While damage assessments to Windstar’s Wind Song -- whose fire yesterday off
the coast of Bora Bora resulted in the evacuation of passengers and crew --
have not been announced, the cruise line has made a decision to replace that
ship with Wind Star. Even so, the company still has to cancel its next seven
French Polynesia voyages -- through January 17.
The identical 148-passenger Wind Star was slated to sail a winter season in
Costa Rica, Panama Canal and Belize. Wind Star begins its Papeete-based
week-long voyages on January 24 and the itinerary will be identical to that
of Wind Song.
In the meantime, passengers booked on those seven canceled trips are being
offered rebookings on cruises on any of Windstar’s three other ships or
parent company Holland America’s fleet. Those who rebook will get a $250
shipboard credit; travelers who opt for a full refund will get a ten percent
credit on a future trip.
Travelers thinking about making a quick switch to Windstar’s primary
competitor -- Radisson Seven Seas -- in the French Polynesia region are
pretty much out-of-luck with regards to that line’s Paul Gauguin. While
Radisson says it’s working on “special rates” in January and
February, there’s no immediate relief. Paul Gauguin is currently in a
scheduled drydock, returning December 14, and is then sold out through the
holidays. The first cruise with open cabins departs Papeete on January 11.