Small-ship cruise operator Windstar Cruises revealed plans to resume operations in September with the Wind Spirit in Tahiti, and gradually return other ships to service through July 2021.
“We have taken extraordinary measures to operate our yachts safely,” said Xanterra and Windstar CEO Andrew Todd. “While we look forward to welcoming guests aboard again, we believe this further suspension of operations is the responsible action to take. We have laid plans for a resumption of small-ship cruising beginning in September.”
The 148-guest Wind Spirit will be the first to resume sailing after suspending operations further due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Wind Spirit’s first cruise in Tahiti is scheduled to depart Sept. 3, 2020, and will operate previously scheduled itineraries.
The rest of the fleet is scheduled to return to service in phases as follows.
— The 342-guest Wind Surf will resume cruising Nov. 29, 2020, in the Caribbean on previously scheduled itineraries before heading to the Mediterranean in April 2021.
— The 148-passenger Wind Star will restart sailing Jan. 16, 2021, with Costa Rica and Panama Canal sailings and then head to the Mediterranean in April 2021.
— The 312-guest Star Breeze: Due to shipyard delays in Italy, where the ship and its sisters are being cut in half and lengthened, cruises in Asia, New Zealand and Australia were canceled. Star Breeze will resume sailing Oct. 27, 2020, in the Mediterranean before moving to the Caribbean in December 2020 to pick up sailings from Star Legend and Star Pride. Then Star Breeze will offer a few new Caribbean itineraries until June 2021 when it heads to Alaska. A new 10-day “Alaskan Splendors” sailing was added on June 3, 2021, after which it resumes its previously scheduled Alaska itineraries.
— The 312-guest Star Legend: Due to the shipyard delays, some sailings are canceled, and others will be picked up by the Star Breeze. Star Legend begins sailing March 1, 2021, in the Mediterranean and will pick up some sailings previously scheduled for Star Pride.
— The 312-guest Star Pride: Some sailings are canceled, and others will be picked up by Star Breeze. The Star Pride will begin sailing July 5, 2021, in Northern Europe.
Guests on canceled cruises will receive a future cruise credit (FCC) valued at 125 percent of all monies paid to Windstar. Guests who prefer a refund can request their FCC be converted to a refund equal to the amount paid on the Windstar booking once they receive their FCC. Guests will have 24 months to book and embark on any available Windstar cruise using their FCC. Windstar Cruises will protect travel advisor commissions on the affected bookings following the normal policy for canceled bookings.
Windstar’s reservations team will send letters outlining details to guests with canceled cruises and to those with only a change in which Star-class ship they’ll be aboard.
Windstar’s Travel Assurance Booking Policy allows travelers to cancel their cruise up to 15 days before departure and receive a 100 percent FCC based on money paid on the booking to be used on all sailings through Dec. 31, 2021.
“During this temporary pause in operations, Windstar’s staff is reviewing and updating its health and safety practices including enhanced sanitation protocols, health screenings, additional medical staff on board, expanded dining times with outdoor dining, and crew training,” the company said.
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