Until further notice, the premium travel company Windstar announced it would require proof of current COVID vaccination for all passengers sailing aboard its yachts.
The company arrived at the decision in the best health interests of its passengers, crew members, and the places the vessels visit. Many Windstar Cruises' destinations and some airlines announced or are considering vaccine mandates.
The government and news reports about vaccine availability in the USA and abroad give Windstar confidence that passengers who wish to sail with the cruise line will have time to be vaccinated prior to travel. The crew will be required to be vaccinated as soon as the COVID vaccine is available to them.
The Windstar standard is subject to change as CDC guidelines change. The company will periodically review this and all other policies for updates as the pandemic evolves.
Windstar said it would restart operations in June in a phased manner, with initial sailings at a reduced passenger occupancy, modified itineraries, enhanced health and safety protocols. To provide passengers with greater flexibility, the company moved the final payment date from 120 to 60 days before departure.
A couple of yachts are resuming on June 19 as scheduled: Wind Star and Star Breeze. The recently refurbished Star Breeze returns to sailing with a 7-night Caribbean voyage roundtrip from St Maarten (Philipsburg). Ports of call include Gustavia (Saint Barthelemy Island), Tortola Island (Road Town, BVI), Jost Van Dyke Island (Belle Vue, BVI), Virgin Gorda Island (Spanish Town, BVI), Anguilla Island (UK, Sandy Ground).
Wind Star returns with a 7-night cruise roundtrip from Athens-Piraeus Greece. Ports of call include Mykonos, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Patmos, Santorini, Monemvasia, Nafplio-Mycenae.
The return to sailing dates of the other 4 yachts have been pushed back:
- Wind Spirit now returns to sailing on July 15 in Tahiti
- Wind Surf returns to sailing on August 8 in the Mediterranean
- Star Legend resumes voyages on September 4 in Northern Europe
- Star Pride resumes cruises on November 3 in the Caribbean.
At the cruise ship terminal before embarkation, passengers will be required to provide proof of a completed current vaccine course (1 or 2 shots, depending on the brand) finished at least 14 days before the passenger’s embarkation date. Negative test results will also be required before embarkation.