More than 45 percent of Windstar’s cruises now offer a late night (10 p.m. or later) or overnight in port that allows cruisers much more time to explore. Windstar offers a total of 299 ports in 79 countries, Signature Expeditions, and a variety of newly curated cultural activities, entertainment and culinary indulgences.
“Windstar guests want to find places off the tourist track that give them true insight into our destinations. They want stories to tell, and sometimes, the most interesting and memorable travel experiences take place after sunset,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “We stay longer in port and often remain overnight so that we can provide this extra time and value to our guests; it is one way that we are truly different than an ordinary cruise.”
There are many overnight and multi-night stays in ports including St. Petersburg, Quebec, Seville, and Hong Kong. The Monte Carlo Grand Prix itinerary is built for those who want to feel the excitement of the event itself, not just pass through town. Windstar ships put guests in the heart of Venice, Bordeaux, Ho Chi Minh City, and others. Explore art, vineyards, and historic sites by day; feel free to hike, bike, or engage in active shore excursions with time to rest and reimagine for the evening’s entertainment on ship or in town.
Some port calls like Portofino, Monte Carlo, Mykonos, Cadiz, and others, are not overnight, but have departures at 10:00 p.m. or later. In some places, special evening tours or events are arranged.
On every cruise, Windstar’s Deck BBQ is a special al fresco affair often cited by guests as a cruise highlight. Imagine a barbecue held in Santorini’s Caldera, a Nordic fjord or amongst the glimmering lights of Panama City at the entrance to the Panama Canal, filled with delicacies like lobster, paella, slow-roasted pork, and an array of cheeses, olives, and produce (all local when possible). Post-BBQ the celebration gives way to entertainment from the crew with line dancing that cruise guests are welcome to join and conga lines weaving their way around the deck.
On select itineraries (and more than 125 sailings in 2018-19), Destination Discovery Events are complimentary events scheduled in the evening. For example, history buffs seeking to explore ancient civilizations can do so through the Treasures of the Greek Isles, which sails from Athens and returns to the city seven days later. On this voyage, guests can enjoy an Evening in Ephesus in a once-in-a-lifetime experience dining in the Celsus Library in ancient Ephesus, Turkey. They walk the Marble Road to the Library which housed more than 12,000 scrolls nearly two millennia ago before sitting down to a white-glove service dinner in the illuminated courtyard where the sounds of the Aegean Chamber Orchestra echo through nightfall.