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“One Week Sailing Cruise of the Bahamas on the Liberty Clipper” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships

Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Set sail with Boston's Tall Ships and view the harbor while under sail. The Liberty Fleet is Boston's premier tall ship sailing company. You'll be invited to help set the sails and can ask the captain to take a turn at the helm. Come relax and enjoy a beautiful harbor sail with the Liberty Fleet.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“One Week Sailing Cruise of the Bahamas on the Liberty Clipper”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

My boyfriend and I traveled on the Liberty Clipper tall ship sailing cruise of the Bahamas departing Nassau on December 1, 2013. It turns out that the trip we selected was exactly what we were looking for and what we needed. Neither of us have ever had any desire to participate in a traditional cruise with the very rigid itineraries. However, this was not a traditional cruise. Both my boyfriend and I spend a lot of our free time in the summers around the ocean and on boats. We love being on the water and this trip allowed us to combine our love of the water and boats with the relaxation of a Caribbean vacation.

The trip on the Liberty Clipper is not luxurious. The cabins are small and hot. There is no air conditioning in the rooms, but there is a hatch that opens for air circulation and we were provided with two small fans. We paid extra for a double bed and for one of the two en-suites. The en-suite was very small, but nice to have. The rest of the cabins have shared gender neutral washroom/shower facilities which required some love and attention from the crew (like most boats) to maintain. Like most boats the general washrooms and the en-suites are a shower/toilet combination. The double bed would be better called a large single. My boyfriend and I could just lie on the bed shoulder to shoulder. There was a second, single bunk above the double. Therefore, we spent most nights sleeping apart. The storage in the cabins was also limited. There were six hooks without a lot of room to hang items and a very small amount of shelving for toiletries. The rest of the available storage was the space under the bunks. We took Adventure Life’s and the Liberty Clipper’s recommendations to pack lightly seriously, packing only a large day pack and a carry-on sized duffle bag for the two of us, and were glad that we did. We had sufficient storage room but a large suitcase would not have fit easily and it would have been difficult to retrieve items from it without restricting movement in an already tight space or limiting sleeping space in the bunks.

However, the main attraction of the Liberty Clipper is not the cabins but the experience of sailing on a tall ship and the destinations that you visit. There is no set itinerary or destinations that the ship visits. It all depends on the weather, the direction of the wind, and the desires of the crew/guests. We sailed to the Exumas chain of islands, but the week before the ship sailed to various ports on Eleuthera Island. The boat also sails to the Abacos chain of islands. During our week of sailing we visited five different ports in the Exumas, only one of which had significant public services with restaurants and limited shopping. However, all of the ports had ample experiences with nature. We were able to experience rock iguanas on Allan’s Cay, swimming pigs and fantastic snorkeling in the Grotto at Staniel’s Cay, a chance to explore the drug smuggling history of Norman’s Cay, and explore the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park from Warderick Wells. And due to the wind and tides we returned to the vicinity of Nassau early, exploring and snorkeling off one of the smaller islands near Rose Island and Sandy Cay to ensure we were able to achieve the planned departure time from the ship.

There are no planned activities aboard the boat. The days are spent sailing (motoring if the wind is not favorable), exploring destinations, or making use of the water equipment on board the ship. We made use of the stand-up paddle board and the plentiful snorkeling gear. There were also two available inflatable double kayaks and a small sailing vessel for use by anyone. More often than not part of the day would be spent sailing to a new destination, the remainder of the day exploring the destination, and the boat would anchor overnight at the destination before moving on after breakfast. Guests are HIGHLY encouraged to help pull up the sails and are welcome to assist in any of the other crew activities. Time on board the ship is highly relaxed with most time spent reading, napping, or socializing with the other guests and crew on deck.

The crew was wonderful. Most of the crew were young, but had a wide variety of sailing experiences both with Liberty Fleet (owner of the Liberty Clipper) and other tall ships. They were willing to talk about their past experiences and teach you anything you wanted to know about sailing a tall ship. They prepared all of the meals on board, arranged transportation from the boat to shore, and made recommendations about how to spend time at each of the destinations. I would definitely repeat this experience again and would recommend it to anyone who would like to experience the smaller ports of the Bahamas without the hassles of having to sail yourself.

Visited December 2013
4 Thank Browren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth H, Owner at Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Hi Browren!

Tom here. Thank you so much for sailing with us that week! Matthew and yourself where great fun, I just wish we had more time to drink rum! Thank you for your kind words, and I will pass them along to the crew. Enjoy Nova Scotia!

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299 reviews from our community

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English first
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Worst B&B Experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

We stayed 2 nights on the Liberty Clipper. 1. The rooms were filthy. Don't believe me? Lift up the mattress. The towels were stained. The bottom sheet was not changed when the room was made up. Speaking of making up the room... 2. Checkout was at 10 - we had a crew member that insisted on making up the room our second morning when I was doing my hair and my husband was half dressed - before 9. When the stewardess walked by and saw him in our room with us, she complimented him on getting it done early. Customer service is obviously not a priority. 3. The continental breakfast was stale. Skip it. We would definitely not recommend staying as a B&B guest. Did they mention the $35 garage parking? And no, they don't validate. Add that on to your bill when you're trying to justify the dirty, small cabin space.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Alazerte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth H, Owner at Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships, responded to this review, October 8, 2013

This sounds like a frustrating experience for you. We are a small, family owned and operated business, and we always strive to give you the best customer service possible, however it seems like we fell short during your stay. While our Boston season is over, and we are currently sailing down South for the month, I'd love to extend to you an offer to come stay with us in the Bahamas, or back in Boston when we return. We are very sorry about your stay, and I hope you will give us another chance to show you what staying on a tall ship is about!

Best of luck,

Elizabeth and the Liberty Fleet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pleasant sailing aboard a true "tall ship"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

Having sailed aboard the square rigged schooner Lynx during a mock battle in San Francisco Bay a few years ago, I was anxious to sail again on another Tall Ship. The weather for our September 15 sail was sunny & calm. Although this trip was not as exciting as the three-hour battle against the Californian, it was fun & relaxing. The crew was pleasant & knowledgable.

Visited September 2013
Thank Renee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
65 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Sail like John Hancock on Boston Harbor-A local's review”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

From time to time, I enjoy playing tourist in my own city. Last week was the perfect opportunity to take a two hour harbor sail on a clipper ship replica. Booking was simply a matter of making a phone call the day before. Since it is September and I was not picky about sailing time, there was room on a sailing the next day. Even so, some Saturday salings were sold out, and I would imagine that at peak summer tourist season, you should book well in advance.

I want to go on a week tour, or even attend the many Clipper ship events where guests are stayaboards. Sailing on a Clipper ship gives the opportunity to share a love of the sea and nature with those who do it professionally. The crew of the Liberty evinces that love; they spend the summer months in Boston, and will depart around October 1 for the Bahamas and BVI to provide tours while we suffer through another New England winter. While quarters are very close below decks, not a place I'd want to stay for days on end in wet or stormy weather, I could imagine sleeping above decks in a hammock on a hot summer night. This is not a luxury cruise, but would be a fun adventure akin to camping out for a weekend or a week. A two hour cruise and a chance to explore the ship allow my imagination to run.

I took a late summer sail on a brilliant, windy Saturday. The Liberty Clipper is a replica of a ship owned by Boston Merchant, Patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock. If you are looking for speed or bells and whistles, not your ship...Try the Codzilla. If you want a taste of what it is like to be on a colonial era merchant's sailing ship, to work at hoisting the sails at the direction of captain and crew, or just to bliss out being on the water and watching the wind work its magic to move the ship through the water, you should get on board.

Please be aware that this ship may be difficult to board, or get to the "head" or bathroom, which is two levels below deck via narrow stairway, for those who have difficulty with mobility.
Also, there is a photographer who wants to take your photo as you board, you are not obligated to do so, nor are you obligated to purchase said print for $20 on your return. This is the only item that is available for sale if you want a memory of the excursion; there is mercifully no shilling of T-shirts, caps, etc. on board. You can purchase on ship, at a reasonable fee, water and soft drinks. Alcohol is also available. The captain made an announcement about tips being acceptable. The staff is genuinely grateful if you put a dollar or two into the bucket that one of them holds, as they thank you for sailing with them when you come down the gang way at the end of the trip; watching them hoist the sails and do the work required to sail rather than motor is well worth money beyond the ticket price.

Best way to arrive is by foot, public transit (The MBTA or the "T" as locals call it, find your way to the Aquarium stop, OR walk from State Street stop, across Congress, through Faneuil Hall Marketplace, across Atlantic Ave/Greenway) or cab, probably in that order. Hubway bike rental is nearby too. Parking in downtown Boston at any garage is pricy too; probably the same as a decent take out lunch for two! Bring cash and a credit card, a lot of downtown lots only accept credit card to pay for parking. Some lots only accept cash.

The experience begins at the ever-crazy-busy Long Wharf, over by the New England Aquarium, which seems to be the start location for everything nautical. Make sure that you go to the correct ticket booth, or you could end up at the wrong attraction.

Once aboard ship, the captain gave safety directions and then we began to attempt to leave the dock. There are whale watches, other motorized tours, Codzilla, ferries to the harbor islands, all leaving this congested wharf. Our captain made up for any delay by allowing us a little extra sailing time.

Once we backed away under motor power, the captain cut the engine and the sail raising began. Guests are asked to participate, answering the crews' "heave," with their own "ho," as they pull on the ropes to get us ready to use wind power. This was not a guided tour, there was no music playing. Because the captain and crew are working on the same deck with their guests, there is ample opportunity to ask questions about the ship and about what we are seeing. Of course, ample opportunity for guests to be social and talk about where they are from, what they are seeing, the rest of their visit to Boston, etc.

We sailed toward the mouth of the harbor, past Long and Spectacle Islands, we never left the inner harbor, but there was enough of interest to look at: The South Boston side lined with new tall buildings and industrial sites, Logan Airport, the East Boston side of the harbor, the Nantucket Lightship, the view back toward the city and boats of every size and description.

Follow the sail with a visit to another historic site (I will go inside Paul Revere's house some day!), or grab a lunch to sit on the Greenway, and think about the history of commerce with other parts of the world when the only transportation was a ship such as the one you were just on. Also the part that John Hancock played as a founding father of this country, his participation in the Boston Tea Party, and signing of the Declaration of Independence. He was another Braintree boy, (Like the Adams' father and son) who was orphaned at an early age, taken in by an uncle, and at one time was the wealthiest man in the forming new country. Go to the website ushistory.org for a brief bio. Visit the Adams Historic sites in Quincy MA too.

The cruise was a satisfying afternoon on so many levels, and an excellent way to relax for a while during a Boston visit. I hope that you enjoy your time in my city!

Visited September 2013
6 Thank PaulsLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth H, Owner at Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Hi There!

Tell us how you really feel! Thank you so much for your kind review. Everything you wrote really signifies our mission in Boston, and how we like to do things! I hope you will consider trying out our smaller boat, the Liberty Star at somepoint. And as we like to say in the industry, Fair Winds!
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great finale to our time in Boston”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

After a hectic two week trip travelling theEast coast from Miami to Boston Liberty cruise was our last experience on our final day and guys what a way to finish, fantastic thank you. Sailing in theharbouron a sunny afternoon with wind in the sails, great crew, good company on board oh and a cold beer will take a lot of beating.
I can't recal the crews names so for the guys at Liberty it was the16:30 sailing on Wednesday the 4th September, top crew who made this a great trip

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Adrian135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth H, Owner at Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships, responded to this review, September 13, 2013

Thank you for the kind words! I will make sure to tell Capt. Jon and crew that you had a wonderful time. I hope the rest of your trip went well, and we'd love to have you aboard again in the future!

Fair Winds
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