Windstar Cruises has announced its plans to return to Alaska in spring/summer 2018, following two decades of inactivity in the region. The boutique, small ship cruise line will offer voyages starting at 11 days to allow ample time for scenic cruising in both Canada’s and Alaska’s famed Inside Passages. Guests can enjoy a cup of cocoa on deck as they sail through Misty Fjords National Monument and Kenai Fjords National Park while looking for orcas, bears, and bald eagles—an experience big ships can’t offer. Each Windstar Alaska itinerary includes sailing through Tracy Arm Fjord. Park rangers, scientists, glaciologists, geologists, and other experts will be on board each cruise to provide education, perspective and one-on-one discussions.

“We are so excited to be enhancing the Alaskan travel marketplace by introducing our brand of true small ship cruising to Alaska. Sailing closer to pristine deciduous shorelines, delving deeper into all-enveloping fjords, kayaking in icy straits right off the ship’s Watersports Platform, and viewing an endless wilderness from sea level,” said Windstar Cruises’ president John Delaney in press materials. “We are bringing our guests right to the heart of what makes Alaska and the Great Pacific Northwest such an amazing destination and magical place to visit.”

Highlights of Windstar’s inaugural Alaska season on board the 212-passenger Star Legend yacht include optional up-close and personal kayaking and scenic cruising by Zodiac, seven to eight Southeast Alaska and British Columbia ports each cruise, and multiple glacier experiences.

In addition, Windstar recently announced its return to Asia in 2017/18, with the 212-guest, all-suite Star Legend yacht sailing from Tokyo to Seward (Anchorage), Alaska over a 14-day trans-Pacific cruise, which also stops in Miyako, Hakodate, and Kushiro in Japan. Once in Alaska, the elegant Star Legend will embarks on three new itineraries—Wonders of Alaska & Canada, Alaskan Splendors and Islands & Inlets of the Inside Passage—with eight sailing dates, departing May to August, including a 14-day Seward (Anchorage) to Vancouver option; a 12-day Vancouver roundtrip itinerary, and 11- or 12-day Vancouver to Seward (Anchorage) voyages. Windstar also plans to offer pre- and post-cruise land excursions, allowing guests more time to explore Alaska’s interior. For more information, call (877) 958-7718 or visit