Windstar Cruises has unveiled more details of its new Signature Expeditions program, set to debut with the Star Legend in Alaska next summer.
Windstar’s Signature Expeditions will offer extremely high touch experiences both onboard ship and in the marine and wildlife environments, the company said.
“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,” stated Windstar Cruises President John Delaney. “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.”
All guests can partake in complimentary enrichment classes, one-to-one discussions and topical presentations with outdoor experts, there will be an expedition team of five on every Alaskan cruise, the company said.
Passengers can pair their learnings with optional off the ship, personalized small group excursions on the ship’s fleet of kayaks and zodiacs or on small group hikes.
“All Signature Expeditions will be launched and led by those same expert biologists, glaciologists and more providing. 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,” the company said.
The Star Legend will drydock in December for the addition of a number of expedition features, including six zodiacs.
Windstar has ehired a team of expedition specialists to assist with the creation of Windstar’s new Signature Expeditions in Alaska, as well as operate the program onboard.
Heading up the program is Captain James Griffith, the company's new corporate expedition captain.
Among the others are aboard will be geologists, glaciologists, marine biologists, and other experts who will give commentary and interact with guests, and be available to answer guest questions throughout the cruise. The specialists will also lead outings aboard zodiacs and expedition kayaks, as well as take guests on hikes.
Expeditions will be led in Kenai Fjord, Misty Fjords, Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm, and the Inian Islands, dependent upon weather. Like shore excursions, the Windstar Signature Expeditions tours are optional for guests and available at a per guest price of for $40 for hikes, $170 for kayak tours, and $150 for zodiac tours, all led by the onboard Expedition Team experts.
In addition, Windstar has added pre- and post-Alaska tours for guests opting to stay a few more days, and there is a completely new shore excursion program to match the company's debut season in the market.