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Windstar in St Lucia
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Windstar at Portofino

How's this for cruising!?

story by: Tom Ricketts

Windstar are most famous for both their stunning yachts and stunning destinations, which include compelling nations as far flung as Asia and closer-to-home isles of splendour such as Tahiti. 

The ships
Their three original yachts, the Wind Surf, Wind Spirit and Wind Star are modern ships, but like the sailing boats of yesteryears, these yachts are equipped with striking masted sails. In fact the Wind Surf with its seven sails (which make up 2600m2) is the largest sailing ship in the world. They don’t rely completely on the wind though, each yacht has its own engines just in case. The Wind Surf caters for 310 guests, while the smaller sister ships cater for 148. Crews range from 15-20 people. That’s one serious intimate sailing adventure right there.

The staterooms
 While the exterior sails resemble sailing ships of old, the interior could not be more different. Teak decks lead to the staterooms, all of which have ocean views. While you probably won’t be spending too much time in your room, they are equipped with all the mod cons such as TV’s, DVD’s, phones and even wifi. Fresh fruit and flowers make a great touch, and queen beds with Egyptian cotton linens will ensure a good nights sleep. Some suites even offer a private sitting room.

The activities
Now let’s talk about facilities. Remember these aren’t mega cruise liners, so don’t have all that ice skating rink or rock climbing wall nonsense. But you can be pampered in the day spa, cool off in the onboard swimming pool, visit the library or simply get social with the other guests in the popular lounges. You certainly won’t starve either, there’s restaurants onboard and the meals are included in your fare. But perhaps the coolest feature is the company’s open bridge policy, meaning you can go visit the captain and see how the ship runs.

The destinations
Windstar have itineraries around the world. Closest to home is French Polynesia where they visit several islands including Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. Most of the time however, they are based in the Caribbean and Central America (Costa Rica and Panama). They can also be found in Italy, the Greek Islands, Asia, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Of course, all the main destinations are visited but one huge advantage Windstar have over the bigger cruise ships is that they’re able to visit smaller ports and don’t have to tender as often, giving you much more time to explore each beautiful destination.

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