Windstar Cruises To Explore Europe And The Mediterranean Year-Round

After pivoting to a first-ever winter cruise season in the Mediterranean this year, Windstar Cruises has announced its intent to keep Star Legend sailing in the region for another winter season, providing guests with the opportunity to explore Europe and the Mediterranean’s allure year-round. Positive feedback and an influx of bookings and demand have led the luxury small ship cruise line to enhance their winter Mediterranean deployment with new itineraries and opportunities to book longer voyages in 2024/2025.

“On our inaugural sailing in December, every single travel advisor and guest on board told me ‘this is genius’ as we enjoyed the sunny weather of Europe’s most walkable cities when few cruise lines sail Europe’s oceans,” explains Windstar’s Chief Commercial Officer Janet Bava. “Our biggest learning from this winter’s season was we were limited by the possibilities and experiences we could offer with just the one itinerary – from Rome to Barcelona and the reverse and we have responded to that with a variety of new itineraries for our guests to enjoy the Mediterranean’s most storied destinations in the winter.”

Prompted by positive feedback from the inaugural sailings, including the desire for more overnight stays, Windstar will now offer five itineraries in the Mediterranean for the 2025 season, plus three special holiday and event sailings. The expansion also allows guests to combine back-to-back itineraries, providing a unique opportunity to experience different destinations while unpacking just once. 

New itinerary highlights for 2024/2025

– Winter Italy & the Dalmatian Coast will set sail on five dates in 24/25. The 8-day itinerary sails from Rome to Venice, with stops in Naples, Taormina (Sicily), an overnight in Dubrovnik (Croatia), a full day in Zadar (Croatia), and ends with an overnight in Venice. The route and timing, particularly the beginning of January, will take advantage of Italy’s strict rules surrounding retail sales (with just winter and summer sales allowed and items up to 70 percent off). 

– Europe Winter Riviera will have eight departure dates on a 7-day cruise. From Rome, guests will sail to Livorno (Italy) for an overnight stay, followed by a day in Genoa and then Nice, France before ending with an overnight in Barcelona. 

– Winter in Italy and the Adriatican 8-day cruise, will take place on just one sail date. Leaving from Athens, the yacht will sail through the tiny Corinth Canal to Itea (Delphi) before overnighting in Corfu. Then it’s off to Crotone (Italy) followed by an overnight in Taormina (Sicily) before a day in Naples, ending the journey in Rome. 

– Southern Spain Winter Escapes will be a 9-day roundtrip sailing from Barcelona offered on four departure dates. Starting with an overnight in Barcelona means plenty of time to explore the city center before sailing to Valencia, Cartagena, Malaga (for an overnight), Gibraltar (U.K.), Palma, and then returning to Barcelona. Guests will easily be able to hop on the high speed train to/from Madrid in order to extend their explorations inland either pre- or post-cruise. 

– Winter in Croatia & Greece departs March 26, 2025 for an 8-day sailing from Venice to Athens. An overnight in Venice lets guests explore the historic city from the ship’s convenient city dock location. Port calls include Koper, Slovenia; Zadar and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Delphi, Greece and a transit of the scenic, narrow Corinth Canal.  

Special holiday and event sailings

Christmas holiday cruise will sail from Rome to Barcelona, December 23-30, 2024. It includes an overnight in Livorno for the opportunity to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Duomo followed by stops in Genoa and Nice before ending in Barcelona with an overnight stay. Festive decorations, traditional dishes and activities bring the holiday spirit on board the ship.

A New Year’s cruise sails roundtrip from Barcelona, December 30, 2024-January 8, 2025. New Year’s Eve itself is an overnight in Palma, Mallorca – one of Europe’s ultimate party meccas for an epic celebration. Then it’s onto Cartagena, an overnight in Malaga, followed by stops in Gibraltar (U.K.), Valencia, and returning to Barcelona. 

Additionally, Star Legend will return for a special appearance at the International Luxury Travel Market Cannes travel expo, which takes place in December 2024. The ship will sail from Rome to Barcelona, November 30-December 7, 2024. It includes stops in Livorno, Genoa, Cannes (overnight) and Barcelona (also an overnight). Ship visits will be available in Cannes for conference attendees. 

Contact us for additional information and to book your voyage with Windstar Cruises.

Also read: The World’s Most (and Least) Powerful Passports in 2024

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