Star Breeze will spend her winter 2020 and spring 2021 seasons sailing around New Zealand and Australia (Image: Windstar Cruises)
US-based cruise line Windstar Cruises is to sail Down Under for the first time between November 2020 and February 2021. The renovated Star Breeze will carry guests on immersive itineraries to Australia and New Zealand.
The new destinations will make up the second region where Windstar has launched its Signature Expeditions (the first was Alaska), delivering expedition-style adventures. A team of onboard experts will provide academic insights into the destinations and will guide optional shore excursions. For example, they will lead a guided hike around Freycinet National Park to Wineglass Bay in Tasmania.
Windstar will make Australia more accessible with sailings like the Cairns to Melbourne itinerary, which stops in iconic destinations including the Great Barrier Reef.
“In our concerted and ongoing effort to be the small ship leader in destination delivery, I’m thrilled to introduce a completely different sailing region that further expands Windstar’s global footprint,” said John Delaney, president of Windstar. “Australia and New Zealand cruises will allow us to present these destinations in the most authentic way possible.
“We’ve had a tremendous focus on adding new destinations in recent years, with an 85% increase in new ports of call. Announcing cruises to an entirely new continent on small ship voyages, as only Windstar does them, is a major move for the company and exciting news for our guests who are seeking out new places to explore.”
Star Breeze will offer two cruises sailing between Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia with stops in small ports like Phillip Island and Melbourne, Australia. Thanks to Windstar’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation, a non-profit which honours chefs such as its namesake, passengers will be able to experience fine dining dishes made by James Beard-affiliated chefs with produce from local farmers, fishermen and vintners.
“Our cruises in Australia will deliver both the wild and sophisticated sides, exploring remote reaches like Middle Percy Island, as well as offering an overnight in cosmopolitan Sydney with time to see the famous sites there including the UNESCO Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Bondi Beach,” says Melissa Witsoe, product manager at Windstar Cruises. “Cairns to Melbourne is really rare as an itinerary – it’s a unique offering in the cruise world, and one of the ways Windstar will approach sailing in this region differently.”
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