Windstar cancels local sailings
WINDSTAR Cruises has today announced the cancellation of its highly anticipated Star Breeze
deployment in Australia and New Zealand (TD 10 Jul 2019), with the company citing shipyard delays in Italy related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breeze had been slated to cruise down under this year fresh from a major makeover, which includes a lengthening to accommodate the addition of 50 new suites, expanded dining options and new public areas including a pool.
The upgrade, part of Windstar’s US$250 million Star Plus initiative, also includes an engine replacement.
For its local cruises the ship was set to be fitted out for Windstar’s “Signature Expeditions” product offering, including kayaks, Zodiac excursions and on-board expedition leaders, with a planned deployment from Nov through to Feb.
However, coronavirus has terminated the plans, with Windstar also today extending the deferral of its global cruising resumption, redeploying Breeze
to cruise the Mediterranean from 27 Oct, before moving to the Caribbean in Dec to pick up sailings from Star Legend and
Star Pride, which are also being delayed by shipyard issues in Italy.
Despite being initially set to resume in Jul, Windstar will gradually phase in operations from 03 Sep when the 148-passenger Wind Spirit will resume sailings in Tahiti, followed by Breeze.
Wind Surf will resume cruising on 29 Nov in the Caribbean, followed by Wind Star which will return to service on 16 Jan with a series of Costa Rica and Panama Canal voyages.
Star Legend will commence sailing in the Mediterranean on 01 Mar, while Star Pride is now scheduled for an 05 Jul 2021 debut in northern Europe.
Windstar Chief Executive Officer Andrew Todd (pictured), who also leads parent company Xanterra, said “we have taken extraordinary measures to operate our yachts safely.
“While we look forward to welcoming guests aboard again, we believe this further suspension of operations is the responsible action to take.”
Guests on cancelled cruises will receive a future cruise credit valued at 125% of all monies paid on the booking to Windstar, valid for 24 months.
As confirmed earlier this month (CW 11 May), Windstar will also protect travel agent commissions on the affected bookings, the company said.