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Windstar replaces winter Middle East cruises with West Med

Windstar Cruises replaced its Middle East sailings from December to April with a mostly western Mediterranean winter program.

The new itineraries aboard the 312-passenger Star Legend will visit major destinations such as Barcelona, Nice, Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Marseille, Monte Carlo and Civitavecchia (Rome).

'The ship was originally scheduled to sail in the Middle East. We’ve postponed our launch in that region to begin in November 2024,' Windstar Cruises President Christopher Prelog said. 'With a ship in the Mediterranean, we saw an opportunity to offer guests a legendary winter season in Europe.'

Quieter months, fewer crowds

Noting the 'allure of summer in the Mediterranean is undeniable,' Windstar added 'the quieter, more intimate charm of the winter months offers an exclusive perspective on these timeless destinations.'

Star Legend's new seven-night itineraries will let passengers visit during a time of fewer crowds and easier access to museums, cultural events, historical landmarks and engagement with locals. There are also opportunities to experience winter festivals.


Sixteen cruises will sail open-jaw between Civitavecchia and Barcelona, calling Livorno, and Marseille, with overnights in Civitavecchia, Barcelona and Monte Carlo. The last of the new Mediterranean series is an eight-night cruise from Rome to Piraeus visiting the Amalfi Coast and Greece. A Christmas holiday sailing can be booked as an eight- or nine-day cruise, the latter including New Year’s Eve.

Travelers can participate in winter experiences including holiday markets and ice skating in Nice; Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and Trevi Fountain excursions in Rome; and Florence’s spectacular Light Festival, among others.

There are also opportunities to spend Christmas Eve and day in Rome, ring in the New Year in Barcelona, spend Valentine’s Day in Nice and attend Carnevale celebrations in Spain and Italy at the end of February. 

In Cannes for ILTM

The schedule change presented Windstar the opportunity to position Star Legend in Cannes in early December to coincide with the International Luxury Travel Market. Windstar executives including Prelog, VP Sales Dianna Rom and Chief Commercial Officer Janet Bava will be on hand to showcase to those in attendance the ship’s renovation completed as part of the $250m Star Plus Initiative and with an opportunity to sail on a two -night cruise to Rome after ILTM.

Windstar's new winter sailings will open to book on Nov. 6.