Category: Yachting

Star Breeze in Portoferrario

Windstar Cruises Cuts Star Breeze in Half

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Windstar Cruises has reached a huge milestone in their $250 Million Star Plus Initiative! Star Breeze is at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy, and was cut in half in preparation for the insertion of a new block! This transformation includes a new eclectic Spanish restaurant Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, the new alfresco Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, an elevated pool, and a new spa and fitness center. In future voyages you’ll discover thoughtful re-imagined enhancements throughout all suites, including new bathrooms.

The slightly larger ships and new enhancements will significantly build upon the signature onboard environment Windstar is known for. The social and friendly public spaces on the ships create a welcome chemistry between guests and the crew. This is the first of three new mid-ship sections to be constructed and inserted as part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, which is committed to the expansion and transformation of the cruise line’s three Star Class vessels.

Be one of the first to experience these new features in person during the inaugural Star Breeze Caribbean cruise, Colors of Key West & Central America, departing from Miami on March 20, 2020!

 

Recipe: Simple to Make Lemon Tiramisu

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Shared from our friends at Windstar Cruises, this Lemon Tiramisu dessert sound like a perfect way to add some summer sunshine into a classic recipe

Before we start making a simple lemon tiramisu, we will tell you where we got this recipe.

Gorgeous seasonal produce and beautiful markets constantly inspire us to play with new spins on traditional dishes. Wandering the morning market in Antibes, France with the James Beard Foundation Awarded Chef Maxime Billet, it was easy to drool over the mounds of purple garlic, the towers of heirloom tomatoes, and the crates of just-foraged chanterelle mushrooms. Summer in the south of France is known for the bounty of its gorgeous harvest, and the market of Antibes certainly does not disappoint! But it was the massive, knotty, nearly-neon yellow lemons that drew me in the most.

In northern Italy, the perfect summer dessert is Tiramisu (literally, ‘pick me up’). Served cold straight from the fridge, there is nothing better than this creamy, caffeinated dessert. But the French lemons made us want to play with this classic recipe, switching out the traditional coffee for a tart lemon syrup, and trading the rum for a splash of bright limoncello. Perfect for those hot afternoons after a morning at the beach, or those late night sweet snack desires, enjoy this memory-invoking Mediterranean take for your next dessert craving!

Simple Lemon Tiramisu from Windstar Cruises

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup lemon curd
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
  • 1 cup limoncello
  • 20 ladyfingers
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

 

Directions

1) Whisk the whipping cream and ¾ cup sugar until it reaches soft peaks. Set aside.

2) Put the mascarpone cheese into a medium bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the lemon curd. Fold in the sweetened whipped cream. Set aside and keep chilled.

3) Mix the lemon juice and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Heat just until sugar is melted. Remove from heat, and stir in limoncello. Let cool.

4) Soak ladyfingers in cooled limoncello mixture for a couple seconds, rotating to coat all sides. (Do not oversoak, or else your ladyfingers will dissolve, and your tiramisu will be too wet). Place ladyfingers side by side on the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch pan.

5) Put half the lemon cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers in pan. Smooth with a spatula or spoon.

6) Apply the second layer of limoncello-soaked ladyfingers and remaining cream. Sift a light dusting of powdered sugar over the top. Cover in plastic wrap and chill.

7) To serve, cut lemon tiramisu into squares (or simply spoon it out if it is too soft to cut) and serve on plates.

 

The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences

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Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.

Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.

 

Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.

 

1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine

Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.

Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.

 

2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow

Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.

 

3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In

You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.

 

4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat

There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.

 

5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat

Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.

 

6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut

Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.

 

7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony

Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.

Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.

 

8 – Spend All Day At The Spa

Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.

Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s

 

9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat

Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.

Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.

 

10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces

Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.

Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.

 

11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi

The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.

Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.

 

12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River

From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.

Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.

 

13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef

The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.

 

 

Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue

2020 Dates for the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection

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Award-winning small ship line Windstar Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, today reveals six new cruises being added to the James Beard Foundation (JBF) Culinary Cruise Collection for 2020.

All sailings are led by James Beard Foundation-recognized guest chefs, sommeliers and beverage experts with a passion for their destination. The six diverse cruise offerings will explore locavore cuisine on a country-immersive Croatia cruise; get a flavor for the rugged north of Alaska; discover the hidden gems of France, Spain, and Portugal’s Atlantic coast; experience exotic cuisines of Indonesia and the Philippines; delight in the hidden harbors of the Caribbean; and introduce cruisers to the trend-setting foodie scene and wine regions of the U.S. West Coast. The six newly announced cruises are scheduled to sail from January through November 2020, and range in length from 7 to 14 days.

Together, Windstar and the James Beard Foundation are taking guests on epicurean adventures that deliver the best travel and cuisine experiences worldwide, by curating genuine local culinary encounters while drawing attention to the impactful work of the Beard Foundation network which celebrates food and advocates for food sustainability.

“Our exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation has allowed us to enrich our culinary experiences giving our guests unparalleled access to the most cutting edge and accomplished culinarians in the industry. Every evening, on every single sailing, our cruise guests enjoy destination-inspired JBF dishes created especially for Windstar by the James Beard guest chefs who have sailed with us. We have proudly hosted nearly three dozen chefs, sommeliers and beverage experts and counting. What is unique is that each one has a special connection to the places they are sailing, whether through food or family heritage, this creates powerful and inspiring personal experiences that our guests will never forget,” said Windstar President John Delaney.

Coinciding with this announcement, and as part of the unique travel-culinary alliance, Windstar sponsors the acclaimed James Beard Foundation Awards, the pinnacle of recognition in the culinary world, happening today at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, IL.

James Beard Foundation President Clare Reichenbach commented, “We are so pleased to have Windstar’s support of our mantra ‘good food for good’, which commits the James Beard Foundation to giving culinary professionals the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. The JBF Culinary Cruise Collection shines a light on these chefs and wine experts and highlights the important role that food plays in the culture and economies of each of the ports where Windstar sails, the world round.”

A number of Windstar alumni guest chefs are attending the JBF Awards Gala including Chef Danielle Leoni of Breadfruit in Phoenix, AZ. who led guests on a Caribbean cruise adventure in January, and is a James Beard Foundation 2018 Fellow for the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program; also attending is acclaimed Chef Hugh Acheson of Empire State South, Five & Ten, and The National in Atlanta, GA. who headlined a 2017 European JBF Culinary Cruise and is nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.

Windstar’s Corporate Executive Chef Graeme Cockburn joins an exclusive club of chefs that have been invited to prepare a signature bite for the 1,000 plus guests attending the famed JBF Awards Gala. Chef Cockburn sails aboard each JBF cruise overseeing the culinary operations, and the dishes specially developed by the James Beard guest chefs are featured in Windstar’s restaurants each evening and enjoyed on every sailing. For the JBF Awards Gala, Chef Cockburn has developed a recipe inspired by Windstar’s forays into the alpine areas and glaciers of Alaska and will be serving up Seared Venison Loin & Alaskan Pine Spruce Salad with Nasturtium Pesto and Goat Buttermilk Dressing at the epicurean extravaganza.

Windstar also supports JBF’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. A number of the guest chefs who have sailed with Windstar are alumni of the prestigious camp, a part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs which are committed to establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership.

Windstar’s JBF Culinary Cruise Collection Offers Authentic Culinary Experiences

The bespoke portfolio of nine total upcoming sailings in the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection embarking June 2019 through November 2020, are attracting food and wine enthusiasts seeking to fully immerse themselves in the culture, tastes, and flavors of regional cuisines where the ships sail. Each cruise features a James Beard chef, working alongside Windstar’s culinary team. The guest chef acts as an onboard culinary ambassador teaching first-hand tips and techniques during cooking demonstrations, leading “Shopping with the Chef” tours to local markets, and picking out fresh local ingredients to use in featured dishes at a wine-paired gala dinner for all on board to enjoy.

Similarly, the JBF sommelier/beverage expert accompanies tours to local wineries, leads on board tastings of regional wines and spirits, and works with the chefs to create one-of-a-kind pairing menus that celebrate the quaint, small ports that Windstar is renowned for visiting. Guests on board get to know these epicurean experts on a personal level, tasting the dishes and wines they recommend and hearing firsthand what stirs their passion for food, wine, and spirits. One-on-one interactions with the guest chef and sommelier/beverage expert are a given during memorable cruise moments like Windstar’s Signature Sail Away and Signature Deck Party, or on a culinary-focused shore excursion.

The names of the 2020 guest chefs, sommeliers, and beverage experts who are being tapped as the culinary cruise ambassadors will be announced in the coming weeks. Below are the dates and itineraries for the six newly announced 2020 additions to the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection:

  • January 25, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: The Spanish Main: Rise of the New World, Colón to San Juan, 7 days aboard Star Pride
  • May 5, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza, San Diego to Vancouver, 10 days aboard Star Breeze
  • June 8, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Alaskan Splendors, Vancouver to Seward (Anchorage), 11 days aboard Star Breeze
  • September 19, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Autumn on the Atlantic Coast, London to Lisbon, 10 days aboard Star Legend
  • October 16, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Quintessential Croatia, Venice to Venice, 8 days aboard Wind Surf
  • November 2, 2020 – James Beard Foundation: Windstar Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia, Hong Kong to Bali, 14 days cruise aboard Star Breeze

In addition, following is the super star line-up of award-winning chefs and celebrated sommeliers who will headline the three remaining 2019 JBF Culinary Cruise Collection sailings:

June 22, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Rivieras, 8 days aboard Wind Surf

  • Chef & Restaurateur Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group & Hank’s Oyster Bar in Washington, D.C.
  • Sommelier Jeff Strine, JL Restaurant Group & Hank’s Oyster Bar, and more) in Washington, D.C.

Chef and Restaurateur Jamie Leeds — a James Beard Foundation Chef Boot Camp Alumna and owner of JL Restaurant Group — will be seeking out the freshest French oysters and bringing guests on chef-led visits to lively markets to gather produce, herbs, fish, and more to showcase in cooking demonstrations and a gala evening meal on board. Alongside her will be Jeff Strine, who works closely with Jamie at JL Restaurant Group where he developed a thoughtful and concise wine program for Hank’s Oyster Bar’s seasonal seafood-focused menu.

Both love to travel and are excited to visit lesser-known wine regions and visits to smaller ports such as quaint Sanary-sur-Mer, France. This coastal jewel offers a wine tasting tour above the vineyards in the Provençal hilltop village of Le Castellet, followed by a visit to Domaine de Souviou for tasting the house wines and olive oils grown on the expansive 70-hectares property that is planted with 100-year-old olive trees and rows of vines, cypress trees, and lavender, a treat for all of the senses.

 

September 24, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza 10 days aboard Star Legend

  • Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Bovolo, and Black Pig Meat Co. in Sonoma County
  • Beverage Expert Michael Metzger of Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners

Award-winning Chef Duskie Estes is the perfect culinary guide for this first-ever Windstar sailing along the West Coast of America, as she was born in San Diego, raised in San Francisco, and spent eight years in Seattle working for JBF-awarded Restaurateur Tom Douglas before moving to Sonoma County, where she is celebrated as a chef and avid farmer/advocate for “snout to tail” cooking.

Providing wine pairings and insight will be Michael Metzger from Distinguished Vineyards, who works with the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Program as their sustainable wine partner and represents a collection of iconic wineries including the highly acclaimed Argyle Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma, and Markham Vineyards in Napa Valley.

As with all Windstar sailings, this first-ever West Coast cruise boasts a myriad of shore-side adventures including specially curated culinary shore excursions from vineyard visits, to food trucks and farmers’ markets. In Seattle, guests will enjoy a behind-the-scenes docent tour of the iconic Pike Place Market; after sailing up the Columbia River, the ship has a two-day overnight stay in James Beard’s native Oregon, where guests can enjoy an “Elevated Foodie Walking Tour” of the Portland culinary scene, or a brewery/cidery tasting tour. An all-day excursion to Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley allows guests to indulge in private tastings at three wineries in the region that put Pinot Noir on the U.S. map. In Sonoma, foodies will delight in a private cave tour with wine and cheese tasting at the Gloria Ferrer Winery, followed by lunch and an afternoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegars tasting at Figone Olive Oil & Production Mill.

Also of note, this U.S. West Coast itinerary is featured as one of the newly announced 2020 culinary cruises but sailing aboard Star Breeze, following her upcoming full ship renovation as part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative. The May 5, 2020 itinerary will be a reverse version of the 2019 offering with similar culinary-focused shore excursions, but departing from San Diego, CA. and sailing to Vancouver, B.C. instead. Details on chef and beverage experts in 2020 will be announced soon.

October 14, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast, 8 days aboard Wind Surf

  • Chef Chris Pandel of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Dutch & Doc’s in Chicago
  • Beverage Expert Marcello Cancelli of the Boka Group in Chicago

Chef Chris Pandel, a James Beard Foundation Chef Boot Camp Alumnus, has a love affair with Italy and Italian-American heritage, so who better to cruise with and explore the shores of Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, discovering the charm of Venice, the magnificence of Rome, and the vast beauty of the Dalmatian Coast? While visiting the picturesque seaside resort of Rovinj, a top pick shore excursion lets guests tour the wine cellar of the Matosevic Family, Croatia’s most well-known wine producers.

Offering beautiful wine pairings on this cruise is Marcello Cancelli, a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers who is Area Wine Director for Chicago’s Boka Group, overseeing the wine programs at Swift & Sons, Momotaro, Bellemore, Girl & the Goat, and more. Cancelli will be demonstrating his passion and commitment to great wine and its rightful place alongside a meal.

 

For more information on Windstar’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation, find featured recipes, and view the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection visit: https://www.windstarcruises.com/why-windstar/james-beard-foundation/. To learn more about the Beard Foundation visit: https://www.jamesbeard.org/.

 

Windstar has garnered recent culinary awards, notably being named Best Small Cruise Ships for Dining in Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, and a 2019 Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Cruise Partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation from Porthole Cruise Magazine. Windstar was also voted 2018 Best Small Ship Cruise Line by AFAR readers; scored a top spot as Best Small Ship in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and was named to the magazine’s prestigious Gold List for 2019; while Windstar’s flagship Wind Surf ranked #1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines in the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

SeaDream Yacht Club Introduces A New Luxury Yacht

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The 2021 inaugural season is now accepting bookings from past SeaDream guests. Reservations for new guests will open April 17.

SeaDream Yacht Club is pleased to announce a new era in luxury yachting. For the first time since its founding in 2001, SeaDream is expanding its fleet with SeaDream Innovation, a new, revolutionary yacht, which will introduce the concept of “Global Yachting.” Commencing sailing in September 2021, the ultra-luxury yacht will sail to all seven continents in its first year, visiting over 200 ports in 49 countries. Guests will explore the world’s most remote and unique destinations, including Svalbard, the Northwest Passage, Antarctica, the fjords of Norway, Japan, New Zealand, the Fiji Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

SeaDream is now accepting reservations from Club Members, guests who have previously sailed aboard SeaDream’s classic yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II. Reservations will open to the public on April 17.

“This project has been a dream of mine for many years,” said Atle Brynestad, Owner, Chairman and CEO of SeaDream. “It has been a true labor of love to meticulously design every aspect of this yacht, from the interiors and facilities to the itineraries.”

With only 110 elegantly appointed, ocean-view suites, SeaDream Innovation will offer an intimate setting and all-inclusive vacation with a one-to-one guest to crew ratio. Combining innovation with elegant comfort, all spaces and facilities have been designed to elevate the guest experience at sea, including three marinas and outdoor dining.

“We were drawn to Damen Shipyards for their excellent reputation and proven track record as innovators in the shipbuilding industry,” said Atle Brynestad, Owner, Chairman and CEO of SeaDream. “Damen Shipyards understood our vision from the very beginning. Both Damen and SeaDream are family-owned businesses, making Damen a perfect long-term partner for this visionary project. We are looking forward to working closely with the Damen team to bring this dream to reality.”

At 15,600 gross tons and measuring 155m, the mega-yacht will follow in the tradition of excellence set by its predecessors. SeaDream will offer a true yachting lifestyle, featuring anticipatory service, 5-star dining, luxury accommodations, generous outdoor spaces and inspiring itineraries.

In 2001, Brynestad reinvented luxury for the second time when he introduced discerning travelers to the SeaDream yachting experience, where casual elegance and intimate ports replaced tuxedos and formal evenings. Prior to SeaDream, the Norwegian entrepreneur was already recognized as a leader in the industry when he as the sole owner and founder of Seabourn Cruise Line first reinvented luxury cruising with Seabourn Pride in 1988, followed by two more ultra-luxury cruise ships. Since its founding, SeaDream has achieved the industry’s highest accolades, consistently recognized for exceeding guests’ expectations with its casual yachting lifestyle and offering a distinct experience at sea.

Crystal Offers New Voluntourism Options

Crystal Announces Voluntourism Adventures For 2019

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Many people believe that travel is not just about adding stamps to ones passport but about making your stamp on the country you are visiting. Voluntourism is one way to achieve this. In 2011, Crystal Cruises debuted their “You Care. We Care” program, allowing their luxury cruise guests a way to connect with a destination by offering excursions with local organizations building goodwill and relationships.

“We feel privileged to offer our ‘You Care. We Care’ program. It is near and dear to the hearts of the Crystal Family and our guests by providing experiences that not only enrich the communities and organizations we visit, but also enables travelers to connect with destinations throughout the world in ways that are intimate and meaningful to them,” says John Stoll, Crystal’s vice president of land programs. “Whatever philanthropic activities speak to guests’ interests – whether its environmental and wildlife conservation or interacting with local citizens – Crystal is proud to offer opportunities for them to contribute.

In 2019 they are continuing this tremendously popular program by unveiling more than two dozen complimentary voluntourism experiences on most Crystal Symphony and Serenity sailings, along with select itineries on the Crystal Esprit visiting the West Indies. The criteria for selecting the activities that are part of the experience on each “You Care. We Care.” adventure involve identifying those where participants can make an immediate positive impact. The organizations determine their greatest needs and then the Crystal team works closely with them on how they would like Crystal to be involved.

The contribution of guests and crew is that of time and care, with no financial obligations requested or required. Crystal also provides financial and other needed resources annually to many of the charities visited during “You Care. We Care.” adventures further benefiting the programs and the people they serve.

 

For 2019, Crystal guests and crew can contribute to communities around the world with the following “You Care. We Care.” voluntourism excursions including:
  • Assisting at the San Francisco Food Bank, Clatsop Community Action Food Bank in Astoria, Oregon and Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria, British Columbia
  • Playing games, reading, dancing and participating in an array of other activities with the elderly and children at the Granitos de Paz Foundation in Cartagena, Colombia
  • Helping to feed the elderly at Mercy Kitchen in Belize
  • Assisting with cleaning and caring for the animals at the Samui Animal Shelter in Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Getting an up-close look at the wildlife at Territory Wildlife Park and joining the conservation team in maintaining the park’s botanical gardens in Darwin, Australia
  • Participating in tree planting conservation efforts to shelter the yellow-eyed penguins of Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Assisting with gardening and other household duties at Domus Christi Home for the Elderly in Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Assisting with meal preparation or recreational activities at Smile of a Child in Cornith, Greece
  • Helping prepare food and create ceramic artwork with the disabled at the Pio Monte della Misericordia in Sorrento, Italy
  • Learning about the conservation of marine life and participating in the theoretical rescue of a dolphin at the Rehabilitation Center of Prat de Llobregat in Barcelona, Spain
  • Assisting with the work at the Gallinas & Focas home for the mentally challenged, tending gardens and olive groves in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • Assisting with groundskeeping at the historic Mount Stewart House & Gardens in Belfast, U.K.
  • Planting trees at the Heidmork Natural Reserve in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Visiting the Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in St. Peter Port, U.K.Crystal Voluntourism Adventures are recommended to be pre-reserved in advance.

Additionally, through its cruise donation program, Crystal supports organizations around the globe with their fundraising efforts. Some of the organizations that the company has supported in 2018 include the Susan G. Komen Foundation; The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; PAWS Humane Society of Broward County; Miami City Ballet; American Heart Association; Coast Guard Foundation; Special Olympics of Florida; Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra; TOKI Rapa Nui School of Music & Arts (Easter Island); Baptist Health; and Camillus House.

Star Plus Initiative

Windstar Cruises Announces $250 Million Star Plus Initiative

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Major Investment Engages Fincantieri to Renovate & Lengthen Windstar’s Three Star-Class Ships beginning in Fall 2019

Sleek, modern design configuration and expansion (above) to include creation of 50 new suites and all-new guest experiences including new dining & spa venues

Seattle, WA, November 15, 2018 — Windstar Cruises today announces the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, a major investment and expansion for the innovative cruise company. The multi-million dollar, multi-year undertaking will impact and enhance all aspects of the guest experience for the highly awarded small ship cruise line’s three Star Class vessels.

“We are thrilled to announce the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, a significant investment in the future of Windstar Cruises. This exciting initiative is our 180 degree from ordinary solution to add new capacity and major enhancements to the guest experience in a very time efficient manner,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “The initiative not only creates beautiful new suites and public spaces, but we will also take the opportunity to re-engine the ships with a more fuel efficient and environmentally responsible propulsion system. This will be a true game changer for Windstar and our small ship cruise experience.”

The initiative will expand guest accommodations on the boutique line’s three all-suite vessels increasing capacity from 212 passengers to 312 guests per ship, following the lengthening. The work will be done to Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride in succession between October 2019 and November 2020, and take place at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. The project represents an overall capacity increase of 24% for the small ship line.

Each Star Class ship will be cut to allow the installation of a new section of ship that will lengthen each vessel approximately 25.6 meters bringing the total length to just over 159 meters, still the right size to access the smaller ports and harbors that Windstar favors on the line’s immersive itineraries. The project adds 50 new suites, bringing the total number of suites per ship to 156, and represents an investment of more than $267,000 per passenger berth.

“This major investment is an efficient way to build on a winning brand that shows strong momentum and growth potential. Support for this exciting new initiative demonstrates our commitment to Windstar as an important part of the Xanterra portfolio,” said Andrew N. Todd, President and CEO of Xanterra Travel Collection.

Also involved in the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative is the creation of state-of-the-art public spaces including two new dining locations; new shop and retail space; a much enlarged fitness center; and a new world-class spa.

In addition to the impressive scale of work to be done, the renovation includes a comprehensive re-engine project for each ship. This complex undertaking is an uncommon occurrence in the cruise industry and involves the removal of seven current engines and installation of four new, more environmentally friendly engines that will run on cleaner fuel and reduce emissions impact to sailing regions.

“Given our expertise as a leader in major cruise ship renovations and lengthening projects, we are gratified to be chosen by Windstar to undertake this complex and extensive endeavor. We look forward to working with the Windstar team to totally transform these elegant small ships,” said Giorgio Rizzo, Executive SVP, Fincantieri Services.

NEW: 50 New Suites, New Dining Venues, New Spa & Fitness Areas Take Center Stage
Windstar has partnered with acclaimed designer Ray Chung, Director of Design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, to create modern and inviting design aesthetics for the new public spaces and new suites.

Among new guest amenities and accommodations in the planning phase are:
– 50 new suites featuring new suite categories and open floor plan configurations.
– Creation of two brand new, larger Owner’s Suites, that combines existing suites to create up to a three-bedroom, two-balcony suite – the first of its kind in the cruise industry.
– Two brand new dining experiences including: an intimate, alternative dining restaurant, and a casual barbecue space adjacent to the top deck Star Bar, perfect for outdoor grilling during Windstar’s Signature Onboard Barbecue celebration or enjoying while spending time on deck.
– Expanded Veranda Restaurant to offer significantly more ocean-view seating and upgraded dining area.
– For existing suites, all-new bathrooms and installation of new sliding doors for the Balcony Suites.
– Larger pool and hot tub that will be reconfigured and elevated offering outstanding views, along with more and enhanced outdoor deck area for relaxing and sun-bathing.
– A completely re-imagined and enlarged spa and fitness center to invigorate active guests.
– A new elevator mid-ship, making access to all decks easy from anywhere on board.
– A comfortable, new tender loading area located mid-ship and two new 90-passenger tenders that will ferry guests to port when ships are at anchor.

In addition, ship staff and crew areas and accommodations will be expanded and upgraded. Additional crew will be hired and the increase will maintain the line’s impressive 1.5:1 guest to hotel staff ratio.

As planning on the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative progresses, additional details about the extensive work to be done, new onboard experiences, and new partnerships will be revealed and highlighted in news announcements and on a dedicated microsite that will launch in 2019.

Seabourn Conversations Line-Up

New Line-up Of Speakers for Seabourn Conversations

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Seabourn Announces Upcoming Distinguished Luminaries For Seabourn Conversations Program

SEATTLE, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is continuing its mission to inspire and inform guests with a new line-up of remarkable speakers for its Seabourn Conversations program during the 2018-2019 cruise season. The popular onboard enrichment program will host distinguished speakers with fascinating stories to share and expertise to enlighten across a wide array of disciplines including space exploration, mountaineering, television production, culinary, history, politics, and the arts.

The impressive line-up of Seabourn Conversationalists includes first-time and returning speakers sure to keep guests engaged and entertained as they explore natural and cultural wonders around the globe, including aboard the line’s newest vessel, Seabourn Ovation, which launched this past May.

“It is always exciting to put together a new roster of engaging personalities to add colorful stories to the experiences our guests have while they travel with us,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Our highly successful Seabourn Conversations series continues to draw prominent personalities who are excited to share their life’s work and experiences from rarely heard but reliably insider perspectives.”

 

Upcoming select speakers of the 2018-2019 Seabourn Conversations program include:

Richard Stone (Seabourn Ovation, November 14, 2018 voyage) – The Royal Portrait Painter for four decades, Stone has captured most members of the Royal Family on canvas. Starting at 22, he was the youngest Royal portrait artist since 21-year-old Sir Thomas Lawrence in the 1700s. Naturally talented and determined, Stone’s portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in 1992, is his most famous work. In addition to the Royal Family, he has portrayed many other notable international personalities, including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Luciano Pavarotti, and more.

Bryan Fogel (Seabourn Sojourn, November 19, 2018 voyage) – An Academy-Award winning American film director, producer, author and playwright, Fogel is best known for his 2017 documentary Icarus, which took home the 2018 Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature”.

Captain Scott Kelly (Seabourn Encore, December 3, 2018 voyage) – One of a select group of Americans who have traveled into space, Kelly previously held the record for total days in space by an American astronaut: 520. Like his best-selling memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, he has many awe-inspiring stories from space and reflections on leadership, teamwork and testing limits to share.

Dean McFlicker (Seabourn Ovation, December 4, 2018 voyage) – An award-winning producer and director for NBC Entertainment and others, McFlicker will share his experiences creating campaigns for some of the most successful shows on television, including The Voice, This Is Us, Law and Order, America’s Got Talent and more. He has also been a choreographer on Broadway and has worked on countless music videos and international concerts in Hollywood.

Jamie Metzl (Seabourn Ovation, December 22, 2018) – A Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, as well as a novelist, blogger and syndicated columnist, Metzl is an expert in Asian affairs and biotechnology policy. Among wide-ranging endeavors, he has served as an election monitor in Afghanistan and the Philippines. His works of fiction include the historical novel, The Depths of the Sea, and the genetics thrillers Genesis Code and Eternal Sonata.

Tim & Nina Zagat (Seabourn Ovation, January 19, 2019 voyage) – The Co-Founders of the Zagat Survey, renowned for collecting and correlating the ratings of restaurants by diners, Tim and Nina are also award-winning entrepreneurs and prominent players on civic, cultural and charitable scenes.

Pamela Chen (Seabourn Ovation, January 19, 2019) – With her Taiwanese roots and love of Asian cooking, Chen takes guests on an inspiring and flavorsome journey into Asian cuisine and culture. She combines her love of cooking, design background and cultural heritage to present a unique, authentic experience and fascinating insights that demystifies the delights of Asian cuisine and eastern culture. Through her talks and demonstrations, she shares fascinating – and often funny – stories from a lifestyle that blends eastern and western culture.

Armando Manni (Seabourn Ovation, February 16, 2019 voyage) – The “M” in K+M Extravirgin Chocolate founded with renowned chef and Seabourn partner Thomas Keller, Manni is a film director, gourmet and entrepreneur with a Golden Globe winning film among his work. In 2001, he founded MANNI Oil, a global brand now synonymous with quality, luxury and taste. He also owns Casa MANNI Roma, designed by Adam D. Tihany, who fashioned the interiors of Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Encore.

Ben Taggie (Seabourn Ovation, March 2, 2019) – A Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Taggie’s specialties are Asian, medieval and classical history. Together with his wife Louise, he is founder of MSA Cultural Tours, which conducts educational tours to venues such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He is also President of the Mediterranean Studies Association devoted to international education and research.

Paul Deegan (Seabourn Sojourn, March 5, 2019 voyage) – Award-winning author and seasoned climber of mountainous regions on five continents, Deegan was co-leader of the first environmental expedition to Mount Everest at age 18. He returned: once to be embroiled in the greatest tragedy in the mountain’s history, and once finishing on top.

Alison Levine (Seabourn Sojourn, December 10, 2019 voyage) – An adventurer, explorer, mountaineer, “beer muse,” filmmaker, storyteller, and bestselling author, Levine has survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, sudden avalanches, and a career on Wall Street, leaving her well suited to draw relevant parallels between mountaineering and business, and to converse about the same.

Steve Wozniak (Seabourn Ovation, December 21, 2019) – Designer of the hardware, circuit board designs and operating system for the Apple I personal computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Hoover Medal in 2014. His autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, was a New York Times bestseller.

 

For the full schedule of speakers participating in Seabourn Conversations for 2018 – 2019, visit www.seabourn.com.

Windstar Ship in Panama Canal and Latin America

Windstar Sails Deeper into the Caribbean and Latin America in 2019 and 2020

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11 New Itineraries and 150 Sailings Expand the Small Ship Line’s Footprint in the Region Featuring New Calls to Mexico’s Atlantic and Pacific Ports, Honduras, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic and Jamaica

SEATTLE, Oct. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Windstar Cruises announces 2019 and 2020 Caribbean and Latin America sailings including new visits to ports in Mexico, Honduras, Grand Cayman, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Cruisers seeking active adventure may choose from an impressive 152 departure dates ranging in length from 7- to 56-days. All departures focus on less-visited tropical ports and unusual vacation experiences on board – with the line’s signature Open Bridge and Watersports Platform – to exciting wet landings by Zodiac and hand-crafted excursions.

A first for Windstar in 2020, the boutique line debuts a new Star Collector: Grand Caribbean Adventure aboard the iconic Wind Surf, the world’s largest sailing ship. The nearly two-month cruise is a new option for travelers ready for an encyclopedic exploration of the Caribbean’s Greater and Lesser Antilles and Latin America. The wide-ranging itinerary features a first-time-ever visit to the Panama Canal for Wind Surf where the ship will bring guests on a remarkable journey through the three-tiered Gatun Locks, the historic Atlantic connector locks, followed by scenic cruising on Gatun Lake, then back to the Caribbean through the Gatun Locks that afternoon. Perfect for destination collectors, the journey offers incredible seafaring depth calling on 38 ports and 27 countries in just 56 days.

“At Windstar we are on a mission to deliver the most authentic destination experiences in small ship cruising and this Grand Caribbean sailing is a perfect example of how we do things 180 degrees from ordinary,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “No other cruise line has ever offered such an expansive sailing in this part of the world, visiting 38 ports and 27 countries. And the fact that we offer this on the world’s largest sailing ship with our open bridge policy, complimentary water sports marina and Signature Beach Barbecues will ensure our guests experience the very best of these beautiful warm water destinations.”

Windstar’s Caribbean and Latin America cruises provide thoughtful travelers, who appreciate the region’s stunning beauty, a welcome alternative. The collection of Sea of Cortez, Coastal, Canal, and Caribbean Sea voyages emphasizes hidden harbors on smaller islands and inland coves like picture-perfect Bequia and Mayreau in the Grenadines, and lush Bahia Herradura, Costa Rica.

“The beaches, wildlife, and rainforests are a sure draw, but the way we plan and approach itineraries is what sets Windstar apart – we discover the most authentic cultural experiences a destination has to offer so that adventurous, imaginative travelers can come away with a different view and an enhanced understanding of their ports of call,” commented Delaney.

Destination Authenticity on Small Ships: Why Sail Windstar to the Caribbean & Latin America

The award-winning small ship cruise line will have four of their six ships sailing in the regions accessing tiny harbors, like Man-O-War Bay in Tobago, with many itineraries offering late-night and overnight port calls that allow guests the time to engage in local cultures in a more immersive way. Guests will appreciate the additional time to wander local markets, sample the many great restaurants, and meet the locals.

All Windstar tropical cruises offer a memorable and indulgent day of beach play and fabulous island cuisine during a once-a-cruise Signature Beach Barbecue that is only equaled by an extravagant Signature Onboard Barbecue featuring an amazing array of food including arguably the largest paella pan at sea followed by an enthusiastic deck dance party led by the multi-talented Windstar crew.

All Windstar ships offer complimentary watersports and trained Sports Coordinators to help guests enjoy water activities, featuring stand-up paddle boards, small sail boats, gigantic floating sun mats, water trampolines, inflatable tows, and waterskiing. The balance of active adventure, culture, and culinary exploration can’t be beat.

Windstar visits destinations where small group shore excursions let guests discover a virgin path far from the crowds; where secluded beaches, aquatic life, adventure, romance, and water play is just around the corner. Variety, depth, and detail are the primary focus that Windstar’s Product Development travel experts seek when curating and testing each tour. Nothing is offered to guests that the team hasn’t approved of and personally experienced with an eye to appealing to variety of tastes and activity levels.

New shore excursion standouts for the coming seasons include a private chocolate-making tour in St. Lucia where guests actually make their own dark chocolate bar made from cocoa nibs broken down from local, dried trinitario beans. Also on St. Lucia, guests receive expert instruction in a painting class led by a local artist, taking home their creation as a unique memory of the island. Another new favorite is power cruising to Mustique, a 14-acre island off Bequia that boasts a coral reef, coves, and dazzling beaches frequented by the rich and famous with lunch enjoyed at a chic island restaurant.

Long-standing favorite tours let travelers go cave tubing in Belize, windsurfing off Bonaire, snorkeling with friendly sea turtles and rays in waters as clear as glass, climbing the battlements of colonial forts and scaling the arrowhead peak of famous Gros Piton in St. Lucia.

Cuisine Meets Culture in the Caribbean: JBF Culinary Cruise Collection

Water shapes the region’s food and beverage heritage, and Windstar’s culinary program and affiliation as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation (JBF) is especially valuable as guests find their way through the cultures that blend Mayan, European, and Afro-Caribbean influences. Upcoming JBF Culinary Collection Sailings offer multiple food and beverage fusions, taking place in the region – on December 15, 2018 round trip from San Juan; January 5, 2019 from San Juan to Bridgetown; and on February 16, 2019 from Puerto Caldera to Colón; 2020 sailings will be announced at a later date.

NEW Grand Caribbean Adventure Headlines Star Collectors: Small Ships, Big Adventures

Popular Star Collector cruises provide opportunities for travelers to create epic itineraries that are new era voyages of discovery in 2019/20 starting with the 56-day Grand Caribbean Adventure. Star Collector sailings offer longer voyages that may also be booked in shorter segments to suit cruise guest schedules. Star Collector Voyages combine thoughtful itinerary planning with few (if any) repeat ports, hand-crafted excursions, additional savings, and added value with complimentary daily laundry service.

Star Collector: Grand Caribbean Adventure (56 days, 38 ports, 27 countries)

All the color, colonial charm, history and on-water and underwater exploration travelers could ever want are packed into this ultimate Caribbean itinerary. The 56-day Grand Caribbean Adventure includes 38 ports in 27 countries as Wind Surf makes its way from Philipsburg, St. Maarten through the Greater and Lesser Antilles visiting dozens of diverse island ports enroute to Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and back.

A true highlight for cruise and sailing enthusiasts will be the chance to pass through the century-old Gatun Locks on the way to a day of sailing Gatun Lake with a visit to the Gatun Lake Yacht Club before returning to the Caribbean for more adventure. The ship will be first raised and later lowered approximately 85 feet (26 m.) as it passes through the triple flight of the mighty Gatun Locks made up of three chambers that connect the Atlantic to large Gatun Lake, south of Colón. Wind Surf will sail 21 miles (33 km) of open water across the Isthmus of Panama.

Wind Surf, the world’s largest sailing ship with 21,000 feet of sparkling sail cloth, hosts just 310 guests and was recently named by readers of Travel+Leisure magazine as the #1 World’s Best Mid-size Ship Ocean Cruise Line in 2018. The Grand Caribbean voyage departs from Philipsburg, St. Maarten on January 4, 2020, and completes the expansive circumnavigation of the Caribbean Sea nearly two months later on Feb. 29. Rates start at $11,924 per person (based on double occupancy) and include complimentary daily laundry.

Star Collector: 3 Americas (39 days, 29 ports, 8 countries)

The 39-day 3 Americas expedition aboard Star Legend takes the full measure of the Americas from Vancouver down the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Mexico and through the Panama Canal, concluding in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A portion of the cruise is a James Beard Foundation culinary themed cruise, exploring delicious cuisine, wine and beer delights all down the coast of the Western United States. The cruise departs on September 24, 2019, with rates starting at $9,999 per person (based on double occupancy).

New! 2 Cruises Sail the Pacific Coast, Mexico & the Sea of Cortez on the All-suite Star Legend

Fishing for the Sea of Cortez (7 days)
Cruise aboard Star Legend from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta. The magical Sea of Cortez is packed with sea life and surrounded by laid-back village culture that charmed John Steinbeck and Jacques Cousteau. It is seven days of seafaring, snorkeling (with sea lions) and fishing that are unforgettable.

Southern Mexico: Fish Tales & Mayan Trails (8 days)
Star Legend carries travelers from Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Caldera on a journey that explores Mayan ruins, volcanic summits and UNESCO-designated cultural and snorkeling sites. This trip pairs the adventure of trekking and snorkeling with a glimpse into an important site in the origin of civilizations.

Cruise rates for the two new itineraries visiting Mexico’s Pacific Coast start at $2,499 per person, double occupancy.

More! Caribbean and Latin America – 7 New Itineraries Join Popular Favorites

Windstar’s Caribbean season in 2019/20 will return to islands including St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, and St. Bart’s with classic itineraries like Classic Caribbean and Yachtsman’s Caribbean, but the new cruises below reflect additional offerings for the company. Rates for the cruises below start at $1,799 per person, double occupancy and vary by sail date and destination.

The Spanish Main: Rise of the New World (7 days)
This voyage from Colón, Panama to San Juan, Puerto Rico is perfect for the history buff – whether ancient, colonial or pirate – who loves to snorkel, paddle and hike. Star Legend takes guests to the San Blas Archipelago, accessible only by small ship, and Cartagena, a UNESCO site, jewel of the Spanish Main and re-emergent must-see of South America.

In the Wake of the Spanish Armadas (9 days)
Wind Surf makes its way from Oranjestad, Aruba to Colón, Panama, the cruise route traces the history of Spanish exploration in the region. It will mark the first time Wind Surf has entered the famous Panama Canal and will be the closest this gorgeous ship has ever come to the Pacific Ocean. On this journey, guests can explore the fortresses of Aruba and Cartagena, the engineering triumph of the Panama Canal and the lush rainforest canopies of the region.

Mayan Legacies (8 days)
Travelers are not done with this region until they have explored the uncommon Caribbean along the Gulf of Honduras, from Colón to Cozumel aboard Wind Surf. This is a fantastic voyage for nature adventurers studded with chalk-white beaches, underground waterfalls, up-close encounters with howler monkeys and sea turtles, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and Isla San Andres, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve accessible only to small ships, and capped with some of the most breathtaking sites of Mayan history.

Lush & Lovely Islands of the Lesser Antilles (7 days)
Sail from chic St. Maarten to relaxed Barbados enjoying a mix of must-see Caribbean towns and harbors off the beaten path as the ship sails the royal beauties of the Lesser Antilles islands. Explore colonial history in pastel waterfronts, weathered forts and former sugar plantations. See the Caribbean at its most wild and beautiful on Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. Join the jetsetters on St. Barts, and make a rare visit to Montserrat, the “Pompeii of the Caribbean.”

Stars of the Greater Antilles (11 days)
This cruise from Cozumel to St. Maarten aboard Wind Surf will take guests to magical places that fell off the map and tiny gems that were never on it in the first place. This itinerary explores beyond the crowds and beneath the sea including diving on pirate shipwrecks.

Windward Ways & Tobago Cays (7 days)
This Wind Surf transit from Barbados to Aruba is the perfect adventure for those who put watersports and diving at the top of their Caribbean vacation to-do list. With stops at multiple marine parks including Tobago Cays Marine Park and Bonaire National Marine Park and plenty of beach time, the action is on the ocean. Visits to four colonial towns will indulge guests in a taste of yesteryear.

Dutch Treats Steel Drum Beats (11 days)
Wind Star island-hops the colonial confections of the Dutch Caribbean from St. Maarten through Willemstad and on to Colón. St. Bart’s pink-sand beaches and Bonaire’s blue tangs keep excursions colorful for guests immersing themselves in the parks, sites, and culture of this itinerary.

SOURCE Windstar Cruises

Ketchikan, Alaska

Seabourn to Return to Alaska & British Columbia for Summer 2019

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Seabourn to Return to Alaska & British Columbia for Summer 2019 Offering Guests an Unparalleled Immersion in the Great Land

SEATTLE, September 19, 2018 – The 2018 Alaska and British Columbia travel season is coming to an end, but it’s not too early to start contemplating a trip to experience the best of “The Great Land” in 2019. Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, will be taking your clients to see the vast wilderness as it winds its way through the region again next summer.

Inspired by the success of the past two seasons and in response to high guest demand, Seabourn has curated an enriching and altogether exciting line up of 11-, 12- and 14-day Alaska and British Columbia cruises onboard Seabourn Sojourn. With just 10 departures scheduled through the season, running from June to October 2019, only about 4,500 lucky guests will be able to enjoy the region in Seabourn style next year, making early booking an imperative.

“There is so much wilderness and wildlife to see and discover in Alaska and British Columbia, and our guests can’t get enough of it,” said Chris Austin, Seabourn’s senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. “We’re excited to be heading north in 2019 for the third year in a row, and to offer the Ultimate Alaska experience, showing your luxury clients just how beautiful and remarkable the region is while sailing on the finest resort at sea.”

 

Itinerary highlights of Seabourn’s 2019 season in Alaska and British Columbia include:

· Ultimate Alaska Sojourn – An 11-day voyage northbound from Vancouver, British Columbia to Anchorage (Seward), Alaska. Three departures from June to August will feature Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines/Skagway and Juneau, as well as scenic cruising to Tracy/Endicott Arm and Misty Fjords. Departures June 7, July 14, August 20.

· Ultimate Glacier & Fjord Adventure – A 14-day cruise sailing southbound from Anchorage (Seward), Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia. Three departures from June to September will begin with scenic cruising of the beautiful Kenai Fjords and Aialik Glacier before visiting Alaska’s marquee ports and adding Prince Rupert and the First Nations villages of Klemtu and Alert Bay in British Columbia’s breathtaking Inside Passage. Departures June 18, July 25, August 31.

· Ultimate Alaska & Inside Passage – A 12-day round-trip Vancouver voyage sailing four times between July and September. These voyages visit Sitka, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Juneau in Alaska and traverse the beautiful Canadian Inside Passage to Prince Rupert, Klemtu and Alert Bay en-route back to Vancouver. Departures July 2, August 8, September 14, September 26.

All the 2019 voyages will offer optional for-charge Ventures by Seabourn shore excursions featuring guided Zodiac cruising and kayak excursions launched directly from the ship, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing. Guests will not only enjoy glaciers, fjords and rustic Alaskan ports that every Alaska cruiser expects, but also signature “hidden gems” that larger ships cannot access. These excursions will be led by Seabourn Sojourn’s expedition team of naturalists, science, wildlife and historical experts. They will also interact with guests throughout each sailing, including complimentary formal presentations as part of the Seabourn Conversations program, and on deck, pointing out, interpreting and enhancing desirable locations as well as in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure.

Depending on the itinerary, Seabourn’s Alaska & British Columbia voyages include calls to rarely visited locations such as Alert Bay and Klemtu, a town of fewer than 500 people belonging to the Kitasoo Native Band and where your clients will enjoy an exclusive cultural experience as an inclusion of the voyage. Access towering forests along the Inland Passage and the graceful breaching of humpback whales in the Kenai Fjords. Guests can explore cities and towns including the state capital of Juneau, colorful Ketchikan, and historical Sitka, whose Tlingit roots go back 10,000 years. In certain areas such as Misty Fjords, they will be able to explore wildlife-rich waterways, forested mountain vistas and lacy waterfalls up close via Ventures by Seabourn excursions.

Each of the 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises will include complimentary Seabourn all-weather jackets; inspiring Seabourn Conversations with special onboard guest speakers; opportunities for frequent wildlife sightings from the ship and shore; and a “Caviar on the Ice” deck party and other special deck events.

In addition, Seabourn offers your clients the opportunity to explore Alaska more in-depth with the Denali Experience, an exclusive and optional Seabourn Journey available before or after select Seabourn Alaska voyages. The five-day Denali Experience is a fully escorted, custom-designed overland adventure promising awe-inspiring wonder with luxury accommodations and culinary options. Venturing into the Great Land, Seabourn guests will soar high above glaciers in a flightseeing plane, as well as head deep into the protected wilderness of Denali National Park with a guide to spot grizzly and black bears, wolves, moose, caribou and more.

At the end of the season, don’t miss a repeat of Pacific Gold Coast, an eight-day voyage southbound from Vancouver to Los Angeles, with stops in Seattle, Wash.; Victoria, B.C.; San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Barbara, California. Departure October 8.