Sponsored Content

Here’s How to Escape the Cruise Crowds—and Clichés

Windstar’s small ships, immersive itineraries, and partnership with the James Beard Foundation break the stodgy cruise-ship clichés. Discover for yourself why Windstar was voted the small-ship cruise line winner in the 2018 AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Here’s How to Escape the Cruise Crowds—and Clichés

If you’re looking for a more genuine and rewarding cruise experience, your ship has arrived. Windstar is generations removed from your typical big-cruise experience. In fact, it’s 180 degrees from ordinary.

It all starts with Windstar’s itinerary planners. These experts are some of the best in the business because they’re getting out there, talking to real-life guests, travel agents, and port authorities—and then using what they’ve learned to curate some of the most thoughtfully designed travel experiences by land and by sea.

How you explore these unique and less-traveled destinations is key to the Windstar experience as well. Windstar’s smaller ships can go to some 65 ports that larger ships can’t access, including unexpected places like Bawean, Indonesia and the Pearl Islands in Costa Rica. Their elegant ships are among the few that can navigate historic river passages like the Seine (allowing them to sail right into Bordeaux) and intimate waterways like the Cape Cod Canals.

Windstar designs itineraries in a way that allows for a Captain to stop the ship when there are breaching whales to watch or a coral-laced islet that deserves more attention. For an even more up-close experience, some Windstar vessels have a fleet of Zodiacs that launch right off the ship; guided by onboard Expedition Leaders, these outings give you access to remote areas and unrivaled day excursions.

Windstar’s on-ship experiences are just as unrivaled. Their highly personal, award-winning service is always there to bring you just the right thing at the right time, whether it’s a fresh poolside towel or a chilled pinot gris. The intimate ambiance of each ship makes it easy to connect with the friendly crew and your fellow guests, too. You’ll quickly feel at home.

And then there’s the food. As the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, Windstar offers culinary tours, hands-on cooking classes, and regionally inspired cuisine with recipes from some of the most recognized chefs and sommeliers in the world. Fresh, local ingredients are often selected by your ship’s chef on a day trip to the local market. And with no set dining times, you can savor it all on your own schedule.

Just like its curious, independently minded guests, Windstar is constantly seeking out new experiences, flavors, and destinations. In addition to its most popular cruises in Alaska, the Panama Canal, and Tahiti—to name just a few—Windstar has added six new Mediterranean cruises in 2019, including a 51-day Grand Mediterranean adventure that stops in Croatia’s idyllic Komiza. Another spectacular new itinerary on Windstar’s lineup is the 39-day 3 Americas cruise that sails from Vancouver, BC, to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Unique itineraries, smaller ships, impeccable personal service, and tantalizing culinary experiences—get on board with a whole new, more authentic way to cruise. All aboard Windstar!

Windstar Cruises
From Our Partners
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR