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Windstar delays to May, drops 2021 Alaska plans, US, Mexico ports

Focus on secluded beaches and water sports
Windstar Cruises is postponing all sailings until May and revised itineraries to cancel US calls, including Alaska, and Mexico.

The delay impacts the recently extended and updated 312-passenger Star Breeze, which is now planned to return to cruising May 15 on a newly added itinerary from St. Martin.

Star Breeze had been scheduled to enter service March 27 in the Caribbean before transiting the Panama Canal to sail in the Sea of Cortez and then Alaska on 10-  and 11-day cruises. However, as Windstar President Chris Prelog recently noted, those longer sailings wouldn't comply with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's seven-day limit, so a change had been expected. 

Beach and water sports focus

Three departures of 'Beach Fun & Sun – A Remote Caribbean Getaway,' will be more adventure-focused with an emphasis on secluded beaches and water sports.

Windstar will use its water sports platform and 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 at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands and 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.

Then, Tahiti

Star Breeze will then remain in the Caribbean sailing a variety of itineraries through Aug. 14, when it will head to Colombia and the Panama Canal before continuing to Tahiti on a trans-Pacific voyage. It will then sail in French Polynesia Sept. 19 through March 2022 on seven, 10- and 11-day cruises.

Winstar said 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 for just 312 passengers maximum. 

Holiday sale

Windstar’s Bon Voyage 2020 Sale, which kicks off Dec. 16 for past customers and travel advisors and Dec. 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%). This ends Dec. 30. More details are here.

'We are seeing increasing interest for summer and fall of 2021 and also 2022,' Prelog said. '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.'

Other deployment updates

The newly transformed Star Legend, currently undergoing the same extension/upgrade at Fincantieri's Palermo yard as Star Breeze did, is slated to be the first Windstar yacht to return to service, beginning May 1 from Piraeus 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 Piraeus. The reimagined Star Pride is to debut July 14 in Dover.

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