Windstar Cruises Adding Unusual Stops

Marquesas Islands and St. Petersburg among additions for 2004

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Windstar Cruises, the three-ship niche line, is adding more exotic locales in 2004.

Among the new offerings: two cruises from Tahiti to the lesser-traveled Marquesas Islands, two cruises that begin or end with an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia, and a new Caribbean homeport at St. Thomas.

The line is issuing two new collateral pieces to make it easier for agents and consumers alike to track the schedules of the four- and five-masted motor-sailing vessels.

One is the Sailing Atlas, an 82-page bound guide that includes all 144 cruises offered on the Wind Star and Wind Spirit, both 148-passenger vessels, as well as the 308-passenger Wind Surf.

Western agents in particular will appreciate a new Tahiti-specific brochure that details the line’s weekly roundtrip cruise from Papeete.

The Wind Star is scheduled to continue its year-round Tahiti deployment, making 46 seven-day voyages that call at Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine and Raiatea. Overnights are included in Papeete, Bora Bora and Moorea.

Next June and September, the Wind Star is to embark from Papeete on 14-day voyages to the remote Marquesan islands of Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa, among others, as well as a stop at the Tuamotu-group island of Rangiroa, situated on one of the largest natural lagoons in the world.

The Wind Surf, meanwhile, is scheduled to make two voyages to St. Petersburg, the increasingly popular port of call that celebrated its 300th anniversary this past summer.

The July 22 voyage is scheduled to depart from Copenhagen for a seven-day journey ending with an overnight in St. Petersburg. Other ports of call are Gdynia, Poland; Klaipeda, Lithuania; Ventspils, Latvia, and Tallinn, Estonia.

The July 29 cruise, a 13-day itinerary, is scheduled to begin with an overnight in St. Petersburg and to include a night in Stockholm.

Eight Northern Europe voyages also are scheduled for the Wind Surf.

In the Caribbean, St. Thomas is to be the new homeport for the 34 roundtrip voyages of the Wind Spirit and the Wind Surf. Ports of call on the six itineraries include such islands as St. Barthelemy, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, St. John and Isla Culebra, Puerto Rica.

Windstar also intends to return to the Mediterranean and the Greek Islands next year. The six- to eight-day Med cruises are to begin in Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Rome; Nice, France; Venice, Italy and the island of Malta. The 18 seven-day Greek Island cruises is to include 14 voyages between Athens and Istanbul; the remaining cruises are to sail between Athens and Rome.