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December 20, 2020

QuirkyCruise News: Windstar Drops Alaska in 2021 & Announces Delays

Windstar Drops Alaska in 2021

By Anne Kalosh

Windstar Cruises became the first line to give Alaska a pass in 2021. This news comes with the postponement of all sailings until May and revised routes to skip the United States and Mexico.

The delay impacts the recently extended and updated 312-passenger Star Breeze, which is now planned to return to service May 15 with a fresh itinerary from St. Martin.

Star Breeze had been scheduled start sailing March 27 in the Caribbean before transiting the Panama Canal to the Sea of Cortez and then on to Alaska for 10- and 11-day cruises. However, those longer sailings don’t comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s seven-day limit to operate stateside.

It’s uncertain, anyway, whether Canada will allow cruise ships — a Canadian port would be an essential international stop to satisfy U.S. cabotage rules for foreign-flag vessels calling Alaska.

Windstar drops Alaska for 2021

The newly stretched Star Breeze will not sail in Alaska during summer 2021 after all, but on a new itinerary from St. Martin before heading to Tahiti. * Photo: Fincantieri

RELATED: How Windstar is Stretching its Ships.  by Anne Kalosh.

Beach And Water Sports Focus

Instead, Star Breeze will sail three departures of the adventure-focused “Beach Fun & Sun – A Remote Caribbean Getaway,” with an emphasis on secluded beaches and water sports.

The ship will use its water sports platform and crew for trips to remote beaches, kayaking, snorkeling, water skiing and stand-up paddle boarding.

Stops include Norman Island at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands; two days at Prickly Pear Beach, a white-sand beach with turquoise waters ideal for snorkeling on Virgin Gorda; and Soper’s Hole on the quiet island of Tortola.

Anguilla Island. Caribbean

Anguilla Island is one of the stops on the “Beach Fun & Sun – A Remote Caribbean Getaway” itinerary. * Photo: Windstar Cruises

Then, Tahiti

Star Breeze will then remain in the Caribbean offering a variety of itineraries through Aug. 14, before heading to Colombia and the Panama Canal. After that, the ship will strike out for Tahiti and sail in French Polynesia Sept. 19 through March 2022 on seven, 10- and 11-day cruises.

Usually only Windstar’s 148-passenger Wind Spirit is based in Tahiti so this will be an opportunity to experience the islands on the newly transformed yacht which offers two new dining concepts with serious chef backings, as well as new suites, a spacious spa/fitness center and other “bigger ship” perks, all for just 312 passengers at most.

Star Legend, currently undergoing the same extension/upgrade as Star Breeze did, is planned to be the first Windstar yacht to return to service, beginning May 1 from Piraeus on the new 10-day “Greece, Israel & Egypt: Footsteps of Faith in the Holy Lands” cruise.

Wind Spirit will begin sailing in Tahiti on May 6, Wind Surf in Civitavecchia (Rome) May 9 and Wind Star in Piraeus, Greece, May 22. The third ship to be “stretched” and updated, Star Pride, is to debut July 14 in Dover, England.

Moorea stop for Windstar Cruises

Gorgeous Moorea in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. * Photo: Windstar Cruises

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