“It Is really like a group of friends sailing one of the prettiest regions in the world.”
Our Storyteller: Captain Pedro Pinto
Master, Wind Surf
From his earliest memories growing up in Estori, says Pedro Pinto, “the sea absorbed every plan I ever had.” He first attended the Portuguese Naval Academy, then decided to go into the commercial navy, where he worked his way up to chief officer on cargo vessels. A leap to cruise ships eventually lead to his first command as captain of MS Athena in 2009; upon joining Windstar in 2014, he worked onboard Wind Spirit before taking the helm of Wind Surf in 2016. Captain Pedro’s love of the sea is even central to his hobby and passion, scuba diving — although one of these days he hopes to learn how to play the Portuguese guitar.
Captain Pedro Pinto has sailed Croatia’s coast “more times than I can recall,” yet the run up to Dubrovnik always gives him goosebumps. Approaching its impressive walls, he says, “you understand why it’s called the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic.’” The red tile-roofed city is among the many culture- and history-rich seaports the Wind Surf master loves to visit on this itinerary, and just one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites that Windstar guests have the chance to explore. Athens’ Acropolis leads to the Bronze Age excavations of Akrotiri on Santorini, while Corfu’s strategic location at the entrance to the Adriatic — not to mention its dual fortifications and romantic Old Town — earned it a spot on the coveted list.
Monopoli offers its own charms, including easy access to Alberobello, known as “capital of the trulli” for its hundreds of tiny, beehive-shaped dwellings with domed roofs. Right off Komiza lies Biševo Island and its iridescent Blue Grotto which, along with the rest of the Vis archipelago, was just named a UNESCO Global Geopark. Plitvice Lakes National Park, designated a World Heritage Site for its chain of translucent, terraced lakes and waterfalls, is a leisurely drive from Zadar — although the Wind Surf master enjoys just “sitting along the waterfront, listening to its sea organ create music from the waves.” UNESCO-designated Venice, one of Captain Pedro’s all-time favorite cities, marks the end of a journey made all the more memorable by traveling aboard Windstar’s flagship that, he says, “is really like a group of friends sailing one of the prettiest regions in the world.”