the film for the first time, at 12 years old. "The first 15 minutes were shown in the usual format and in black-and-white. Then, the screen suddenly widened, the ship put to sea and set sails and the strings and brass of the Boston Pop Orchestra filled the theatre."


Around the same time as Cinemiracle, a young Mikael Krafft sailed to the Åland Islands, a small series of Swedish islands sat between Sweden and Finland. He sailed to Åland with the hope of being able to witness Pommern, once a famous four master barque German sailing ship and now a museum in the town or Mariehamn.

Not content with being able to witness this spectacular ship, the 12 year old Mikael Krafft climbed up the rigging of the display ship without permission. Little did his parents know that, by this point, Krafft would regularly take his little wooden sailing boat and sail 70 nautical miles, 23 of which were in open sea. Upon being noticed, the guard yelled: "Come on down!!! If you don’t, you’ll fall down and kill yourself, but I’ll kill you anyway when you come down." Sufficed to say, Mikael Krafft survived and that marked the beginning of his inspiration for Star Clippers.

The tall ship sailing legacy continues to this very day and you can experience it all for yourself with Star Clippers. Sailing on board the Royal Clipper, Star Clipper or Star Flyer, you can experience the beauty of tall ship sailing whilst experiencing beautiful destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and, as of late 2016, Asia.

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