A year after pulling the Wind Song from Tahiti, Windstar Cruises will return to the Asia-Pacific region with the 5,350-ton, 148-passenger Wind Star beginning in late-November 1998.

The vessel will sail an 18-day positioning cruise from Bombay to Singapore, then sail two holiday itineraries from Singapore: a 10-day cruise calling in Tanjung Pinang, Thousand Islands, Semarang, Surabaya, Gilis Island and Bali, Indonesia; and a return 11-day trip with additional stops in Pulau Bantan and Krakatoa Volcano, Indonesia.

According to Rick Meadows, Windstar's V.P. of marketing and sales, the Wind Star will then settle down into year-round seven-, 10-, and 11-day sailings in Indonesia with turnarounds in Bali, Phuket and Bangkok (exact itineraries have yet to be announced).

The move back to Asia was spurred by the departure of Royal Caribbean and other competitors, said Meadows, combined with Windstar's need to expand itineraries following the addition of a fourth ship to its fleet. Why not just return to Tahiti, where it had sailed for nine-and-a-half years? "First, we believe the revenue potential is higher here (in Indonesia) than any other part of the region," said Meadows. "Second, the arrival of the Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. And third, it's what our alumni have asked for."