Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2022

6 0 PL ANNER PERSPECTI VE Flexible planning Kristin Badgett explains to Alex Smith how Windstar Cruises’ adaptable approach to building its itineraries has allowed it to keep exploring and create new sailings for 2022 Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of six cruise ships, which sails throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and North America. Each of its ships carries between just 148 and 342 guests on each voyage, and the cruise line takes advantage of their small size by prioritising lesser-known destinations in their itineraries. “We want our ideal destinations to be small and off the beaten path if possible, but not so small or underdeveloped that there’s nothing for our guests to do there,” says Kristin Badgett, vice president of revenue and itinerary planning at Windstar Cruises. “We’re always looking for places that are either emerging or re-emerging destinations before the rest of the cruise industry goes there.” However, like the rest of the industry, the cruise line has faced significant challenges to planning itineraries because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Overcoming these obstacles has required Windstar to constantly adapt to the quickly shifting landscape. “In the short term, the trend is flexibility,” says Badgett. “I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve had to redeploy our fleet, make changes to itineraries, and adjust our itinerary planning due to the ever-evolving nature of governmental regulations, rising and ebbing cases in each country and region, the availability of vaccines, and other factors that come into play while cruising amidst a pandemic. We have had to be incredibly flexible, patient and persistent in updating our deployment – we view it as an ongoing process.” Despite these challenges, Windstar has not stopped searching for new experiences. In 2022, it will debut its first-ever itineraries to New Zealand and Australia onboard the newly renovated Star Breeze, calling at destinations such as Middle Percy Island and Thursday Islands along with overnight stays in Brisbane, Port Douglas and Sydney. In North America, a new seven-day ‘Scenic Alaska’ itinerary will cruise along the Canadian Inside Passage, while in