Wind­star can­cels lo­cal sail­ings

Cruise Weekly - - News -

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.

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