Windstar Cruises says its guests are world travellers who want to actively experience destinations first-hand, not steal glimpses through windows. As a result, more than 45% of Windstar’s cruises now offer a late-night departures (10 p.m. or later) or overnight in port, giving cruisers more time to explore.
This is just one way the small ship cruise line enhances the guest experience catering to people who take travel immersion seriously. Because Windstar ships welcome only 148-310 guests, they can navigate waterways that are too cramped or shallow for the average cruise ship to access. That lands guests at more historic ports near the heart of the cities they visit, and it means that getting off, getting back on and getting around independently are far easier tasks.
The line says guests particularly value this freedom during overnight and late-night port calls. No place is exactly the same in both daylight and dark, and some of the best jazz, clubs, dancing and dining that often expose the soul of a city only come to life after the sun sinks. Some Windstar ports are actually two-night stops.
“Windstar guests want to find places off the tourist track that give them true insight into our destinations. They want stories to tell, and sometimes, the most interesting and memorable travel experiences take place after sunset,” said Windstar President John Delaney.
“We stay longer in port and often remain overnight so that we can provide this extra time and value to our guests; it is one way that we are truly different than an ordinary cruise.”
Who would ever want to rush through an afternoon in Bora Bora? Windstar spends two days there on every Tahiti cruise. There are many overnight and multi-night stays at some of the world’s most fascinating places, including St. Petersburg, Quebec, Seville and Hong Kong.
There are nearly 20 ports with overnight/multi-night stays currently offered on Windstar and an additional three “turn ports” with overnight stays, meaning guests embark or disembark there.
Some port calls like Portofino, Monte Carlo, Mykonos and Cadiz, among others, are not overnight, but have departures at 10:00 p.m. or later, which leaves plenty of time to seek out the local watering holes where other yachties and explorers congregate. In some places, special evening tours or events are arranged.
Sailing the oceans has always been about discovery, and Windstar Cruises maintains this spirit at the core of every itinerary. Overnight, multi-night and late-night port calls are a major part of making this happen for guests.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.