You are currently viewing Distinctive Features of Windstar’s French Polynesia Cruises: Yachts, Services, and Experiences

Distinctive Features of Windstar’s French Polynesia Cruises: Yachts, Services, and Experiences

Embarking on a Windstar Cruise through the idyllic waters of French Polynesia offers an intimate and luxurious yachting experience. With their small, elegant fleet, Windstar Cruises provides an exceptional level of service, gourmet dining, and unique itineraries that allow guests to explore the hidden gems of the South Pacific. From the personalized attention of the crew to the casually elegant ambiance, a Windstar French Polynesia cruise is a distinctive journey that stands ‘180 degrees from ordinary.’

Key Takeaways

  • Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises feature a fleet of six intimate luxury yachts, offering both sailing and power options for a personalized cruising experience.
  • The cruises boast a partnership with the James Beard Foundation, ensuring gourmet culinary experiences with a touch of local flavors.
  • Guests enjoy immersive itineraries with port-intensive voyages, exclusive access to smaller ports, and enriching cultural connections.
  • Windstar’s high guest-to-crew ratio ensures unparalleled service, with comprehensive cruise fare benefits and a variety of onboard entertainment and leisure facilities.
  • The Windstar difference lies in its ‘180 degrees from ordinary’ approach, emphasizing casual elegance, informal yet stylish dress code, and a highly loyal fan base.

Yachting with a Personal Touch: The Windstar Fleet

Yachting with a Personal Touch: The Windstar Fleet

Intimate Luxury Yachts: Sailing and Power Options

Windstar’s fleet comprises both sailing and power yachts, each offering a unique way to experience the seas. The sailing yachts, with their billowing sails, evoke a sense of romance and adventure, while the power yachts provide a smooth and swift journey across the ocean’s expanse. Despite their differences, all yachts in the fleet promise an intimate setting, ensuring a personal and immersive voyage.

Yacht TypeGuest CapacityNotable Features
Sailing YachtsUnder 300 guestsTraditional sailing experience, closer connection to the sea
Power YachtsUnder 300 guestsSpeed and stability, modern luxury

The cabin options vary, with the Star Plus Class offering all-suite accommodations, while the Wind Class sail ships provide a range of staterooms, some with portholes instead of windows. Regardless of the choice, all accommodations are well-appointed with luxury linens and essential amenities for a comfortable cruise.

The essence of Windstar’s yachting experience lies in the perfect blend of casual elegance and genuine personal service, making every journey uniquely memorable.

Casual Elegance at Sea: The Windstar Philosophy

Windstar Cruises redefines luxury with its unique philosophy of casual elegance. This approach allows guests to enjoy the sophistication of a premium cruise without the formality of traditional luxury liners. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for those who prefer to leave their jackets and ties at home, embracing a more laid-back style even while indulging in gourmet dining and exceptional service.

The essence of Windstar’s cruising experience is the freedom to enjoy the voyage on your terms, surrounded by the understated luxury and comfort of ocean-view staterooms and suites, all designed to cater to the discerning traveler.

The fleet, consisting of both sailing and power yachts, ensures an intimate experience with less than 300 guests on board. This smaller scale not only fosters a sense of community but also allows for docking in the heart of ports often off-limits to larger ships, making every destination an up-close and personal journey.

  • Intimate Atmosphere: Less than 300 guests per yacht
  • Gourmet Cuisine: Menus prepared by expert culinary teams
  • Unique Ports: Access to exclusive, smaller ports
  • Luxury Accommodations: Ocean-view staterooms and suites with luxury linens

Windstar’s commitment to a personal touch extends beyond the physical amenities to include a philosophy that values each guest’s individual preferences, ensuring a voyage that is as unique as it is memorable.

Accommodations and Amenities: Ocean-View Staterooms and Suites

Windstar’s accommodations are a sanctuary of luxury and comfort, where every stateroom and suite offers a stunning ocean view. Guests are enveloped in sumptuous linens, plush robes, and an array of high-end amenities, ensuring a restful night’s sleep after a day of exploration.

The intimate atmosphere aboard Windstar yachts is reflected in the personal touches found within each guest’s quarters. From the granite countertops in the bathrooms to the fresh fruit replenished daily, no detail is overlooked.

Here’s a glimpse of what to expect in every accommodation:

  • Queen Size Bed
  • Luxurious Linens
  • Waffle Weave Robe and Slippers
  • TV with Movies
  • Fully Stocked Mini Bar/Refrigerator
  • Safe
  • L’Occitane Bath Amenities
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Hair Dryers
  • 110/220 Outlets
  • Wi-Fi Access
  • Bathroom with Granite Countertop and Shower
  • Granite Vanity with Magnifying Mirror

The yachts’ amenities extend beyond the private spaces, offering a lounge, spa, fitness center, and more, to enrich the onboard experience. With a high staff-to-guest ratio, Windstar ensures that each guest receives attentive and personalized service throughout their voyage.

Culinary Delights and Exclusive Partnerships

Culinary Delights and Exclusive Partnerships

Gourmet Experiences: Menus by the James Beard Foundation

Windstar’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation elevates the culinary journey to an art form. Guests savor dishes curated by top chefs, reflecting the innovation and skill that the Foundation represents. The main dining room, Amphora, showcases a variety of upscale dishes, including selections from James Beard-affiliated guest chefs.

The dining experience extends beyond the main venue. Windstar offers a range of dining options:

  • Amphora for a full-service experience
  • The Star Grill for alfresco dining
  • A no-charge specialty restaurant for exclusive meals
  • 24-hour room service for convenience and comfort

The collaboration with the James Beard Foundation is not just about food; it’s a celebration of culinary excellence and creativity at sea. As Windstar approaches the tenth anniversary of this partnership, guests can anticipate special foodie cruises that highlight the depth of this unique alliance.

Dining Options: From Specialty Restaurants to Room Service

Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises redefine onboard dining with a plethora of options that cater to every palate and preference. Meal times are flexible, allowing guests the freedom to dine at their leisure, whether it’s a three-course meal paired with a fine bottle of wine or a casual burger hot off the grill. The specialty restaurants onboard, included in the cruise fare, offer an intimate dining experience with dishes cooked to order, though reservations are recommended.

  • Amphora and the Star Grill feature alfresco dining options.
  • A no-charge specialty restaurant provides an exclusive atmosphere.
  • 24-hour room service ensures that culinary delights are just a call away.

The first impression of dining on a Windstar cruise is the surprising amount of space and variety. From the refined atmosphere of fine dining to the relaxed setting of a BBQ, guests can find the perfect spot to match their mood at any time.

With no fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating, guests enjoy the flexibility to dress up or down and choose their dining companions, making every meal an opportunity to create new memories.

Local Flavors: Shopping with the Chef Excursions

Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises offer a unique opportunity to dive into the local culture through their Shopping with the Chef Excursions. These outings allow guests to accompany the ship’s chef to vibrant local markets, selecting fresh ingredients that will later transform into exquisite dishes served onboard.

The essence of these excursions is not just in the ingredients bought, but in the stories and traditions shared by local vendors, providing an authentic taste of the islands.

Here’s what to expect on a Shopping with the Chef Excursion:

  • A visit to a local market with the Windstar chef.
  • An interactive experience of selecting produce and learning about local culinary practices.
  • The opportunity to ask questions and gain insights into Polynesian cuisine.
  • A chance to see your chosen ingredients featured in the evening’s menu.

These excursions are a testament to Windstar’s commitment to offering immersive and enriching experiences that connect guests with the heart of French Polynesia’s culinary heritage.

Immersive Itineraries and Unique Destinations

Immersive Itineraries and Unique Destinations

Port-Intensive Voyages: Exploring More of French Polynesia

Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises are designed to offer guests an in-depth exploration of the region’s most enchanting islands. Each itinerary is carefully crafted to maximize time in port, allowing for a deeper connection with the destinations visited.

  • Explore the lush landscapes of Moorea, Rangiroa, and Tikehau.
  • Experience world-class snorkeling and discover vibrant marine life.
  • Immerse yourself in local cultures with visits to remote villages and archaeological sites.

The intimate size of Windstar yachts affords the opportunity to visit ports inaccessible to larger ships, ensuring a unique and personal experience of French Polynesia’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

With a focus on destination immersion, guests can enjoy extended stays and overnight visits, providing ample time to savor the islands’ serene beauty and partake in authentic cultural exchanges.

Exclusive Access: Smaller Ships, Bigger Adventures

Windstar’s smaller yachts offer an unparalleled advantage when it comes to exploring French Polynesia. Their size allows for docking at exclusive ports and up-close encounters with the islands’ beauty. This means guests can enjoy less-traveled paths and more intimate experiences, far from the crowds of larger cruise ships.

The agility of Windstar’s yachts grants access to secluded coves and hidden lagoons, providing a sense of discovery and adventure that is hard to match.

  • Docking at exclusive ports
  • Up-close encounters with local culture
  • Access to secluded coves and hidden lagoons
  • Intimate experiences away from the crowds

The smaller scale of the ships not only brings guests closer to the destination but also fosters a sense of community among travelers, enhancing the overall journey with shared moments and memories.

Cultural Connections: Local Entertainment and Overnight Stays

Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture. Local performers are brought on board to provide guests with an authentic taste of the region’s music and arts, replacing the typical Broadway revue with tropical tunes and cultural performances that resonate with the spirit of the islands.

The intimate nature of the Windstar yachts allows for unique experiences that connect guests with the local way of life. From the Culture Curriculum that enriches the journey with lectures on history and art to Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows, every aspect is designed to deepen the understanding and appreciation of French Polynesia.

The overnight stays in various ports not only allow for more in-depth exploration but also offer the chance to participate in exclusive Privileged Access events, granting entry to places and communities typically beyond the reach of the average traveler. Here’s a glimpse of what guests can expect:

  • Local Life experiences that showcase the everyday customs and traditions.
  • Working World insights that reveal the inner workings of local industries.
  • Privileged Access to hidden gems and private locales.

Unparalleled Service and Inclusions

What’s Included: Comprehensive Cruise Fare Benefits

Windstar Cruises takes pride in offering a comprehensive cruise fare that ensures a hassle-free vacation experience. All the essentials are included, so you can indulge in the journey without worrying about the extra costs.

  • Your accommodation
  • All meals, including specialty restaurants
  • 24-hour room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, including water, soft drinks, teas, and barista coffees
  • A fruit bowl in your cabin

The Windstar cruise fare is designed to provide an all-encompassing experience, allowing guests to enjoy the luxury of simplicity and the freedom to explore.

While alcoholic beverages and excursions are additional, guests can delight in the ease of having most necessities covered. The absence of a gratuity charge adds to the seamless nature of the Windstar cruising experience, ensuring that every moment aboard is focused on relaxation and discovery.

Personalized Attention: High Guest-to-Crew Ratio

Windstar’s commitment to personalized attention is evident in their impressive staff-to-guest ratio. With a ratio of 1:2, guests enjoy a level of service that is both attentive and discreet. This ensures that every need is met, from the moment of embarkation to the final farewell.

  • Each ship in the Windstar fleet is designed to foster an intimate atmosphere.
  • The crew is trained to anticipate guest needs and provide bespoke service.
  • Personal touches range from unpacking luggage to serving breakfast on your private veranda.

The luxury of having a dedicated staff member for every two guests transforms the cruising experience into a bespoke journey tailored to individual preferences.

Onboard Entertainment and Leisure Facilities

Windstar’s commitment to a personalized and intimate cruise experience extends to its onboard entertainment and leisure facilities. Evenings on Windstar are a blend of relaxation and cultural immersion, with the sounds of resident musicians filling the lounges, and local performers showcasing the vibrant arts of the region. Guests can enjoy a drink and socialize, or attend nightly talks that delve into the destination’s allure.

During the day, the entertainment continues with activities such as trivia quizzes, dance lessons, and movie screenings in the cozy confines of the ship’s screening room. For those seeking tranquility or a touch of pampering, the WorldSpa by Windstar offers a serene escape with a variety of beauty treatments and massages.

The sea itself becomes a playground at the Watersports Platform, where guests can swim, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard right from the ship. The pool and whirlpool invite relaxation under the sun, while yoga and fitness classes ensure wellness is always within reach.

Here’s a snapshot of the leisure activities available onboard:

  • Resident musicians and local cultural performances
  • Nightly destination talks
  • Trivia quizzes and dance lessons
  • Movie screenings
  • WorldSpa by Windstar treatments
  • Watersports Platform activities
  • Pool and whirlpool
  • Yoga and fitness classes

The Windstar Difference: Beyond Ordinary Cruising

The 180° From Ordinary Experience

Windstar’s commitment to an exceptional cruising experience is encapsulated in their promise of being 180 degrees from ordinary. This philosophy is evident in every aspect of the journey, from the design of the ships to the personalized service that makes guests feel at home on the open seas.

The Windstar experience is about more than just the destinations; it’s about the journey itself. The yachts offer a sense of intimacy and exclusivity that can’t be found on larger cruise ships, allowing for a deeper connection with the sea and the sky.

The difference is clear in the details:

  • Intimate Atmosphere: Smaller ships mean fewer guests and a more personal touch.
  • Unique Itineraries: Carefully crafted voyages that go beyond the typical tourist paths.
  • Exclusive Excursions: Opportunities to explore the heart of each destination.
  • Epic Views: Staterooms and public spaces designed to bring the outside in.

Choosing Windstar is about embracing a cruising style that is as unique as you are, where the extraordinary is the standard and every moment is tailored to offer an unforgettable adventure.

Testimonials: Why Guests Choose Windstar Again and Again

Guests who have experienced the Windstar difference often cite the unique, port-intensive itineraries and the exceptional award-winning service as reasons for their loyalty. The innovative culinary program, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, also stands out as a highlight of the Windstar cruising experience.

The intimate atmosphere aboard Windstar’s yachts, complemented by the high guest-to-crew ratio, ensures personalized attention that is unparalleled in the industry.

Another compelling reason for guests to return is the casual yet refined ambiance that Windstar offers. This distinctive approach to cruising allows travelers to enjoy the luxuries of a premium cruise without the formality that often accompanies traditional voyages.

Here’s a snapshot of what guests appreciate about Windstar Cruises:

  • Intimate luxury yachts with ocean-view staterooms and suites
  • Casual elegance that defines the Windstar philosophy
  • Comprehensive cruise fare benefits, including gourmet dining experiences
  • Access to smaller ports and exclusive destinations
  • Personalized service with a high guest-to-crew ratio
  • Informal yet stylish comfort, with no strict dress code

Dress Code: Informal Yet Stylish Comfort

Windstar’s approach to attire on board strikes the perfect balance between relaxed and refined. Guests are encouraged to dress comfortably yet stylishly, reflecting the yacht’s casual elegance. Whether enjoying a gourmet dinner or lounging on deck, the dress code is designed to enhance the overall experience of luxury without the constraints of formality.

The freedom to dress ‘as you wish’ resonates with the Windstar ethos of personal choice and flexibility, ensuring that guests feel at ease at all times.

Dining options aboard Windstar yachts cater to this philosophy:

  • For dinner, smart casual wear is suggested, such as slacks and collared shirts for men, and sundresses or pantsuits for women.
  • Daytime attire is all about comfort and suitability for the tropical climate, with swimwear, shorts, and t-shirts being popular choices.
  • Special events may invite a touch of flair, with guests often opting for a chic ensemble that complements the evening’s ambiance.


Windstar Cruises offers a distinctive cruising experience that stands ‘180 degrees from ordinary.’ With their intimate yachts, port-intensive itineraries, and casual elegance, they cater to travelers seeking a more personalized and immersive journey. The exceptional service, gourmet cuisine, and luxurious accommodations, including ocean-view staterooms and suites with premium amenities, ensure a comfortable and memorable voyage. The inclusion of all meals, entertainment, and a high guest-to-crew ratio with friendly staff further enhances the experience. Whether exploring the enchanting islands of French Polynesia or other unique ports around the world, Windstar’s commitment to an authentic, boutique-style cruise is evident. For those looking to escape the crowds and indulge in the finer aspects of seafaring, Windstar Cruises presents an alluring option that promises to leave guests with lasting impressions and a yearning to return to the sea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises unique?

Windstar’s French Polynesia cruises offer intimate yacht experiences with port-intensive itineraries, allowing guests to explore more destinations, often with overnight stays. The smaller ships can dock in the heart of ports inaccessible to larger vessels, providing an authentic and immersive experience.

What type of yachts does Windstar operate?

Windstar operates a fleet of six small luxury yachts, including three sailing yachts and three power yachts, each accommodating fewer than 300 guests. These yachts are renowned for their intimate atmosphere and casual elegance.

What dining experiences can I expect on a Windstar cruise?

Windstar offers gourmet dining experiences with menus prepared by the James Beard Foundation, multiple dining options including specialty restaurants and room service, and unique local flavors through ‘Shopping with the Chef’ excursions.

What is included in the Windstar cruise fare?

The Windstar cruise fare includes accommodation, all meals (even in specialty restaurants), 24-hour room service, onboard entertainment, non-alcoholic beverages like water, soft drinks, teas, and barista coffees, and a fruit bowl in your cabin.

What is the dress code on a Windstar yacht?

Windstar’s dress code is informal both day and night, reflecting their philosophy of ‘casual elegance.’ While there are no formal nights, guests are welcome to dress up if they wish, but tuxedos and stilettos are not necessary.

How does Windstar ensure a personalized experience?

Windstar ensures a personalized experience with a high guest-to-crew ratio, providing exceptional award-winning service. The friendly staff are attentive to guests’ needs, creating a warm and personalized atmosphere.

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