Windstar Cruises, which has more than 36 years of experience in Tahiti, has introduced the all-suite, 312-guest Star Breeze, replacing Wind Spirit, as the new year-round ship in Tahiti and French Polynesia.
Star Breeze began cruising in Tahiti on February 4, following a ceremony attended by over 500 guests. The event marked a significant milestone in Windstar's commitment to providing small-ship experiences in the destination. In celebration, local artist Jessie Tiare Manutahi is on board to reveal an artistic Tahitian-inspired logo made up of symbols representing Windstar in Tahiti.
“This strategic shift in ships not only doubles capacity but also brings new experiences given the Breeze’s multiple dining options, enlarged spa and fitness center and spacious accommodations,” explained Windstar Cruises’ President Christopher Prelog at the pier side celebration. “Travelers aboard Star Breeze still navigate Tahiti’s out-of-the-way harbors, hidden lagoons, and pristine beaches in Windstar’s signature small-ship style.”
Prelog also noted that the vessel shift means faster travel to and from the islands of French Polynesia and the greater South Pacific, enabling expansion to the remote Marquesas Islands with the brand-new, 14-day "Tahitian Treasures & Magnificent Marquesas" set to sail in July 2024. The 148-guest Wind Spirit, on the other hand, leaves Tahiti to sail in the Caribbean during the winter season and the Mediterranean and Greek Isles between May and November. Wind Spirit then joins sister-ship Wind Star in the Greek Isles to double occupancy in the region.
Windstar’s Star Breeze visits 11 islands and atolls in French Polynesia beginning in 2024, offering enriched cultural onboard experiences and new elements like:
- An evening of “arearea” French Polynesian fun; join local group the Mamas and the Papas on deck to learn how to make a lei or tie a pareo and enjoy Tahitian music and dancing
- A French Polynesian cultural ambassador on each cruise organizing events such as Tahitian dance and language lessons, crafts, Ukulele performances and more
- New shore excursions, including a cultural catamaran cruise in Raiatea, exploring coral nurseries with Coral Gardeners and refreshing your PADI certification in Papeete before the cruise
- Local artwork decorating the ship; Tahitian media, including movies, music channels, books and board games
- Turndown gifts made in the islands
As part of its partnership with Coral Gardeners, two new shore excursions take guests to the headquarters to meet the team, visit coral nurseries, and learn about the importance of protecting the corals in a hands-on and interactive way. To date, Windstar, along with its guests, has adopted over 2,500 corals with Coral Gardeners—but Windstar’s goal is to open a dedicated nursery supporting 5,000 corals in 2025.
Windstar’s longtime partnerships with island communities, Air Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Tourism continue to evolve with new ideas and offerings such as extended hotel stays for an enhanced Tahiti experience combining the cruise with hotels and activities on land. Air and hotel packages are offered from Seattle and Los Angeles and a new foodie cruise tour combines the seven-day "Dreams of Tahiti" cruise with a three-night stay at Moorea’s Hotel Manava Beach Resort and Spa, a foodie adventure and snorkeling tour.
Windstar will continue to offer key Tahiti favorites including the signature Bora Bora Destination Discovery Event on a private Tahitian motu where guests enjoy an al fresco dinner with traditional foods, live music and local fire dancers light up the night. Tahiti tattooist, cultural expert and guide Tihoti brings local culture and traditions alive on board in a presentation. Another attraction—swimming directly off Windstar’s Watersports Platform. The South Pacific becomes the swimming pool and playground with complimentary paddle boards, kayaks, floating mats and snorkel gear.