It’s been two decades since Windstar Cruises has sailed to Alaska, but that ends next year as the boutique small-ship cruise line sends its 212-guest Star Legend to the 49th State and the Canadian province of British Columbia in 2018.
Windstar’s Alaskan voyages will run between 11 and 14 days in duration, and will depart roundtrip from Vancouver, Canada or sail one-way between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, one of two standard ports of embarkation/disembarkation for Anchorage. Windstar also plans to offer pre-and-post land extensions that will allow guests to maximize their time in Alaska.
“We are so excited to be enhancing the Alaskan travel marketplace by introducing our brand of true small ship cruising to Alaska,” said Windstar’s president, John Delaney. “Sailing closer to pristine deciduous shorelines, delving deeper into all-enveloping fjords, kayaking in icy straits right off the ship’s Watersports Platform, and viewing an endless wilderness from sea level. We are bringing our guests right to the heart of what makes Alaska and the Great Pacific Northwest such an amazing destination and magical place to visit.”
Windstar is also ensuring its Alaskan voyages come out of the gate loaded with amenities that put the itineraries aboard Star Legend above the line’s competitors. To that end, every voyage will feature scenic cruising through Tracy Arm and Misty Fjords; kayaking and zodiac raft excursions will set out directly from the ship; itineraries will be longer than many of Windstar’s competitors; and dedicated onboard naturalist and expedition leaders will guide and inform guests along with local Native American and First Nations speakers.
In order to reach Alaska, Star Legend will also sail a special 14-day Transpacific Crossing from Tokyo, with stops in Miyako, Hakodate, and Kushiro, Japan before arrival in Seward.
With an increasing number of large ships plying the waters of Alaska each year, it’s nice to see Windstar returning to the region with its small, humanly-sized ships providing an up-close experience like no other.