SEATTLE — Tomorrow marks the launch of Windstar Cruises’ second consecutive Alaska cruise season, which runs from May 22 through Sept. 12 and includes the award-winning Signature Expeditions program.
According to the cruise line, Windstar does Alaska differently, sailing to smaller ports on longer voyages. It also offers in-depth Cruise Tours that combine coastal cruises with in-depth overland explorations to Denali, Fairbanks and now the Canadian Rockies.
Next year for the 2020 Alaska season, Windstar will launch a brand new itinerary, ‘Alaska Glaciers & Prince William Sound’, featuring first-time visits to tiny ports like Valdez and Petersburg. It will also debut new scenic cruising to the massive Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord in northern Prince William Sound.
Windstar’s newly enhanced Star Breeze, its first ship to emerge from the US$250 Million Star Plus Initiative, will sail Alaska next summer on 22 different journeys beginning May 16, 2020. The 312-passenger ship will feature 50 new suites, including a 1,374 square-foot Grand Owner’s Suite, new restaurants, an enhanced spa and fitness centre and an elevated pool.
What also sets the cruise line apart is its six-member Expedition Team, which comprises naturalists, glaciologists, marine biologists, photographers, historians and others. The team will be onboard throughout every Alaska voyage to share the history of the region, cultural tales, scientific discoveries and insider knowledge. Guests can attend scheduled lectures and enjoy expert narration while scenic cruising.
Locally-inspired lectures include:
- Knee Deep in Herring – A look at the historical and cultural significance of Alaska’s Pacific herring, as well as the current issues and controversy involving the Sitka Sound commercial harvest.
- Chokers, High Riggers, and Whistle Punks – A history of logging in the Tongass National Forest and the Pacific Northwest.
- Killer Whale Culture – A peek at the social relationships, unique dialects, and coordinated foraging strategies used by groups of killer whales (also known as orca).
- Video Editing 101 – A workshop that’s part trivia, part hands-on learning, and part sharing, which will 100 percent come in handy to show friends highlights of the trip back at home.
Also available are optional Signature Expeditions in remote waterways like Kanai Fjords and Endicott Arm. The Expedition Team will lead kayak and Zodiac excursions directly from the ship to give guests more time for close-up views at sea level.
In 2019 and 2020, Windstar offers 45 cruises and Cruise Tours ranging from 11-22 days, starting at US$2,199 per person. For more information go to windstarcruises.com.