After two decades away, one of the world’s more boutique cruise lines – Windstar Cruises – has responded to demand from travellers to provide its style of contemporary cruising in Alaska, announcing plans to resume voyages in America’s 49th state from next year.
With six ships in the fleet, Windstar will send its 212-passenger luxury vessel Star Legend to operate a series of itineraries ranging in length from 11 to 14 days, designed to ensure guests have the opportunity to see many of the region’s famed highlights including cruising the Inside Passage of both Canada and Alaska. Many major cruise lines visit a small selection of these same highlights over a shorter period, but this often shuffles around per itinerary.
Every Windstar itinerary will include a visit to Tracy Arm Fjord to get up close to icebergs and glaciers. The onboard team of experts including park rangers, scientists, glaciologists, geologists, botanists and professional photographers will be on hand to share their expertise with travellers onboard the ship.
Other experiences available to Windstar travellers include the chance to hike the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, zip line high over areas known for high populations of wild bears (in total and assured safety), take a scenic flight over Glacier Bay, explore the Russian heritage of Sitka and visit Petroglyph Beach – a destination rarely visited by cruise ships.
The comparatively small size of Star Legend means it will be able to sail directly into Misty Fjords and Kenai Fjords along with other places the larger ships are unable to visit.
Windstar will offer eight departure dates between May-August 2018 including three 14-day ‘Wonders of Alaska & Canada’ one-way adventures from Seward (Anchorage) to Vancouver, two 12-day ‘Alaskan Splendours’ round-trip cruise from Vancouver & three 11-day or 12-day ‘Islands & Inlets of the Inside Passage’ one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward.
The 106 staterooms and suites on Star Legend consist of 36 Balcony staterooms, 64 Ocean View staterooms and six Owner’s or Classic Suites located near the Captain’s Bridge. All rooms include a walk-in closet and marble bathrooms. Travellers are matched almost on a 1:1 basis by crew working across the ship, including the ‘AmphorA’ and ‘Candles’ restaurants, among many other public facilities.