Windstar Cruises pulls inaugural Middle East program

Star Legend bound for the Med over the winter, showcased at ILTM Cannes

Cannes, France | Credit: Jim Thirion

Windstar Cruises has delayed its inaugural season in the Middle East, likely due to the conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip, releasing a winter season in the Mediterranean instead. Star Legend will now offer itineraries between December 2023 and April 2024, sailing to ports including Barcelona, Nice, Florence/Livorno, Marseille and Rome. The ship will also be showcased in Cannes during the annual luxury travel showcase, ILTM Cannes.

“The ship was originally scheduled to sail in the Middle East. We’ve postponed our launch in that region to begin in November 2024,” said Christoper Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises.

“With a ship in the Mediterranean, we saw an opportunity to offer guests a legendary winter season in Europe. Our small ships and intimate atmosphere provide a truly unique way to explore Europe’s winter wonderlands, while enjoying the magic of the season and the comforts and casual luxury that Windstar is known for.”

Star Legend

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The seven-night itineraries have been designed for guests to take advantage of fewer crowds and easier access to museums, cultural events, historical landmarks, as well as local cuisine and genuine engagement with locals. The itineraries offer a blend of cultural exploration and festive celebrations that can only be enjoyed during the winter season through Spring.

Windstar Cruises will offer 16 cruises sail between Rome and Barcelona (or reverse) visiting Florence & Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Marseille, France with overnights in the iconic cities of Rome, Barcelona and Monte Carlo. The last of the new Mediterranean series is an eight-night cruise from Rome to Athens visiting the Amalfi Coast and Greece. A Christmas holiday sailing can be booked as a eight- or nine-day cruise, the latter including New Year’s Eve.

Travellers can participate in some of Europe’s most magical winter experiences including holiday markets and ice skating in Nice, France; Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Trevi Fountain excursions in Rome during the holidays; and Florence’s spectacular Light Festival, among many other once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Rome's Spanish Steps almost tourist free | Credit: Gabriella Clare Marino

Guests will also have several extraordinary holiday opportunities including the option to celebrate Christmas eve and day in Rome; ring in the New Year in Barcelona; spend Valentine’s Day in Nice; or enjoy Carnevale celebrations in both Spain and Italy at the end of February.

The all-suite Star Legend will also be in Cannes in early December to coincide with the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) conference. Windstar executives including Prelog, Vice President of Sales Dianna Rom, and Chief Commercial Officer Janet Bava will be on hand to showcase to those in attendance the ship’s renovation completed as part of the US$250 Million Star Plus Initiative and with an opportunity to sail on a two -night cruise to Rome after the event.

For travel partners interested in touring or sailing, contact

Bookings will open for Windstar Cruises’ new winter Mediterranean sailings on 6 November 2023.

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