wind spirit – Windstar Cruises – A Luxury Cruise Blog http://blog.windstarcruises.com Tue, 20 Jun 2017 22:12:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Wind Spirit Soars to New Heights with Major Dry Dock Refresh http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2017/05/wind-spirit-soars-to-new-heights-with-major-dry-dock-refresh/ http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2017/05/wind-spirit-soars-to-new-heights-with-major-dry-dock-refresh/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 21:01:45 +0000 http://blog.windstarcruises.com/?p=7253 Wind Spirit underwent extensive renovations recently, traveling from Tahiti to Auckland, New Zealand where it was in the dry dock facility for 12 days. Work was being done continuously on the ship for the entire time it was out of service. By the numbers, it is estimated that: Total work amounted to 48,960 hours of […]

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Cruise Ship Wind Spirit arrives Devenport New Zeland
Wind Spirit arrives in Devenport, New Zealand.

Wind Spirit underwent extensive renovations recently, traveling from Tahiti to Auckland, New Zealand where it was in the dry dock facility for 12 days. Work was being done continuously on the ship for the entire time it was out of service. By the numbers, it is estimated that:

  • Total work amounted to 48,960 hours of labor
  • 120 contractor specialists including CAN Acrobats
  • 462 square meters of teak installed
  • 200 square meters of new steel installed
  • Usable deck space increased by 215 square feet
  • Close to $3 million spent on overall repairs, maintenance and improvements

One of the notable projects undertaken was the removal of a skylight from deck three aft Pool Bar area which reclaimed a good amount of deck space for lounging, dining, local performances and enjoying the deck barbecue as well as the lively dancing that follows. The skylight fed into the Lounge on deck two below but was not a significant source of light due to screens and designs. The ceiling in the Lounge was remodeled as a result with a crisp new look.

Wind Spirit_Dry DockIn the spirit of environmentalism and being good stewards or our resources, as well with a nod to Xanterra, our parent company’s credo of “Travel with a Softer Footprint,” Superintendent Theresa Rasmussen explains how an idea to re-use the outdoor teak decking that was being replaced turned into one of the most interesting and rewarding parts of the dry dock.

“The teak deck boards being replaced from the outside decks were so thick that we were able to cut each into four thinner parts perfect for use as a new floor covering throughout the Lounge,” explained van der Hoeven. “The resulting effect is excellent, a beautiful color stained and protected to showcase the original wood that is native to where the Wind Sprit sails. The project was a win-win all around.”

Wind Spirit cruise ship in dry dock

Another important and visually pleasing project that guests will notice included a new look to the entire outer hull of the ship which was received numerous fresh coats of environmentally-friendly marine paint from bowsprit to stern. Along the water line, previously the underwater paint which is a dark red color and serves to keep extra marking growth off the hull used to be set right next to the crisp white of the upper hull. An additional wind and waive line of ocean-hued blue paint has been added between the white and the red paints right at the waterline creating a smooth viewing line that better showcases the beauty of these incredible sailing vessels to our guests and adoring public alike.

Propeller After: Wind Spirit Cruise Ship Propeller

 

In addition to the projects above numerous other projects were completed with tear-outs, installations and refurbishments touching each are of the ship were completed during the round-the-clock schedule. Other undertaken projects included:

  • Extensive work done on the masts by specialized contractors the 10 CAN Acrobats whose highly skilled workers are adept at working stories high in the air on skyscrapers and large vessels around the world.
  • Removal and installation of steel supporting the decks prior to new teak decking installation.
  • Complete removal, refurbishment, and re-installation of the shaft and propeller.
  • Various cosmetic interior projects throughout the ship from the marina to the bridge and galley, to both crew and guest accommodations and public spaces.

 

The-dock-in-Auckland
The dock in Auckland being flooded after a very successful dry dock for Windstar Cruises’ Wind Spirit! Our Tahiti guests will enjoy!

There is no better way to experience the awe-inspiriting Islands of Tahiti than our gorgeous 148-guest masted sailing yacht MSY Wind Spirit. Sincere thanks and congratulations to the officers, crew, project managers, planners, contractors, and vendors and many others who all had a hand in a completion of this major investment in the ships and Windstar brand.

 

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Six Things You Should Know About A Windstar Tahiti Cruise http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2017/03/six-things-know-windstar-tahiti-cruise/ http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2017/03/six-things-know-windstar-tahiti-cruise/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:32:15 +0000 http://blog.windstarcruises.com/?p=6918 It’s clear that the popularity of small ship cruising is a fast growing trend in travel and cruising, as we just had a record booking week for cruises to Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands. Windstar Cruises’ romantic and unique style of cruising is unmatched when it comes to enjoying Tahiti’s sun-soaked beaches, crystal-clear waters, incredible […]

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It’s clear that the popularity of small ship cruising is a fast growing trend in travel and cruising, as we just had a record booking week for cruises to Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands. Windstar Cruises’ romantic and unique style of cruising is unmatched when it comes to enjoying Tahiti’s sun-soaked beaches, crystal-clear waters, incredible sea and wildlife, and exotic tropical island ports in casually elegant style. Blogger Matt Long has recently sailed islands of French Polynesia on Wind Spirit and wrote six things everyone should know about Windstar’s Tahiti cruise.

by Matt Long

For me, and millions like me, a cruise to Tahiti was the stuff of dreams. For as long as I can remember, traveling to these fabled islands has been number one on my travel wish list and finally getting the chance to explore the South Pacific was a dream come true. I learned a lot though on my Tahiti cruise with Windstar, and more than anything I found myself surprised by the journey again and again. Today I want to share my experiences because if you’re like me, there’s a lot about cruising around French Polynesia that I bet you may not know.

Tahiti_island
Photography by Matt Long

1. Tahiti is very accessible

I’m not great at geography, which is probably why I didn’t properly understand where Tahiti and the 117 other islands of French Polynesia are located exactly. In brief, they are smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean close to absolutely nothing at all. They are remote and alone, which is what makes them so attractive in the first place. Luckily, we don’t have to sail the vast oceans to reach the islands and I found the flights to be incredibly manageable. Flying from LA to Papeete takes about 8-8.5 hours, which honestly isn’t that bad. It’s not the 13 hours it takes to reach Australia from the West Coast or the 15 hours to reach Asia from the East Coast. Yes, it’s a long-haul flight but I place it in the mid-tier of flights in terms of duration. If you live on the West Coast of the US, it takes you far longer to reach Europe than Tahiti, so the distance is fine I think. I don’t live on the West Coast though, so I had to first fly the nearly 6 hours to reach Los Angeles before hopping on the Air Tahiti Nui flight to Papeete. Admittedly, this makes it a longer trip. But, you can either split that time up by spending a day or two in LA or, do as I did, and just plan a slightly longer layover to go outside, stretch your legs, get some fresh air and grab a bite to eat before flying to Papeete. No matter how you approach it though, I don’t personally consider distance to be an impediment to visiting French Polynesia.

Tahiti_French_Polynesia
Photography by Matt Long

2. Cruising is the best way to experience Tahiti

The Society Islands have a lot of names. The South Pacific, French Polynesia and here in the US we tend just to say Tahiti to encompass all of them. In truth though, Tahiti is just one of 118 different islands comprising the chain, each one with its own unique look, feel and experiences to enjoy. Getting to these islands isn’t always easy; even the most popular of the islands take some planning if you want to visit. Moorea and Bora Bora are the easiest to visit from the capital city of Papeete on Tahiti, but even then you’re talking about either ferries or short flights. For my first experience in French Polynesia though I knew I didn’t want to be stuck on just one or two islands, that I wanted to see and do as much as possible. A cruise really is the only way to accomplish this and is, I think, the perfect introduction to this beautiful part of the world. A small yacht experience in French Polynesia was pure perfection and provided intimate access to some of the most remote spots on the planet, a feat few others can achieve.

Wind-Spirit
Photography by Matt Long

“Our Tahiti cruises are more popular than ever,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “Just last week we had a record week for Tahiti cruise bookings, our best yet. The South Pacific region continues to grow as a trending travel destination and there’s no better way to experience this gorgeous part of the world than on the deck of a Windstar ship under sail.”

3.  French Polynesia is what you make it

Sure, we all love those iconic images of bungalows over water and scenes so beautiful they make a grown man cry. And yes, those postcards and calendars we’ve all been admiring all our lives do actually exist in real life. However, Tahiti is about much more than those beaches, all you have to do is want to learn more. Talking with locals and the authentic experiences Windstar provides is the perfect way to really get to know and understand this very unique part of the world. I’m also an active traveler though and I was a little concerned there wouldn’t be enough to keep me occupied, but thankfully I was very wrong.  Every day was a new port, a new island and new experiences to enjoy. The cruise offered a wide variety of excursions from snorkeling and diving to photographic tours and 4X4 drives. There was never an opportunity to be bored no matter where we were. Plus, the onboard amenities and activities meant that even while at sea I had a lot to do; more than enough to keep someone like me entertained. Of course, if you do want to spend time on those tranquil beaches, there’s plenty of opportunity to do just that. It’s really a matter of preference, but I loved having the option to choose to be active or not, depending on my mood.

Photography by Matt Long

4. It’s Too Expensive

I hear this a lot, and it’s not entirely true. Like most destinations we visit, if you want to spend a lot of money on vacation in French Polynesia, you certainly can. Although, you can also visit as a budget traveler and while it’s not my style of travel, I know many people who have done just that. From hostels to pensions and B&Bs, there are many lodging alternatives that make the South Pacific affordable. I have to say though, that while my cruise was a boutique luxury experience it’s a reasonably priced one. I sailed with many people who normally spend a week in Mexico or travel to Europe on vacation and they shared with me that their French Polynesia cruise was either the same price or just slightly more expensive than those more common getaways. I think the key is working with a travel advisor who knows the region well and who can help you navigate any potential financial pitfalls. Personally, I had wanted to visit French Polynesia for so long that nothing was going to keep me away.

Wind_Spirit
Photography by Matt Long

5. New friends

One of the best parts of the trip was meeting all of my fellow passengers. I get asked a lot of questions about cruising, mostly because I tend to sail only on small vessels, whether it’s a river cruise or ocean going vessel. Mostly it’s about the demographics, my fellow Gen-Xers don’t want to be the youngest people onboard. I have a few answers to this. First, I am very rarely the youngest person onboard and I certainly was not the youngest when I sailed around French Polynesia with Windstar. Second, age doesn’t really matter when you travel. If you are on the same journey as someone else, that means the two of you have a very similar outlook on life. You seek the same things from a travel experience and in my case that means exploration and adventure. Those traveling with you feel the same as you do, and you will have so much more in common than you could ever imagine. That has always been the case for me, and it held true during the week I spent with Windstar. Regardless of age, we all got along very well and some of the discussions I had onboard were amongst the best I’ve ever enjoyed. Plus, I just loved meeting new people and learning about them and their lives. I wanted to know what brought them to Tahiti and experiencing it with them for the first time made my own journey all the more richer. It was a symbiotic relationship of everyone helping each other in creating a more fun and robust travel experience.

Motu
Photography by Matt Long

6. Tahiti is worth the hype

Tahiti is one of those places most of us want to visit because it looks like paradise incarnate. Every travel calendar features it and for millions it fuels our travel dreams. Many times when this happens though, the destination rarely lives up to all of the hype. Tahiti is not one of those places. Not only does it live up to the hype, it exceeds every expectation. I wanted a tropical paradise and I found it, from those dreamy overwater bungalows on Bora Bora to swimming with sharks through perfectly clear waters. But French Polynesia is about so much more than those postcard images. It’s full of people who are amongst the nicest and most welcoming that I’ve ever met. It’s full of jungles and rivers and other beautiful scenes most people don’t know exist. It has a complicated history, a fascinating culture and endless stories to share, if people are curious enough to ask. Tahiti is a special place and even though I had just one short week there, I know it’s not my last experience on those islands.

overwater_bungalo
Photography by Matt Long

If you have any questions about my Windstar Tahiti cruise please be sure to contact me via social media or my website – https://landlopers.com/contact.

About Matt Long

Matt is a typical Gen-Xer and former cubicle-dweller who has a passion for all things travel. He runs www.landlopers.com travel blog. He is not a backpacker, nor did he leave everything behind to see the world. He is just a normal person who has learned how to get the most out of the travel experience. Matt is like many people; he has a house, lives in the ‘burbs and is even owned by three beautiful dogs, but he has also made travel his profession. If you love adventurous experiences along with the pampering that only great luxury can provide, then his site is the place for you.

 

If You Go

Windstar makes a Tahiti dream trip attainable for those seeking the perfect celebration destination. Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea Islands are top of search when it comes to luxury and romance, but costly airfare, expensive lodging and food costs can deter travelers. Windstar has curated a value-laden Tahiti “Cruise+Air+Hotel” cruise package starting at $3,999 per guest that adds extraordinary appeal to the romance of the South Pacific.

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3 Myths Standing Between You and your Dream Vacation to Tahiti http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2016/05/3-myths-standing-between-you-and-your-dream-vacation-to-tahiti/ http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2016/05/3-myths-standing-between-you-and-your-dream-vacation-to-tahiti/#respond Fri, 27 May 2016 23:12:35 +0000 http://blog.windstarcruises.com/?p=6208 We can’t believe it has almost been a year since we started sailing year-round in Tahiti. Time flies when you’re having fun! There are SO many reasons to book a trip to visit the incredible islands of French Polynesia (hello, just look at this picture and try not to go on a mental vacation there […]

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We can’t believe it has almost been a year since we started sailing year-round in Tahiti. Time flies when you’re having fun!

There are SO many reasons to book a trip to visit the incredible islands of French Polynesia (hello, just look at this picture and try not to go on a mental vacation there right now), but usually the barriers seem to outweigh the MANY beautiful reasons to go.

Tahiti Cruise

Despite the drop-dead gorgeous nature of these most romantic of islands (BRIDES recently named French Polynesia the #1 most romantic destination in the world in their Best Honeymoons Awards – a survey that also named Windstar a Top Cruise Line for Couples), these are the reasons most couples come up with for passing the trip of a lifetime.

Myth #1: I Can’t Afford It

With new lower pricing on select sailings starting at $3,999 per guest including cruise, airfare, and hotel, Windstar Cruises offers extraordinary value for those looking to experience romantic paradise in the South Pacific.Bora_Bora_cruise

“Our private yacht style of cruising brings guests closer to the worlds they want to discover, and there’s perhaps no better example of that than on board the elegant Wind Spirit which was designed to sail in French Polynesia with just 148 pampered guests,” says Joe Duckett, vice president of sales and marketing at Windstar Cruises.

When honeymooners – or any couple looking for an escape – think of a romantic destination, Tahiti, Bora Bora, and the islands of French Polynesia are at the top of the list, but with costly airfare, expensive lodging, and sky-high food and beverage costs on the islands, few can actually afford the luxury. Windstar, however, is making the dream trip more attainable, even on a luxury yacht.

 

“The biggest secret about Tahiti is that exploring by small ship is not only the best way to experience the islands, it’s also the best value,” Duckett says.

With Windstar’s Dreams of Tahiti itinerary, guests can experience six islands inclusive of flights from Los Angeles, eight night’s accommodations, all ground transfers, all meals (including 24 hour room service), water sports activities from the Watersports Platform, all non-alcoholic beverages, a champagne welcome reception, and a special Private Event in Bora Bora complete with fire dancers and a locally-inspired feast of Tahitian fare. Comparative pricing for a similar resort experience is more than double Windstar’s rates, especially with the cruise line’s tempting Cruise + Air + Hotel voyages.

Myth #2: It’s Too Far / Difficult to Get There

Reached with a direct eight hour flight from Los Angeles, Tahiti is also much closer than most people imagine. And once you get there, traversing the islands by yacht is a breeze. The islands are never more than a few hours of scenic sailing away and are perfectly sampled with a week-long getaway.

For those planning next year’s trip to paradise early, in June of 2017 Windstar is switching to Thursday departures from Papeete. The new departure day (current sailings leave Papeete on Fridays) will allow more flexibility for air service, as there are more available flights, departures and arrival options under this schedule.

Myth #3: I Don’t Have Time

Cruise_watersportsWindstar Cruises offers weekly seven-day voyages on the Dreams of Tahiti cruise, as well as several 10- and 11-day itineraries that also explore the remote Tuamotu Islands for an extended experience. The Dreams of Tahiti voyage begins in Papeete and sails to Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea (overnight), Huahine, and Bora Bora (overnight).

In just seven days, you see so much! Plus, you get to soak up the aqua blue water of the South Pacific at the back of the Wind Spirit on the unique Watersports Platform, which offers kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, flotation devices for relaxing in the water, sailing, water skiing, slalom water skiing, wakeboarding, and windsurfing, at no additional charge. Windstar’s dive program offers guests an excellent way to discover the sport, and for certified divers, Windstar’s one- and two-tank dives offer an impressive in deep-sea sightseeing. Bikes are also available on board for a nominal rental fee.

So now you know the secret… cruising in Tahiti is more possible than you thought…

We hope to see you on board in paradise!

 

Our guest Greg B. on Facebook: “And we’re back! Had a fantastic honeymoon in the French Polynesian islands! Started off with 3 nights in an overwater bungalow in Moorea, then boarded the Wind Spirit of Windstar Cruises for an unbelievable tour of Tahiti, Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Huahine! A little rain, but the sights, adventures and food were amazing!!! Didn’t hurt to be accompanied by my gorgeous wife Kristin B.”
Cruise Critic Member Onanisle: “For my wife and I, this was a “bucket list” destination/cruise and we were able to see both the Society and Tuomotu islands at a leisurely pace. This is a laid back environment and you are even welcome on the bridge during the daylight hours while at sea. There is a very cool ritual as the sails are unfurled to the music of Vangellis’ “Conquest of Paradise”. It made for are very memorable sunset! Food was excellent and the relatively small amount of passengers gave us the feeling we extra special on board Wind Spirit.”

 

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