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Windstar to resume year-round Tahiti cruises, has new itinerary

Windstar to resume year-round Tahiti cruises, has new itinerary
Windstar Cruises plans to resume year-round sailings in the South Pacific, with continuous voyages beginning in May 2015 aboard Wind Spirit.

Itineraries will include the seven-day 'Dreams of Tahiti' voyage, launched in May this year after Windstar’s 10-year hiatus from the region, as well as a new extended 10- or 11-day journey including stops in the Tuamotu Islands, known as a paradise for divers and snorkelers.

'When we returned to Tahiti this year, we knew it would be a popular choice for our guests,' Windstar ceo Hans Birkholz said. Now, with the addition of two Seabourn ships, to be renamed Star Breeze and Star Legend and debut in May, Windstar is able to extend its sailings in Tahiti year-round to accommodate demand, he added.

In addition to the new itinerary, Windstar is expanding its shore excursions to include bespoke adventures such as private snorkeling at a Tahitian black pearl farm in Raiatea. Participants can find and keep their own pearls while learning about the art of pearl production, followed by a champagne sunset cruise along a coral reef frequented by blacktip sharks.

The 'Dreams of Tahiti' voyage sails round-trip from Papeete to Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Huahine and Bora Bora.

The longer 'Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands' itinerary will be offered four times in 2015 and seven times in 2016. It adds to the destinations offered on 'Dreams of Tahiti' stops in Takapoto and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus, as well as two days at sea. The 11-day voyage features a visit to Fakarava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for the preservation of rare species. 

The 148-passenger Wind Spirit's staterooms will undergo renovation prior to the Tahiti program commencing in May.

The new staterooms will have a transformed seating area with a sofa, as well as new, chic dressers and a more open layout. The upgrades closely follow Windstar’s $18m fleetwide renovation project that began in 2012, which enhanced staterooms and corridors.   

Windstar’s dive program offers cruisers a way to discover the sport and, for certified divers, the one- and two-tank dives offer deep-sea sightseeing. When embarking Wind Spirit, each passenger will receive complimentary snorkel equipment for their personal use throughout the journey.

A highlight is the included private event in Bora Bora, where participants travel by catamaran to a private island, or motu, for a traditional Tahitian dinner cooked largely in an ahima’a, a Tahitian earth oven. Prepared by locals and Windstar chefs, traditional dishes include poisson cru (Tahitian ceviche), Uru (breadfruit), fe’i (bananas), fafa (local water spinach), cochon (roasted pig) and po’e (fruit pudding). The meal is followed by traditional dancing and a fire show.

Windstar's Tahiti program is detailed in a video.