Guests can climb up to the crows nest on the Star Clipper. Star Clipper is one of the very few cruise lines that allow guests to have this experience. (c) GTH & Marc R. Kassouf

Every boy, I think, dreams of being a pirate; Swashbuckling, swinging from rope to rope, climbing to the crow’s nest, and yelling out “Land Ho”.

The world’s oceans have come a long way since the time when fleets of sailing vessels navigated the seas. Sadly large masted ships have all but disappeared, and the crow’s nests with them. Luckily for the little boy in me, Star Clippers cruise line still sails the waters and allows its guest to climb up to the nests.

Modern crow’s nests are much bigger than those of days gone by, and now you have to wear a harness to avoid falling off the ship and into the ocean. But, I can attest from personal experience that the feeling of freedom is most definitely still there. At nearly forty, I found myself almost a hundred feet above the deck of a ship: the sea roaring below, the sky surrounding me above, and the beautiful Greek island of Santorini coming into view just over the horizon.

The city of Fira rests high on the edge of the volcanic caldera that forms one of Greece’s most romantic islands, Santorini. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The experience of being aloft among the fluttering sails, following the slender and graceful shape of the ship with your eyes, is unparalleled. Watching the bow slice through the water is breathtaking, and before you know it your allotted time is up; you’re forced to disentangle yourself from the fantasy.

Climbing down the rope and steel wire ladder, I leave Neverland and return to reality and am satisfied that a boys dream, even a grown boy’s, can come true.


Sailors onboard the Star Clipper watch as Nathan climbs up the rope ladder to the crows nest. (c) GTH & Marc r. Kassouf

Nathan pauses near the top of  the 100 foot climb to the crows nest onboard the Star Clipper. (c) Marc R. Kassouf