In this -- the season of cruise line announcements concerning fleet deployment for 2005 -- Windstar's new itineraries may raise a few eyebrows. The company is eschewing some of its standby regulars -- in particular, its year-round presence in French Polynesia and its summertime sailings in the Baltic -- and will instead focus on regions like Costa Rica and Belize, the Mayan Riviera, the Panama Canal.
Specifically (and please remember that this is a 2005 schedule and does not apply to itineraries throughout this year!):
Wind Star will sail its last seven night voyage from Tahiti on December 28. The ship will then reposition to Costa Rica, Belize and the Panama Canal for its winter sailings before heading east to Europe. Worth noting: Wind Star had, a few years ago, been assigned to Costa Rica; however, as a result of the tragic fire that devastated Tahiti-based Wind Song in Polynesian waters, cruise line executives transferred that ship to the South Pacific.
All three ships will spend the spring, summer and fall in Europe’s Mediterranean. Itineraries will last from seven to 11 nights. There will be a special focus on Greek Islands, though the cruise line will be well-represented throughout the Mediterranean. Home ports will include Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Nice, Marseille, Venice, Monte Carlo and Malta.
In the Caribbean, it's no news that both Wind Spirit and Wind Surf will sail that region in the cold weather months -- just as they have done this winter. What's different is that varying itinerary lengths (up to 11-night voyages) will be offered.
Windstar's fleet of three vessels -- the 148-passenger Wind Spirit and Wind Star, and the 308-passenger Wind Surf -- are marketed as "sailing yachts." The fleet one of contemporary cruising’s oldest, is still one of its most distinctive -- and recently has undergone a major refurbishment campaign that has introduced new amenities and facilities throughout the vessels.
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Windstar's 2005 Itinerary Schedule Offers Surprises
March 29, 2004