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In celebration of Windstar Cruises’ 2,500 shore excursions, the line’s “Destination Event” is offering cruise guests who book late summer and into fall, a shipboard credit (SBC) to spend while on board on shore excursions, alcoholic beverages and spa services. The up to $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:

Voyages 14 days or more:

  • $1,000 SBC per suite ($500 per guest) for Premium Suites
  • $400 SBC per suite ($200 per guest) for Standard Suites & Staterooms

Voyages 5-13 days:

  • $400 SBC per suite ($200 per guest) for Premium Suites
  • $200 SBC per suite ($100 per guest) for Standard Suites & Staterooms

Premium Suites include: Owner’s Suites, Classic Suites, Officer’s/Bridge Suites and Wind Surf Suites. To use the shipboard credit for shore excursions, tours must be booked on board.

Beyond the Ordinary Shore Excursions
Windstar Cruises has broadened its shore excursion program over the last three years, more than doubling its options for guests to upwards of 2,500 choices.

To help guests navigate the many choices and match shore excursions to their interests, activity levels, and budgets, Windstar offers three shore tour categories. The line has recently debuted 10 Beyond Ordinary Tours, which are in-depth experiences offered in select ports. These tours complement the line’s popular Concierge Collection and Essentials Collection, offered in every port.

Beyond Ordinary tours are made up of of the most 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. The excursion in Roses, Spain, gives guests 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.

“Our team is located around the world and works incredibly hard to develop unusual tours that will interest our guests and be considered the best in destination delivery. With 50 new itineraries visiting Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Fiji, the South Pacific and Cook Islands, Mexico, U.S. Coasts and more, we’re tapping a host of fresh experiences and destinations that are truly special,” says Windstar director of product development Kelly Hubbard in press materials. “Our Beyond Ordinary and Concierge Collection excursions are authentic, next-level outings that show exactly how Windstar does things differently.”

The intimate capacity of Windstar’s sailings allows the company’s Product Development team to craft tours that visit exclusive and unusual sights and out of the way local favorites, personalized for much smaller groups as few as 2-4 guests.

Windstar’s 10 new Beyond Ordinary experiences include those noted above and the following:

  • Malaga & 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
Go ziplining while on one of Windstar’s shore excursions. (Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises.)

The Concierge Collection
Concierge tours present off-the-beaten path experiences, whether visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, discovering street art with artist Eduardo Hermida in El Ferrol, Spain; taking a “tree to bar” chocolate-making class in St. Lucia using prized trinitario cocoa beans or exploring remote Dry Tortugas National Park by seaplane.

“It’s no longer enough to say that our cruises visit interesting, out of the way ports; it’s about painting the picture of the overall destination and explaining exactly what a guest will do that day, with specifics on how we deliver those experiences,” says Hubbard. “The majority of our shore excursions are available to review at the same time as guests are considering the cruise itinerary they want to book. This gives Windstar guests the advantage of knowing all of the great shore excursion options available, so they can make the most of their vacation time and get excited about cruising with Windstar.”

Examples of newly developed and popular Concierge Collection tours include:

  • Adelaide, Australia Concierge Collection: Sea to Wine Biking Tour — An easy bicycle ride from 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.
  • Tracy Arm & Endicott Arm, Alaska – Signature Expedition Tracy Arm Kayaking Windstar Signature Expeditions operate directly from the ship and are led by Expedition Leaders who provide insight, education and commentary while exploring Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. Kayak in front of the South Sawyer Glacier or Dawes Glacier, both actively calving tidewater glaciers, spot harbor seals hauled out on ice floes, or mountain goats high on vertical granite cliffs that rise from the sea and spout waterfalls. John Muir referred to this area as “a wild, unfinished Yosemite.”
  • San Francisco, California – Concierge Collection: Sonoma Wine & Olive Oil Tasting with Lunch — Guests are whisked away by a luxury van to the Gloria Ferrer Winery for a private cave tour followed by a wine and cheese tasting. Enjoy lunch in quaint downtown Sonoma Square before traveling to Figone Olive Oil & Production Mill for a private tour and tasting of olive oil and balsamic vinegars, finished with another private winery tasting. This tour offers a full day of classic California wine country experiences.
  • Balboa, Panama – Concierge Collection: Coffee & Chocolate Foodie Experience — At Casco Viejo, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, guests enjoy a walking foodie experience starting at a coffee house with a focus on Geisha coffee, famed for being the most expensive on earth. Next, they stop at a chocolate shop with an expert chocolatier to guide tastings. The experience finishes in a rum distillery that uses sugar cane cut by hand in a small farm in Chiriqui. The rum tasting is complemented by local ceviche and traditional Panamanian snacks.
  • Cozumel, Mexico – Concierge Collection: Chichen Itza Overnight & Sunrise — Guests head to the Hacienda Chichen Resort for a delicious dinner from acclaimed Mayan chefs serving up exclusively organic and local fare. After a restful sleep at the eco-resort, guests rise by dawn to hike and catch the first sun rays touching the Chichen Itza ruins, one of the most important archaeological sites of the Maya, before the grounds are open to the general public.
  • Geiranger, Norway – Concierge Collection: Geirangerfjord RIB Adventure — On a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), guests zip through Geirangefjord with a chance to get up close to the famous waterfalls in the scenic fjord, as well as the hauntingly beautiful abandoned farms.
windstar cruises
Guests enjoy their excursion in Portofino, Italy. (Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises.)

The Essentials Collection
Windstar’s aptly named Essentials Collection offers an abundance of options for guests to maximize 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.

Windstar offers more than 1,900 Essentials Collection tours, such as visits to mystical ancient Olympia, or an underwater coral garden in Bora Bora.

A few of the new Essentials Collection tours include:

  • Lembar, Indonesia – Essentials Collection: Sasak Traditional Village & Kuta Beach — Experience the rural lifestyle of a traditional Sasak village in Central Lombok, while your guide shares insights on local culture and architecture. Kuta Beach offers the best seascape in Lombok, and an Indonesian buffet lunch is served at a beautiful tropical resort, with ample time to enjoy the beach.
  • Istanbul, Turkey – Essentials Collection: Turkish Bath Experience — Relax at the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Turkish bath, where guests are welcomed in Hammam Square with takunya (wooden sabots) and pestemal (loincloth) then ushered to heated gobektasis for a rub down massage and bath.
  • Messina, Italy – Essentials Collection: 500 Vintage Tour Visit hidden gems of Eastern Sicily while driving a classic vintage car (Fiat 500) along the beautiful Taormina seafront to the town of Savoca, Francis Ford Coppola’s infamous setting for “The Godfather.”   

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