Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises was among the first to cease operations in March and has been a leader in taking careful preparatory steps for a future return to business.
The line has now made the decision to postpone all sailings until May, including the debut of its recently reimagined 312-passenger Star Breeze all-suite yacht.
With this latest shift in operations (which includes cancelling Windstar’s 2021 Alaska, U.S., Mexico ports), Windstar’s Star Breeze will now return to cruising May 15 on a newly added itinerary departing from St. Martin. Three departures of Beach Fun & Sun – A Remote Caribbean Getaway, will be more adventure-focused with an emphasis on secluded beaches and water sports activities.
Windstar will use its Watersports Platform (which opens directly into the sea) as well as its watersports crew to offer exploration by small boats with trips to remote beaches, kayaking, snorkeling, water skiing, and stand-up paddle boarding. Stops include Norman Island, an island at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands reputed to be the inspiration for Treasure Island; two days at Prickly Pear Beach, a white-sand beach with turquoise waters ideal for snorkeling on Virgin Gorda; and Soper’s Hole on the quiet island of Tortola.
Star Breeze will then remain in the Caribbean sailing on a variety of itineraries through August 14, when it will head to Colombia and the Panama Canal before continuing to Tahiti on a transpacific voyage. It will then sail from September 19 through March of 2022 on seven, 10- and 11-day cruises. Star Breeze in Tahiti, where Windstar’s 148-passenger Wind Spirit typically only sails, is a unique opportunity to experience the islands on this newly transformed yacht which offers two new dining concepts with serious chef backings, as well as new suites, a spacious spa/fitness center, and other “bigger ship” perks, all with just 312 guests maximum.
Holiday Sale – Bon Voyage 2020!
Windstar’s Bon Voyage 2020 Sale, which kicks off December 16 for past guests and travel advisors and December 17 for the general public, includes price reductions on select 2021 and 2022 voyages, including many options in Tahiti and the Caribbean. Travelers can also take advantage of a reduced deposit of 5% (normally 15%). It ends December 30.
“We are seeing increasing interest for summer and fall of 2021 and also 2022,” says Windstar Cruises’ President Chris Prelog.
“Our six yachts carry only 148 to 342 guests, and we expect demand for small ship cruising to continue to increase. My advice is to book now and save your desired cruise date before we sell out. You can always cancel up to 48 hours before departure for 2021 cruises.”
Windstar Yacht Deployment Updates
The newly transformed Star Legend is slated to be the first Windstar yacht to return to service, beginning May 1 in Athens on the new 10-day Greece, Israel & Egypt: Footsteps of Faith in the Holy Lands cruise. Wind Spirit will begin sailing in Tahiti on May 6. Wind Surf will resume guest operations in Civitavecchia (Rome) on May 9, while Wind Star starts on May 22 in Athens. The reimagined Star Pride will debut July 14 in Dover.
COVID and Cruising
Windstar is committed to its Beyond Ordinary Care program throughout all six of its yachts, which notably use HEPA filters and UV-C ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to filter and disinfect the air, plus electrostatic sprayers to sanitize all surfaces. The program is paired with a Travel Assurance Booking Policy that gives flexibility to make plans and update them without fees if things change. On 2021 cruises, guests may cancel up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive cancellation fees as a Future Cruise Credit.