It’s one thing to know that travel agent associations are lobbying the government on agents’ behalf. It’s another to actually hear it and see it in action.
SEATTLE — With news that it will be resuming operations this September, Windstar Cruises has brought back one of its most popular travel advisor promotions – the Sell 3, Sail Free program.
Agents who sell three qualifying voyages in 2020 and 2021 will have the chance to receive a free cruise for themselves aboard one of Windstar’s yachts. The booking window ends Sept. 30, 2020.
Following a lengthy suspension of operations due to COVID-19, the small-ship cruise operator has unveiled plans to resume itineraries around the world, with its first cruise departing in Tahiti on Sept. 3, 2020 onboard the 148-guest Wind Spirit.
Following the Spirit’s relaunch, the 342-guest Wind Surf will return Nov. 29, 2020 in the Caribbean on previously scheduled itineraries before heading to the Mediterranean in April 2021.
The 148-guest Wind Star will resume sailing Jan. 16, 2021 with Costa Rica and Panama Canal sailings and will then head to the Mediterranean in April 2021.
With regard to the 312-guest Star Breeze, due to a shipyard delay in Italy, sailings in Asia, New Zealand and Australia are cancelled. Star Breeze will begin sailing on Oct. 27, 2020 in the Mediterranean before moving to the Caribbean in December 2020 to pick up sailings from Star Legend and Star Pride. From there, Star Breeze will offer a few new Caribbean itineraries until June before heading to Alaska for a new 10-day ‘Alaskan Splendors’ sailing, which was added on June 3, 2021, after which it will resume its previously scheduled Alaska itineraries.
Shipyard delays in Italy have also led some sailings onboard the 312-guest Star Legend to be cancelled, while others will be picked up by the Star Breeze. Star Legend will begin sailing on March 1, 2021 in the Mediterranean and will pick up some sailings previously scheduled for Star Pride.
Some sailings onboard the 312-guest Star Pride have also been cancelled due to shipyard delays, with other itineraries being picked up by Star Breeze. The Star Pride will begin sailing July 5, 2021 in Northern Europe.
Guests on cancelled cruises will receive a future cruise credit valued at 125% of all monies paid on the booking. Those who prefer a refund can request their FCC to be converted to a refund equal to the amount paid on the Windstar booking once they receive their FCC. Guests will have 24 months to book and embark on any available Windstar cruise using their FCC.
Windstar is also protecting travel agent commissions on the affected bookings following the normal policy for cancelled bookings.
Windstar’s reservations team is reviewing all affected bookings and will send a letter to guests with cancelled cruises, and also to those with only a change in which Star-class ships they’ll be aboard.
To give travellers added peace of mind, Windstar’s Travel Assurance Booking Policy allows them to cancel their cruise up to 15 days prior to departure and receive a 100% FCC based on moneys paid on the booking to be used on all sailings through Dec. 31, 2021.