Clipper Cruise Lines offering Florida golf trip

The Virgin Islands' loss could be Florida golfers' gain.

Clipper Cruise Lines, which normally sails to the Virgin Islands during the Christmas holidays, is changing routes. The cruise line is offering its Florida Golf Cruise in December, an eight-day/seven night sail that will take golfers to four Florida golf courses.

The 102-passenger Nantucket Clipper will visit four courses along the Gold Coast and Florida Keys.

"We've followed some of our clients' wishes and this is what they wanted," cruise spokesman Doug Bolnick told "In the past, we've been going to the Virgin Islands around the holidays. This year, we decided to stay within Florida and offer this particular golf-related cruise."

The four courses are:

  • The Grand Cypress Golf Resort's new course is a Jack Nicklaus-designed homage to St. Andrews, a 6,773-yard, links-style course.
  • Disney's Magnolia Golf Course, site of the FUNAI Classic.
  • The Rees Jones-designed Key West Golf Club.
  • The final stop is the Doral's Blue Monster in Miami.

PGA pro Billy Kratzert, winner of four PGA Tour events, will host onboard workshops, and clinics at Grand Cypress and Magnolia.

Golf cruises have become popular during recent years, with most major cruise lines offering them.

The advantage is golfers don't have to worry about arranging tee times, transportation or lodging. Bags are carried to the courses beforehand.

The cruise, scheduled to occur during most schools' winter breaks, departs Dec. 5 and 12 and prices start at $2,720 per person double occupancy, golf included. Those not golfing can get an $850 discount. The line's toll-free number is (800) 325-0010.

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