Windstar Cruises continues to expand its shore excursion program, more than doubling its options for guests to upwards of 2,500 choices in the past three years. The increase is a direct result of the line’s expanded global deployment to new regions like Alaska, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt and the Holy Land.
Windstar now sails to over 330 ports globally, with 700 cruise departure dates available through 2021. The company’s global expansion offers cruise guests itineraries that are immersive in a particular region or country such as Grand Japan, Around Iceland on the line’s all-suite ships, or Grand Caribbean Adventure on Wind Surf, the world’s largest sailing ship.
Nearly half of Windstar’s itineraries offer late-night departures and overnights in port for more diverse excursion selections, including evening tours and overnight or multi-day options such as exploring Spain’s mystic inland region in the new ‘Beyond Ordinary: Alhambra In Depth & Insider’s Granada Overnight Tour.’
With smaller ships that can access and stay longer in smaller ports, Windstar’s shore excursions are authentic and personalised, allowing time and space to explore local cultures. To accommodate guest interests, activity level and budgets, Windstar offers three shore tour categories. Recently, Windstar debuted 10 Beyond Ordinary Tours, in-depth experiences offered in select ports. These tours complement the small-ship line’s popular Concierge Collection and Essentials Collection, offered in every port.
Beyond Ordinary tours are comprised of over-the-top experiences such as a panoramic helicopter flight from Monte Carlo that transports guests to Alain Ducasse’s La Bastide de Moustiers in Provence for a Michelin-starred lunch. Other options include an excursion in Roses, Spain, with access to the Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery for a private yoga session on the rooftop, followed by brunch with views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Windstar introduced three Beyond Ordinary Tours last summer to great response and has launched seven new ones in 2019 to date. The one-of-a-kind tours, bookable now, are designed for sophisticated travel tastes. Windstar’s Product Development team is actively curating new tour options daily, with the goal to deliver exclusive visits to rarely accessed places, matched with definitive experiences that are unique to a port, region or culture – creating storied moments that last a lifetime.
The intimate capacity of Windstar’s ships, each carrying between 148 and 342 guests, allows the company to craft tours that visit exclusive and unusual sights and out of the way local favourites, personalised for much smaller groups as few as two to four guests.
Windstar’s 10 new Beyond Ordinary experiences also include the following options:
- Málaga & Almeria, Spain, Beyond Ordinary: Alhambra In Depth & Insider’s Granada Overnight Tour
- Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, Beyond Ordinary: Tikal National Park
- Portimao, Portugal, Beyond Ordinary: Algarve Premium Race Tour
- Ashdod, Israel, Beyond Ordinary: Masada Flightseeing & Jerusalem Exploration
- Haifa, Israel Beyond Ordinary: Jerusalem, Masada Dead Sea, and Petra Overland
- Melbourne, Australia, Beyond Ordinary: Decadent Wine & Foodie Experience by Helicopter
- Bergen, Norway, Beyond Ordinary: Helicopter to Baroniet Manor with Horse Carriage
- Heimaey Island, Iceland, Beyond Ordinary: Snowmobile & Helicopter Glacier Adventure
“With 50 new itineraries visiting Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Fiji, the South Pacific and Cook Islands, Mexico, US Coasts and more, we’re tapping a host of fresh experiences and destinations that are truly special,” said Windstar Director of Product Development Kelly Hubbard. “Our Beyond Ordinary and Concierge Collection excursions are authentic, next-level outings that show exactly how Windstar does things differently.”
Windstar has doubled its Concierge Collection excursions in two years to more than 110 tours featuring intimate experiences that typically range in size from four to 16.
Examples of newly developed and popular Concierge Collection tours include the Sea to Wine Biking Tour in Adelaide — an easy bicycle ride from gorgeous Henley Beach traces the River Torrens right into the heart of Adelaide, where a private wine tasting is arranged at the National Wine Centre with a myriad of South Australian wines to learn about and enjoy. After tasting, guests stroll through the Botanic Gardens for a picnic lunch in the park.
Windstar’s Essentials Collection offers an abundance of options for guests to maximise time in port and truly ‘see the sights’. These tailored tours guarantee an authentic taste of regional geography, culture and cuisine, and are deemed ‘must-do’ activities for first-time visitors, providing classic experiences and a comprehensive overview.
There are more than 1,900 Essentials Collection tours, such as visits to ancient Olympia, or an underwater coral garden in Bora Bora.
In celebration of Windstar’s 2,500 shore excursions, the line’s ‘Destination Event’ is offering cruise guests who book late summer and into autumn a shipboard credit to spend on board on shore excursions, alcoholic beverages and spa services. An up-to-US$1,000-per-suite shipboard credit is available on more than 700 voyages to more than 330 ports of call on sailings through 2021; credit varies based on length of cruise and cabin category.
Bookings to be directed to Windstar Australia on 1300 749 875 or firstname.lastname@example.org