‘In our concerted and ongoing effort to be the small ship leader in destination delivery, I’m thrilled to introduce a completely different sailing region that further expands Windstar’s global footprint,’ president John Delaney said.
As earlier reported, these far-flung sailings are made feasible thanks to the re-engining of Star Breeze as part of Windstar’s $250m Star Plus Initiative, which will add 4 knots to the cruising speed.
‘Australia and New Zealand cruises will allow us to present these destinations in the most authentic way possible,’ Delaney added.
85% increase in new ports
‘We’ve had a tremendous focus on adding new destinations in recent years, with an 85% increase in new ports of call. Announcing cruises to an entirely new continent on small ship voyages, as only Windstar does them, is a major move for the company and exciting news for our guests who are seeking out new places to explore.’
He said the rugged coastlines of the region will provide the perfect backdrop for the adventurous ‘Signature Expeditions,’ which are currently available with Windstar’s Alaska itineraries.
Product manager Melissa Witsoe and her team scouted many of the ports personally to handcraft customised excursions and curated experiences.
‘Cairns to Melbourne is really rare as an itinerary — a unique offering in the cruise world and one of the ways Windstar will approach sailing in this region differently,’ Witsoe said.
She said a round trip from Auckland is incredibly comprehensive, taking in both North and South Islands, with overnights in Wellington and Christchurch.
Best of both worlds
She said for passengers seeking the best of both worlds, Star Breeze will offer two cruises visiting a mix of both countries.
The all-suite, 312-passenger Star Breeze will soon become the first of the three Star-class ships to undergo the Star Plus lengthening and comprehensive upgrade.
Wind Spirit also on the way
The 148-passenger Wind Spirit, currently based year-round in Tahiti, will also visit Australia in 2020. She will operate two seven-day ocean crossings and a 16-day voyage from Australia to Indonesia.