Windstar Cruises Recognized With Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards as World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line

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Leader in yacht style cruising named the best in the world among small ship cruise lines

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It’s an inspiration for us to be acknowledged by the people we serve every day

Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Windstar recognized as #1 in the world in the Small Ship Cruise Line category. Windstar’s winning score of 90.065 also garnered the line the #2 spot among all of small, midsize, and large ocean-going cruise lines.

"We are honored to have our unique style of yacht cruising and warm, personal service recognized by our loyal guests and the discerning readers of Condé Nast Traveler,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our teams both on board and on shore continually strive to create memorable experiences for our guests, and it’s an inspiration for us to be acknowledged by the people we serve every day.”

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” More than 76,600 dedicated readers cast votes for 7,721 hotels, 642 cities, 453 cruise ships, and 148 islands. The result? The 1,182 best travel experiences in the world.

The past few years have seen Windstar Cruises enter into a period of innovation and expansion. Earlier this year the company launched Private Events, a complimentary, exclusive onshore event, crafted to give an in depth and authentic local experience unique to each voyage. Other product enhancements include a series of Cruisetours through Asia; Local Dining Tips Curated by SAVEUR a one-of-a-kind platform to uncover the world’s most delicious destinations for culinary travelers; as well as a fresh Windstar logo.

In 2013, the line announced it was doubling the size of the fleet from three sailing yachts to six ships. Star Pride, the first of the three power yachts, came on board in May of this year in a celebratory christening ceremony in Barcelona, Spain. Star Breeze and Star Legend will join the Windstar fleet in May of 2015 following a $20 million, three-week dry dock.

Windstar also continues to introduce new global itineraries, focusing on smaller ports that large ships can’t visit and voyages that feature trade winds optimal for sailing. In 2014 Windstar returned to the islands of Tahiti with the 148-passenger sailing yacht Wind Spirit. During October Star Pride will begin its transit to Southeast Asia, visiting ports in Arabia and India along the way, a first for the company.

These changes are being recognized among guests and the travel industry alike. Last month Windstar Cruises won a Gold Magellan Award for Market Leader in Small Ship Cruising from Travel Weekly as well as SAVEUR’s Culinary Travel Awards as an Outstanding Culinary Cruise Line. In July, Windstar was recognized as #2 Small Ship Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

For more information about Windstar Cruises and to book, contact a travel professional, call Windstar at 800-258-7245 or visit http://www.WindstarCruises.com.

About Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travelers. This year, Condé Nast Traveler introduced two new categories: Hall of Famers, iconic properties that debuted in the first Readers’ Choice Awards; and The Newcomers and The Comebacks, new and recently refreshed properties that are destined to become future classics. The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 28, 2014. The full list is published exclusively online, at http://www.CNTraveler.com/rca.

About Windstar Cruises
Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships known for its intimate yacht style experience and unique voyages to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Its three recently renovated sailing yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America. In May of 2014, Windstar launched Star Pride, the first of three newly acquired power yachts. In May of 2015 the company will launch Star Breeze and Star Legend. The power yachts, with a capacity of 212 guests each, will double the size of Windstar’s fleet, making the company the market leader in small ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,242 berths. The additional capacity will open up new itineraries such as voyages to Southeast Asia, Arabia, Iceland, and beyond. Windstar was recently voted the World’s #1 Small Ship Cruise Line in Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

For more information including rates and itineraries, contact a travel professional or call Windstar at 800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at WindstarCruises.com or Blog.WindstarCruises.com. Windstar Cruises can also be followed on Windstar’s Facebook and Twitter fan pages. Windstar Cruises is part of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a diversified global travel and hospitality company.
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Amanda Graham
Windstar Cruises
206-733-2970
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