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Star Breeze takes over French Polynesia Sailings as Windstar Cruises’ New, Year-Round Ship in the Region

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Windstar elevates cultural immersion with new Tahitian ambassador, musicians, events and shore excursions

 

Windstar Cruises, the leader in small ship cruising in Tahiti with more than 36 years of experience in the region, has introduced the all-suite, 312-guest Star Breeze, replacing Wind Spirit, as the new year-round ship in Tahiti and French Polynesia.

Star Breeze began cruising in Tahiti on February 4th, following a memorable ceremony attended by over 500 guests including esteemed dignitaries such as Moetai Brotherson, President of French Polynesia, Tony Geros, Speaker of the House, and Manouche Lehartel, Deputy Mayor of Papeete, Air Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Tourism partners, port officials, travel advisors, media and Windstar executives. The event marked a significant milestone in Windstar’s commitment to providing unparalleled small ship experiences in Tahiti. In celebration, local artist Jessie Tiare Manutahi is on board to reveal an artistic Tahitian-inspired logo made up of symbols representing Windstar in Tahiti.

“This strategic shift in ships not only doubles capacity but also brings new experiences given the Breeze’s multiple dining options, enlarged spa and fitness center, and spacious accommodations,” explained Windstar Cruises’ President Christopher Prelog at the pier side celebration. “Travelers aboard Star Breeze still navigate Tahiti’s out-of-the-way harbors, hidden lagoons, and pristine beaches in Windstar’s signature, small ship style.”

Prelog also noted that the vessel shift means faster travel to and from the islands of French Polynesia and the greater South Pacific, enabling expansion to the remote Marquesas Islands with the brand-new, 14-day Tahitian Treasures & Magnificent Marquesas set to sail in July 2024. The 148-guest Wind Spirit leaves Tahiti to sail in the Caribbean during the winter season and the Mediterranean and Greek Isles between May and November. Wind Spirit strategically joins sister-ship Wind Star in the Greek Isles to double occupancy in this top selling region.

Foto: Windstar Cruises

Windstar’s Star Breeze visits 11 islands and atolls in French Polynesia beginning in 2024, offering enriched cultural onboard experiences and new elements like:

  • An evening of “arearea” French Polenesian fun! Join local group the Mamas and the Papas on deck to learn how to make a lei, tie a pareo, and enjoy Tahitian music and dancing
  • Hiring local team members in the service department
  • A French Polynesian cultural ambassador on each cruise organizing events such as Tahitian dance and language lessons, crafts, Ukulele performance and more
  • New shore excursions: Sail on a cultural catamaran cruise in Raiatea, explore coral nurseries with Coral Gardeners and refresh your PADI certification in Papeete prior to the cruise
  • Local artwork decorating the ship; Tahitian media including movies, music channels, books and board games
  • Turndown gifts made in the islands

As part of its partnership with Coral Gardeners, two new shore excursions take guests to the headquarters to meet the team, visit coral nurseries, and learn about the importance of protecting the corals in a hands-on and interactive way. To date, Windstar, along with its guests, have adopted over 2,500 corals with Coral Gardeners, but Windstar’s goal is to open a dedicated nursery supporting 5,000 corals in 2025.

Windstar’s longtime partnerships with island communities, Air Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Tourism continue to evolve with new ideas and offerings such as extended hotel stays for an enhanced Tahiti experience combining the cruise with hotels and activities on land. Air and hotel packages are offered from Seattle and Los Angeles and a new foodie cruise tour combines the seven-day Dreams of Tahiti cruise with a three-night stay at Moorea’s Hotel Manava Beach Resort and Spa, a foodie adventure and snorkeling tour.

Windstar will continue to offer key Tahiti favorites including the signature Bora Bora Destination Discovery Event on a private Tahitian motu where guests enjoy an al fresco dinner with traditional foods, live music and local fire dancers light up the night. Tahiti tattooist, cultural expert and guide Tihoti brings local culture and traditions alive on board in a not-to-miss presentation. Another favorite of Windstar guests – swimming directly off Windstar’s Watersports Platform. The South Pacific becomes the swimming pool and playground with complimentary paddle boards, kayaks, floating mats and snorkel gear.

Prelog tells all who ask that Tahiti is his favorite destination. “We have dialed in our itineraries and curated cultural experiences on and off the ship,” says Prelog. “We can’t wait to share it with more travelers.” More details on Windstar’s small ship Tahiti cruises can be found at https://www.windstarcruises.com/destinations/tahiti/.

Text: PM Windstar Cruises, Fotos: Windstar Cruises