Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations, announces the latest phase of its Degrees of Difference initiative featuring added amenities and enhancements to its ships which will be completed in stages and finishes the summer of 2010.
“The next phase of the Degrees of Difference initiative will take the ship to a new degree of excellence,” said Diane Moore, president of Windstar Cruises. “Our guests enjoy fine dining, luxurious accommodations, outstanding service, dream destinations and the feeling that they are sailing on their own private yacht. With this latest initiative, we look forward to delivering an experience that continues to raise the bar.”
The Restaurant menus on all three ships will be reinvigorated with innovative new dishes from land and sea, bringing the flavors of the world to guest plates. This unique culinary dining experience will exhibit flavors of the destinations that Windstar Cruises visits.
Wind Surf’s alternative restaurant Degrees will feature a new rotating menu reflecting the fresh and seasonal preparations of Mediterranean cooking. The menu highlights popular flavors of Mediterranean Rim cuisines showcasing the use of authentic ingredients and simple techniques. The spirited menu will also highlight the regional and local cooking reflective of the areas visited. Menu examples include: Tuscan shrimp and white beans; grilled lamb loin chops with green olives, preserved lemon and spinach; baked snapper with nicoise olives, tomato and basil; shellfish in saffron brodetto; pompano with rouille and toasted almonds; crepes with champagne poached pears and creme fraiche; and panna cotta with tangerines in dark rum syrup.
Other dining enhancements include the addition of a spa dining menu and redesigned menu holders with sleek and elegant lines.
Wind Surf’s Yacht Club will be transformed into a contemporary wine bar featuring a selection of luscious California, Washington, Oregon, New Zealand and Australian wines by the glass. On each ship, during each sailing, guests will be able to partake in special wine tastings featuring crystal stemware by Riedel and led by a sommelier.
Spa Suite Accommodations
For those looking for a retreat for the mind, body and soul, Windstar will introduce relaxing spa suites on Wind Surf. Spa suites will feature special bedding and linens, spa amenities, and credits for certified organic spa services and fitness classes in WindSpa provided by The OnboardSpa Company’s O SPA London.
Relaxation and Fitness Enhancements
All guests will be able to enjoy new rejuvenating poolside spa treatments that take pampering to a whole new level. Offerings include a 30-minute reflexology session, a foot and ankle massage (complete with Himalayan salt scrub), an hour-long traditional sport massage or Swedish massage. Each treatment begins with a facial towel infused with Signature O SPA Essence - an exotic, organic aromatherapy blend with lemongrass, lime and cedar as guests indulge while enjoying views from the deck. Spa reservations are now bookable in advance by calling 1-888-820-0418 and will be available online at www.windstarcruises.com in December.
Wind Surf’s Fitness Center and Wind Star and Wind Spirit’s Gyms will receive new state-of-the-art fitness equipment including weight machines, treadmills, bikes and stair climbers from Technogym, a world leader in the design of fitness equipment.
Water sports enthusiasts appreciate the up-close and personal views of the world’s most dramatic coastlines with Windstar’s complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, ski-tubing and kayaking from the ship’s aft Marina Deck. This summer, Windstar introduced an inflatable island trampoline to Wind Surf’s watersports platform equipment collection which has proven to be extremely popular with guests. Windstar will also be investing in new watersports equipment on all three ships.
The ships’ library DVD collection of feature films has been expanded along with travel, adventure and discovery favorites for guests to use in their staterooms. A collection of new travel and guide books will also be added to the library. In addition to Windstar’s iPod program, where guests check out an iPod to listen to music during their sailing, Windstar will offer a Kindle program for booklovers for reading e-books and other digital media.
This year Windstar’s Signature Collection Host Series returned by popular demand allowing guests the opportunity to travel with luminaries in the world of food, wine, photography, art and sports. Windstar will continue to offer the program in 2010 and beyond and will also add enrichment and port lectures on sailings.
For those who love to shop, Windstar’s Signature Shops will be refurbished and will showcase stylish product lines and unique items.
Personalized Shore Excursions
Earlier this year, Windstar launched its exclusive Concierge Collection of Shore Excursions designed to appeal to guests who were looking for extraordinary experiences in Europe and celebrating these destinations in a special way—limited to small groups of 6 to 25 guests. Expanding on this concept and offering personalized service, Windstar will arrange private shore excursions and customized pre- and post-cruise packages for guests. Windstar will also add personal iPod Discovery Walks in Italy, Croatia, France, Greece, Monaco, Portugal and Spain where guests enjoy a guided tour of the destination on an iPod.
Enhanced e-Sail Docs
In March, Windstar introduced its e-Sail Docs program to support its environmental efforts. Windstar guests who opt for e-Sail Docs, receive their cruise documents earlier and in a more convenient fashion since they are delivered electronically. In the coming year, e-Sail Docs will reveal a new look and feel and include additional information on ship services.
Windstar has been recognized by notable names in the travel world. Celebrated Living, American Airlines’ prestigious publication for first class passengers, named Windstar Cruises “Best Small-Ship/Mid-Ship Cruise Line” on their 2009 Platinum List for the third time in a row. Windstar received a “Favourite Small-Ship Cruise Line” award in the U.K.‘s Conde Nast Traveller’s 2009 Readers’ Travel Awards and was listed in their “Top 100 of the Best the Travel World has to Offer.” Windstar has also earned top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s 2009 Best Awards” and was lauded among “The World’s Best Small Ships” by Conde Nast Traveler in 2009.