With 36 years of Tahiti experience, Windstar Cruises this week introduced the all-suite, 312-guest Star Breeze for year-round operations in French Polynesia. So, whatever time of the year you’d like to vacation in the South Pacific, this luxury, motorized ship awaits. It’s replaced the sailing-ship Wind Spirit for year-round Tahiti cruises.
“This strategic shift in ships not only doubles capacity but also brings new experiences given Star Breeze’s multiple dining options, enlarged spa and fitness center, and spacious accommodations,” explains Christopher Prelog, Windstar’s president. Added bonus? It’s the gift of time.
Simply put, this switch of ships will also mean faster travel to and from the islands of French Polynesia and the greater South Pacific. So, that enables Windstar to expand to the remote Marquesas Islands.
We particularly like Windstar’s new 14-day “Tahitian Treasures & Magnificent Marquesas itinerary; click the preceding link for the day-to-day details. But essentially, guests will enjoy two weeks of South Pacific tropical fun, enrichment, eco-activities and French Polynesian cultural engagement.
All-inclusive fares begin at $7,445 per person, double occupancy, or from $6,199 per person, double occupancy for cruise only. The first “Tahitian Treasures & Magnificent Marquesas” voyage departs in July 2024.
What hasn’t changed with the recent ship shift from Wind Spirit to Star Breeze? “Travelers aboard Star Breeze will still navigate to Tahiti’s out-of-the-way harbors, hidden lagoons, and pristine beaches in Windstar’s signature, small ship style,” Prelog emphasizes.
(Photo above shows Windstar’s luxurious Star Breeze, now sailing Tahiti cruises year-round. Photo by Windstar Cruises.)
Tahiti Cruises: Exploring the South Pacific
In total this year, Windstar’s Star Breeze will visit 11 islands and atolls in French Polynesia. The luxury small ship will also offer enriched cultural onboard experiences and new elements.
For example, Windstar’s guests will enjoy an evening of “arearea” or French Polynesian fun. They’ll join a local entertainment group, the Mamas and the Papas, on deck. Together guests will enjoy learning how to make a lei (a necklace of flowers) or tying a pareo (a Polynesian wraparound skirt). Plus, guests will enjoy authentic Tahitian music and dancing.
In addition, the small-ship cruise line also is hiring local Polynesian team members in its service department. Plus, a French Polynesian cultural ambassador will sail on each cruise. He or she will organize Tahitian dance and language lessons, crafts, a ukulele performance and other activities.
Also, Star Breeze now displays local artwork — creating an authentic French Polynesian vibe. Plus, guests will find new Tahiti media elements such as movies, music channels, books and board games.
In the evening when guests return to their accommodations after dinner, they’ll also be delighted by “turn-down gifts” made in the isles.
New Shore Excursions
Guests can also explore with several new shore excursions. For example, they can opt for a cultural catamaran cruise in Raiatea. Alternatively, guests who want to scuba dive can refresh their PADI certification in Papeete prior to the cruise.
Two new shore excursions with partner Coral Gardeners will take guests to the headquarters to meet the team and visit coral nurseries. Travelers will learn about the importance of protecting the corals in a hands-on and interactive way.
Tahiti Cruises: Favorite Elements
If you’ve been to Tahiti in the past with Windstar and liked the experience, rest assured that Windstar will continue to offer key Tahiti favorite experiences.
That includes the signature Bora Bora Destination Discovery Event on a private Tahitian motu; guests will enjoy an al fresco dinner with traditional foods, live music and local fire dance performances that light up the night.
In addition, “Tihoti,” a Tahiti tattooist, cultural expert and guide, will bring French Polynesia’s local culture and traditions alive in an onboard presentation. Another favorite activity of Windstar’s guests is swimming directly off the ship’s watersports platform. That too will continue. The line offers complimentary use of paddleboards, kayaks, floating mats and snorkel gear.
Prelog tells all who ask that Tahiti is his favorite destination. “We have dialed in our itineraries and curated cultural experiences on and off the ship,” says Prelog. “We can’t wait to share it with more travelers.” To date, Windstar and its guests have adopted more than 2,500 corals with Coral Gardeners. The ultimate goal? Windstar hopes to open a dedicated nursery supporting 5,000 corals in 2025.
Tahiti Cruises: Partnership Perks
Windstar’s longtime partnerships with island communities, as well as with Air Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Tourism, continue to evolve. Guests can now combine their luxury cruise with hotels and activities on land.
For instance, air and hotel packages are offered from Seattle and Los Angeles. In addition, a new foodie cruisetour combines Windstar’s seven-day “Dreams of Tahiti” cruise with a three-night Moorea stay. Guests will stay at the Hotel Manava Beach Resort and Spa and enjoy foodie adventure and a snorkeling tour.
Talk with your personal travel planner about all the options. Windstar’s Star Breeze is a lovely small-ship explorer, recently revitalized with a new mid-section added.
The result is an intimate sailing experience but with new specialty dining options, new suite categories, a larger spa and so on. In 2022, The Meandering Traveler wrote a blog about the line’s similar revitalization on sister ship Star Pride. This gives a good sense of the many enhancements added to Star Breeze.
Tahiti Cruises: Getting Aboard Star Breeze
“Give us a call if you’re interested in Star Breeze‘s Tahiti sailings, as we guarantee the lowest prices on those cruises,” says Shelby Steudle, president, Pavlus Travel. “We can answer your questions, find the right itinerary and accommodations for your vacation style and personality, and get you started on a laid-back journey to the tropical South Pacific.”
Pavlus’ Steudle says that the agency’s skilled personal travel planners will smooth the planning and booking process. “So, you can just relax, plan how to explore the ports of call, and savor the pre-cruise island vibes,” she adds. “You’ll be Tahiti-bound before you know it.”
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