Windstar Cruises is debuting new itineraries in Asia starting this winter on its newly launched Star Pride yacht. With only 200 passengers and unique destinations only small ships can access, it’s the perfect way to explore Asia, particularly for first-time travelers to the region.
Windstar removes the headaches of difficult connections, hard-to-find hotels, and touristy crowds, while keeping a firm focus on actually experiencing the culture of the region. New itineraries in Asia (including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and China) allow guests to access to legendary landmarks in a bespoke and culturally sensitive fashion. The company’s first “cruise tour” begins in January, and combines a multi-night land tour in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, before flying to Ho Chi Minh City to set sail along the coast of Vietnam, ending in Hong Kong.
Also new this winter, Windstar is adding a complimentary “private event” to each itinerary, which takes place off the yacht and often includes events on land. Thailand’s award-winning Sala Bua (Pavilion of Lotus) offers gorgeous views of the Andaman Sea for one such evening, while Nam Long’s lush gardens on the Thu Bon River in Vietnam host a dinner with Vietnamese cooking demonstrations, as well as letter drawing, lantern-making, and wood-engraving interactive workshops.
On all Asia itineraries, a guest lecturer is on board to answer any questions, or to serve as an impromptu shopping guide in Da Nang, for example, to help find the best made-to-order silk shirts that are delivered to the yacht later that evening.
For the foodie:
Foodies who balk at the very idea of cruising should take note: Windstar has an amazing variety of local cuisine on board, especially in Asia. The yacht’s chef will even take guests along with him to local markets, collecting ingredients as they go for the nightly special and snagging local wine when possible.
Windstar’s shore excursions are created for discerning passengers, so their culinary-focused port experiences aren’t “run of the mill” trips designed for large tourist groups. In Panang, Malaysia, for example, groups of up to 24 passengers tour a local spice garden on a coastal hillside, collecting herbs and spices from the garden before learning how to make a delicious lunch at the garden’s cooking school. Spice packets are carried home as a souvenir.
For the adventurer:
Windstar offers something for everyone, from a highly curated experience and customized shore excursions to pure accommodations (think of it as your floating five star hotel) – the perfect home base for constant, individual exploration.
Because of Windstar’s small size, the yacht is able to dock in downtown ports, allowing guests’ access to cities almost as quickly as walking outside a hotel. (Most ships dock about two hours from Saigon, but Star Pride is in the heart of the action. In Hong Kong, the yacht is able to dock right downtown, allowing stunning views of the skyline and easy access via the Victoria Ferry Terminal.)
Also because of Windstar’s small size, the yachts sail along the coastline, giving guests more to look at than open water. In Halong Bay, the iconic natural wonder of 3,000 limestone islands in Vietnam, Windstar is able to sail alongside traditional “fishing junks” and through lagoons/by floating villages.
Windstar has a fleet of bicycles on board for guest usage, allowing travelers the opportunity to navigate cities like Qui Nhon in Vietnam on their own, and the yacht’s water sports platform offers kayaks and stand up paddle boards for enjoying nature in Langkawwi, Malaysia, or snorkeling in Phuket, Thailand, at no additional fee.
We’re excited to sail in Asia and hope you can join us! Have questions? Reach out to a VACATION PLANNER at 1-866-788-2194.