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Windstar charts its first South America cruises plus add-on tours

Windstar's 11-day cruise operates between Colón, Panama, and Lima, Peru, with an optionall mid-voyage trip to the Galápagos. A 16-day cruise-tour adds Machu Picchu
Windstar Cruises is branching out with a first-time South America program that offers Galápagos and Machu Picchu extensions.

Star Pride will operate four departures of an 11-day itinerary between Lima, Peru and Colón, Panama (and the reverse) starting in late December 2025 through January 2026.

Panama Canal transit, overnight port calls

'Marvels of Ecuador, Peru and the Panama Canal' transits the Canal and calls at Manta (overnight), Guayaquil (overnight) and Machala, Ecuador; and Peru's Trujillo and Lima (overnight), with an optional mid-cruise tour to the Galápagos.

16-day cruise-tour adds Machu Picchu

As a 16-day cruise-tour, the program adds a pre- or post-cruise Machu Picchu adventure.

'I’m excited to offer our loyal guests new destinations to visit with Windstar,' President Christopher Prelog said. 'We’re taking care of the complicated logistics to get you to all these spectacular places.'

The program starts with the New Year’s sailing on Dec. 27, 2025, and includes a daylight transit of the Panama Canal and the overnight stays allowing ample time for multi-day exploration in Manta, Guayaquil and Lima. Additional port visits include Machala (where more locals go on vacation than tourists) and Trujillo, gateway to the pre-Columbian Chimu city of Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Machu Picchu trip details

The five-day Machu Picchu tour includes driving to the Sacred Valley while visiting and dining at local farms; riding the legendary Vistadome train through the Andes to and from Machu Picchu, where a private guide takes travelers through the UNESCO World Heritage Site; exploring the Urubamba market and a ceramic workshop on an extensive overview of Cusco; and ambling Lima’s bustling streets with a knowledgeable local.

Overnight stays during the tour are in luxury, boutique hotels, and included meals focus on local ingredients and flavors.  

Three-day Galápagos mid-cruise option

The mid-cruise Galápagos excursion takes place over three days, beginning in either Manta or Guayaquil depending on the date/direction of the sailing. After flying from Gauyaquil to the Galápagos, participants take a ferry to the Santa Cruz Highlands to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.

The next day they embark on a small ferry for a navigable tour to one other island: North Seymour, Bartolomé, South Plaza, Santa Fe or Floreana. On the final day, travelers fly back to the mainland and return to Star Pride in Guayaquil (or in Manta, depending on the date and itinerary direction).   

Prelog called the 16-day cruise-tour an 'incredible value' that 'makes good use of travel time by combining these locations into one cruise tour.'

More cruise-tours

Windstar has significantly increased cruise-tours in every region where it sails.

'These tours take care of every detail while also getting you closer to the wildlife, culture and history of the region in a way that’s respectful of the land and the locals,' Prelog said. 'Since we begin or end in Panama versus Florida where traditionally these itineraries depart from, we have fewer sea days and more port calls in South America for a rich destination experience.'