Windstar Cruises’ second season for the 212-passenger Star Legend kicks off in the fall of 2018 in Asia after her inaugural Alaska season this summer. The return to Asia for Windstar in 2018/19 will bring four new cruises, as well as the recurrence of four of the company’s most popular cruises from its 2017/18 season sailing in the region for a total of 27 sailings for travelers to choose from. Windstar has increased departures for Japan cruises timed with its famous cherry blossom season and fall foliage. New Asia itineraries include a comprehensive exploration of greater China; an Asian “pop culture” journey from Tokyo to South Korea and Beijing; a Thailand and Malaysia cruise big on beaches and big cities; and a new itinerary discovering Indonesia, including magical Bali.
“Windstar is able to do so many things in Asia that only small ships can do,” says Windstar President John Delaney. “We can sail up rivers and dock in the central areas of Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok. We can anchor off Patong Bay in Phuket, Thailand and small islands in Indonesia like Pulau Bawean on the Java Sea. We visit small ports in the Philippines giving our guests access to places found at the top of Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Islands and Best Beaches lists. Places like Palawan, home to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, one of the new seven natural world wonders, and beautiful Boracay with white sand beaches perfect for snorkeling. All of our itineraries are carefully crafted by knowledgeable experts with scenic cruising and active exploration in mind. Our new Star Collector sailings have been extremely popular, they combine in-depth itineraries into longer back-to-back sailings, meaning real time for travelers to discover ancient traditions and contemporary cultures.”
Windstar also offers a variety of pre- and post-cruise packages in Asia, including a foray to Angkor Wat from Bangkok and a visit to Beijing’s Great Wall. In addition, Windstar offers more than 200 shore excursions in Asia in 2018/19, including experiences like visiting a traditional Malay home, exploring Komodo National Park on foot, and participating in a night tour of Shanghai with dinner on The Bund (Asia’s most famous street).
The following new 2018-19 Asia cruises are now open for booking:
Longer sailings such as the returning Star Collector: The Grandeur of Southeast Asia, a 26-day cruise from Singapore to Bangkok (or reverse) combine Windstar’s most popular itineraries for an even more in-depth exploration of each region and multiple country visits. Star Collector Voyages in Asia range from 14- to 47-days, feature few repeat ports to hidden harbors and classic cities, guest speakers, free daily laundry and unpacking once, the ultimate in convenience allowing more time to get closer to the diverse places the ship will visit.
New for 2018/19 in Asia for Windstar are Star Collector: Shrines and Cities of Asia, a 22-day cruise from Tokyo to Hong Kong; and Star Collector: Epic East Asia, a 47-day cruise from Bangkok to Tokyo departing Feb. 8, 2019.
Four itineraries in Asia that Windstar is offering again include Grand Japan, a 10-day voyage perfectly timed for fall colors and cherry blossom seasons – arguably the two best times to be in Japan; Icons of Southeast Asia, a slightly shortened 12-day cruise from Hong Kong to Bangkok (and reverse); The Best of the Philippines & Borneo, a 14-day cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong; and Malay & Singapore Sojourn, a seven-day Singapore round-trip cruise that now features an overnight in Phuket (new for 2018).