Windstar schedules second winter season in the Med

2023/24 contingency plan exceeds expectations

Windstar Cruises says it will keep Star Legend sailing in the Mediterranean for another winter season, providing our guests with the opportunity to explore Europe and the region’s allure year-round. Positive feedback and an influx of bookings and demand have led the luxury small-ship cruise line to enhance its winter Mediterranean deployment with new itineraries and opportunities to book longer voyages in 2024/2025.

Star Legend was originally been planned to sail to the Middle East, however the unrest in Israel saw those plans thwarted in late October, with the deployment shifted to the ‘slow season’ in the Mediterranean instead.

Star Legend sailing in the Mediterranean in December

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“On our inaugural sailing in December, every single travel advisor and guest on board told me ‘this is genius’ as we enjoyed the sunny weather of Europe’s most walkable cities when few cruise lines sail Europe’s oceans,” said Janet Bava, Chief Commercial Officer, Windstar Cruises.

“Our biggest learning from this winter’s season was we were limited by the possibilities and experiences we could offer with just the one itinerary – from Rome to Barcelona and the reverse and we have responded to that with a variety of new itineraries for our guests to enjoy the Mediterranean’s most storied destinations in the winter.”

Prompted by positive feedback from the inaugural sailings, including the desire for more overnight stays, Windstar will now offer five itineraries in the Mediterranean for the 2025 season, plus three special holiday and event sailings. The expansion also allows guests to combine back-to-back itineraries, providing a unique opportunity to experience different destinations while unpacking just once.

Eze, France, midway between Monaco and Nice, in winter climes

New Itinerary Highlights for 2024/2025

Winter Italy & the Dalmatian Coast will set sail on five dates in 2024/25. The 8-day itinerary sails from Rome to Venice, with stops in Naples, Taormina (Sicily), an overnight in Dubrovnik (Croatia), a full day in Zadar (Croatia), and ends with an overnight in Venice. The route and timing, particularly the beginning of January, will take advantage of Italy’s strict rules around retail sales (with just winter and summer sales allowed and items up to 70% off).

Europe Winter Riviera will have eight departure dates on a 7-day cruise. From Rome, guests will sail to Livorno (Italy) for an overnight stay, followed by a day in Genoa and then Nice, France before ending with an overnight in Barcelona.

Winter in Italy and the Adriatic, an 8-day cruise, will take place on just one sail date. Leaving from Athens, the yacht will sail through the tiny Corinth Canal to Itea (Delphi) before overnighting in Corfu. Then it’s off to Crotone (Italy) followed by an overnight in Taormina (Sicily) before a day in Naples, ending the journey in Rome.

Southern Spain Winter Escapes will be a 9-day roundtrip sailing from Barcelona offered on four departure dates. Starting with an overnight in Barcelona means plenty of time to explore the city center before sailing to Valencia, Cartagena, Malaga (for an overnight), Gibraltar (UK), Palma, and then returning to Barcelona. Guests will easily be able to hop on the high-speed train to/from Madrid in order to extend their explorations inland either pre- or post-cruise.

Winter in Croatia & Greece departs 26 March 2025 for an 8-day sailing from Venice to Athens. An overnight in Venice enables guests explore the historic city from the ship’s convenient city dock location. Port calls include Koper, Slovenia; Zadar and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Delphi, Greece and a transit of the scenic, narrow Corinth Canal.

A day in Nice in winter with Windstar Cruises

Special Holiday and Event Sailings:

A Christmas holiday cruise will sail from Rome to Barcelona, 23-30 December 2024. It includes an overnight in Livorno for the opportunity to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Duomo followed by stops in Genoa and Nice before ending in Barcelona with an overnight stay. Festive decorations, traditional dishes and activities bring the holiday spirit onboard the ship.

A New Year’s cruise sails roundtrip from Barcelona, 30 December 2024 to 8 January 2025. New Year’s Eve itself is an overnight in Palma, Mallorca – one of Europe’s ultimate party meccas for an epic celebration. Then it’s onto Cartagena, an overnight in Malaga, followed by stops in Gibraltar (UK), Valencia, and returning to Barcelona.

Additionally, Star Legend will return for a special appearance at the International Luxury Travel Market Cannes travel expo, which takes place in December 2024. The ship will sail from Rome to Barcelona, 30 November to 7 December 2024. It includes stops in Livorno, Genoa, Cannes (overnight) and Barcelona (also an overnight). Ship visits will be available in Cannes for delegates of ILTM Cannes.

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