There are 2.5 million weddings in the United States each year, and the weddings business is a $40 billion annual industry, including the ceremony, reception, bachelor (and bachelorette) parties and honeymoon.
Increasingly, newlyweds are opting for a cruise for a cost-effective and carefree honeymoon. About 5,000 weddings and vow renewals happen on cruises every year, and cruises now account for 15 percent of all honeymoons.
The inclusive nature of a cruise is a leading factor in the decision. A cruise provides a week of great food, pampering and entertainment for about $2,500 or less per person.
Most newlyweds say they prefer a week in a fun-and-sun destination. That makes cruises doubly attractive, since they visit several ports and offer a selection of tours.
Though the Hawaiian Islands remain the all-time favorite honeymoon destination, many newlyweds are choosing cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
And there's no more romantic way to experience the wonders of the Med or Caribbean than a weeklong voyage aboard a tall ship. Star Clippers' three sailing ships only carry up to 170 or 227 guests, and visit some of the world's most exotic destinations.
Aboard Star Clippers, newlyweds can experience the luxury of a private yacht while sailing to smaller, lesser-known destinations big cruise ships can't visit.
Star Clippers' relaxed yet elegant shipboard atmosphere is the perfect antidote to months of wedding planning. Yet, the emphasis on beach time and water sports, and the array of soft-adventure excursions offered provide opportunities for couples to share new experiences as they start their life together.