Windstar Cruises announced its in-depth exploration of Europe in 2020, boasting a variety of itineraries through the Baltic, North, Norwegian, Mediterranean, and Tyrrhenian seas visiting small ports of call and hidden harbours, not accessible by bigger cruise ships.
With new and returning cruise ports in Greece, Turkey (overnights in Istanbul), Egypt, and Israel, along with new ports in Iceland, Cyprus, and France, 2020 promises to be an opportunity to discover Europe like never before.
The line’s 312-passenger Star Legend is scheduled to debut in Europe in July 2020 and sail in the region through November following an extensive renovation as part of the comprehensive US$250 Million Star Plus Initiative of the line, featuring an additional 50 new suites, 2 restaurants, an elevated pool, an enhanced spa and fitness center, and several other upgrades onboard each of the 3 Star Class ships.
Of note in 2020 is the Sail Amsterdam Celebration, along with two epic European cruises. The 60+ day itineraries are port-intensive with few days at sea. Comprehensive Europe Flagship Sailing on Wind Surf includes the Sail Amsterdam experience beginning in Sweden and ending in Italy, which visits a total of 48 ports in 20 countries over 62 days in Northern Europe, the western and central Mediterranean.
The Grand European Tour sails from Iceland to Greece over 66 days on the newly reimagined Star Legend, calling at 53 ports in Iceland, Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands, Wales, England, France, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Malta, Turkey, and Greece. Prices for both voyages start at US$21,699 per person and offer the convenience of unpacking once with the perk of free-of-charge laundry service.
Other itinerary highlights for Windstar Cruises' Europe 2020 Season include:
- Rome & Grand Prix of Monaco is back on Wind Surf. The itinerary explores unique small ports including Portofino, Bastia, Saint Raphael. For the first time next year, the themed cruise will be a part of a longer Star Collector sailing, so passengers can pair their experience with another voyage.
- Quintessential Croatia, October 16, is a James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection trip, with 8 days aboard Wind Surf round-trip from Venice.
- Autumn on the Atlantic Coast boasts the cultural ports of Bilbao, Bordeaux, and Honfleur. The cruise will be a James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection offering, September 19.
- Autumn Revelries on the French Riviera features the line’s maiden call to Toulon.
- Greece, Israel & Egypt: Footsteps of Faith in the Holy Lands includes Windstar’s return to Cyprus; Israel's Haifa and Ashdod; Egypt's Alexandria and Port Said, after a several-year absence. Late nights and overnights mean that passengers can arrange overland tours to Jerusalem, Petra, Cairo, and the Egyptian Pyramids.
- Greece via the Corinth Canal & Turkey: The Marvels of Ancient Rivals witnesses the first-ever Windstar call to Lemnos, the return of Windstar to Istanbul in Turkey after a several-year absence (plus an overnight), and the “old Venetian harbour” of Chania on Crete. The transit of the Corinth Canal is also notable.
- Ancient Epicenters in Autumn via the Corinth Canal sails from Athens to Rome with visits to Delphi (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Valletta, and transit of the Corinth Canal.
- Eire with Fire & Ice: Ireland and Iceland’s Overlooked Treasures is scheduled to access natural destinations that are inaccessible to larger ships and make the first-ever call to Djupivogur, Iceland (the gateway to Jokulsarion Glacier Lagoon, one of the most popular attractions in Iceland).
- Fado Folksongs, Tapas & Crystal: Portugal, Spain, Britain & Ireland features unique stops in the Isles of Scilly, popular with the most unspoiled beaches in Cornwall, as well as Fishguard and Waterford.
Booking is now open for Europe 2020 on over 80 itineraries on 116 sailing dates throughout the season, with fares starting at US$2,399 per person, double occupancy.
The majority of the departures in Europe are onboard Star Legend, Wind Surf, and Wind Star, with a limited number of voyages available as early as February 20 and as late as November 20, 2020, aboard Star-Plus renovated Star Breeze and Star Pride.