Windstar Cruises is serving up intimate adventures and active enrichment with a luxurious twist announcing the launch of a new Signature Expeditions program. Windstar’s Signature Expeditions will offer extremely high touch experiences both onboard ship and in the marine and wildlife environments where the award-winning boutique line sails. The new Signature Expeditions program kicks off in May of 2018 with Windstar’s greatly anticipated return to the Great Land of Alaska.
“We are offering travelers the chance to slow down and truly enjoy scenic immersion cruising amongst the glaciers and wildlife, and we have the perfect size ships for Alaska, period. With the addition of our brand-new Signature Expeditions, our comprehensive land tours, and exciting roster of shore excursions, each guest will get to experience the best of adventure, breathtaking nature, and completely personalized service in an incredibly immersive yet completely uncrowded cruise. Our experienced team has created the most intensive Alaska experience available in small ship cruising today and we can’t wait to proudly welcome guests to Windstar’s Alaska. It’s all about our unique style of casual yet luxurious adventure.”
∼ Windstar Cruises President John Delaney
Windstar’s Signature Expeditions program is designed to provide guests with dual opportunities for immersive and instructive enrichment onboard and Alaska offers the perfect waterways and rugged grounds to do so. First, all guests can partake in complimentary enrichment classes, one-to-one discussions and topical presentations with industry-leading outdoor experts; there will be an expedition team of five on every Alaskan cruise. Second, guests can pair their learnings with optional off-the-ship, personalized small group excursions on the ship’s fleet of kayaks and zodiacs or on intimate small group hikes. All Signature Expeditions will be launched and led by those same expert biologists, glaciologists and more. This two-fold concept lets Windstar guests put their new knowledge of the region into immediate action with up-close explorations of Alaska’s magical realms like the Misty Fjords where few (mass-market) cruisers ever visit, let alone kayak the verdant and rugged natural coastline.
“I’m very proud to have helped design these unique voyages. You’ll see Alaska as John Muir saw it, from ground and sea level, not looking down on it from several stories high (or from miles away) as you would on a big cruise ship. Close enough to feel the spray on your face as a waterfall collides with the waters of the fjord, and to hear the huff as a humpback whale exhales nearby.”
∼ Star Legend Captain James Griffith
Hand-picked Signature Expedition Team to Lead Classes and Excursions
Windstar has engaged a team of expedition specialists to assist with the creation of Windstar’s new Signature Expeditions in Alaska, as well as operate the program on board. These geologists, glaciologists, marine biologists, and other experts will give commentary, interact with guests, and be available to answer guest questions throughout the cruise. Combining insight with exploration, the skilled and knowledgeable team of expedition specialists will also lead outings aboard a new fleet of six inflatable boats (vessels called Zodiacs) and expedition kayaks, as well as take guests on hikes. Whale watching will be a star attraction, as “whale season” in Alaska coincides with Windstar’s time sailing in the region.
For the Alaskan debut of Windstar’s new Signature Expeditions, which we plan to expand to other cruising regions in the future, travelers can choose from morning and afternoon watercraft tours that will leave directly from the ship’s tender and/or Watersports Platform, which means less time traveling and more time making the most out of the vacation. These special places are nearly impossible to reach without access directly from the ship. Zodiac excursions will bring guests close to the shoreline for wildlife viewing, and kayaks will allow exploration of fascinating intertidal zones on the Alaskan coastlines, getting up close and personal with magnificent glaciers and, perhaps, sea lions and whales.
Scenic Immersion Cruising to Highlight Windstar’s Signature Expeditions
Windstar Signature Expeditions get guests closer, show them more, and bring them home with once-in-a-lifetime memories. Windstar’s cruises in Alaska feature six expert guides with a deep understanding of geology, marine biology, botany, and more who travel on board for the entire cruise. These experts provide insight, education and commentary so guests can truly immerse themselves and absorb the Great Land. Here are a few examples of these new expeditions:
Misty Fjords Kayaking: On a two-and-a-half-hour kayak expedition through Misty Fjords National Monument, guests will see 3,000-foot glacier-sculpted cliffs with numerous waterfalls cascading down the cliffs, wildlife like bald eagles, and perhaps brown and/or black bears and mountain goats. Throughout the forest, participants will find western hemlock, Sitka spruce and western red cedar. Price is $170 per guest.
Kenai Zodiac Tour: On a Zodiac tour around Kenai Fjords National Park area, guests will ride by tidewater glaciers that flow from the Harding Ice Field, possibly seeing a glacier calving while riding among ice that has calved. Taking in the spectacular scenery of the area, participants may see harbor seals, black bears on the beach, bald eagles, and puffins. Price is $150 per guest.
Wrangell Interpretive Walk: This intimate tour will be led by two of the experienced Expedition Staff members on board. John Muir hiked here while using Wrangell as headquarters for his Stikine delta explorations. Participants are assured of wonderful views and a true immersive forest experience with an elevation gain of about 400 feet. The hike will present good views of the surrounding mountains and the town and waterways below. Price is $40 per guest.
When You Go
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