Taking Small Ship Cruising in a Different Direction
Any cruise ship lets you see the world. Windstar brings it close enough so you can fully live it. See, hear, smell, taste and feel what it’s like to sail on a lovely ship into a small port, explore a hidden beach, see Moroccan goats standing in trees, taste a spicy Norwegian Bacalao stew and altogether lose yourself in a strange and wondrous culture. Our elegant, 148 – 310-guest cruise ships open up captivating new worlds and leave indelible, lifetime memories.
Windstar’s small cruise ships and personalized approach bring you closer to each destination and every port, so you can see the world from new perspectives. Share intimate moments away from the crowds, and immerse yourself in local, exotic cultures, all on a cruise ship where surprise and delight are constant companions.
And of course, part of the Windstar magic is our incredible personal service. Enjoy undivided attention from a crew who delights in remembering your name and preferences. Both gracious hosts and ambassadors, they delight in surprising you in discrete ways – satisfying your sweet tooth with an extra chocolate on your pillow or sharing the location of a favorite seaside café.
This is 180 degrees from ordinary, where all your senses are indulged and your sense of wonder is awakened.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Cruise Vacation Type: Small Ship Cruises
This Cruise Line is Rated: 5-Stars
This Cruise Line is Worldwide: Yes
This Cruise Line is Best For: Groups, Single adults & Couples
This Cruise Line is All-Inclusive: Yes
This is an Adults-only Cruise Line: Adult-oriented
Minimum Age for This Cruise Line: 2 and above
Green-Certified Cruise Line: Yes
Spa & Wellness Program On Board: Yes
Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting 170 ports throughout Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, sailing year-round in Tahiti and the South Pacific, and adding newly announced Alaska, Canada, New England, Asia and Arabia. The boutique cruise line is the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, and the small ships are known for offering an intimate private yacht-style experience, unique itineraries, and exclusive access to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Windstar Cruises was named a Top Small Ship Cruise Line in Condé Nast Traveler 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards 2017 and by USA Today as the 2016 Best Boutique Cruise Line.
On board guests also experience the extraordinary. No crowds, no formal nights, no lines, just a casually elegant vibe and friendly atmosphere. The moment guests arrive they’ll notice the ever-attentive crew at your service, providing them with what they want and need, when they want and need it. No matter what destination beckons, the local flavor of the culture is deliciously captured when dining onboard a Windstar ship. Fresh, local ingredients — often selected by the ship’s chef on a trip to the local market — along with seasonal produce and culinary ingenuity, go into each perfectly presented dish made to guests’ liking. These are unforgettable experiences – as unexpected as they are authentic – that are 180 degrees from ordinary.
Windstar’s journeys are designed to help travelers chart their own course, starting with the fastest check-in at sea, so guests can get right to their personal itinerary. Do they want to have coffee with the captain on the bridge? Want to shop with the chef? Want to paddle board right off the ship’s watersports platform? It’s up to them. Known for the best service at sea, our crew not only remembers guest’s names, but also their preferences.
Windstar small ships boast unexpectedly spacious public spaces. Ample decks and elegant outdoor spaces invite you to relax with a glass of wine while taking in the view. And at the end of the day, expansive, all-ocean-view staterooms and suites with special touches such as L’Occitane bath products and waffle-weave robes and slippers offer a retreat like no other.
While children ages two and older are permitted aboard Windstar Cruises, the line does not encourage children on board. Windstar’s smaller ships do not have the proper facilities to provide childcare or youth entertainment. Windstar is adult-oriented and the unregimented atmosphere is not suitable for most children.
There are cruise vacations to suit every budget, from the cost-conscious to the most luxurious. Even more important, a cruise offers the best travel value for your money, because almost everything is included in the upfront price.
Most Cruise Packages include:
- Destinations you’ll visit
- Dining – Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
- Nightly Entertainment
- Daily Activities
- Onboard Service
- Special Programs
What’s Not Included In The Upfront Price?
Below is a description of the things that are not included in the upfront cost of the cruise:
The cost of airfare is not included in the upfront price of the cruise, but is almost always available for an additional charge. We’ll ask you where you are flying from and quote you the cruise line’s price or the best available price.
Alcoholic Beverages & Some Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages are not included in your cruise price, and since soft drinks come over the bar there is charge for them as well. Specialty coffees are also almost always additional. However, Some of our luxury cruises lines may include this feature.
Your personal service staff works hard for you while you’re enjoying your cruise, so please tip them before you disembark. Most cruise lines make it easy for you by automatically adding gratuities to your shipboard account, which is usually about $10 to 12 per person, per day. This amount covers your cabin steward and the waiters and assistants who have served you all over the ship.
Some Dining Options
Alternative dining options are all the rage onboard contemporary ships these days and the cruise lines have a couple of different ways of charging you extra for them. For all restaurants other than the main dining room you should expect to find that reservations are required. There is a fee for that reservation that usually runs from $10-$40 per person and the gratuity for the meal may be additional.
Shore excursions are a very important part of your experience in each port of call, especially if you’ve decided to take the adventure route.
Your ‘welcome aboard’ photo is your first encounter with the ubiquitous ship photographers. They’ll be on hand to capture all the fun and excitement, and then sell it back to you for $20 for each 5 x 7.
Spa Treatments & Salon Services
Arrangements with onboard spas and salons has become one of the hottest new things with the cruise lines in the past few years as passengers are focusing more and more on their well-being.