Windstar Cruises

Windstar Makes Donation to Turkey Earthquake Victims
Istanbul City Spared Damage ­ Windstar Maintains Itineraries

Windstar Cruises announced that it is making a corporate donation of $15,000 to launch a relief fund aiding victims of the earthquake in Turkey. Windstar has set up this relief effort through the American Red Cross with funds transferred directly to the Turkish Red Crescent (Red Cross) in Istanbul, Turkey.

"A tragedy of this magnitude touches all of us in such a profound way. We want to be able to show our support for the Turkish people during this extremely difficult time," said Richard Meadows, CTC, vice president, marketing and sales. "Windstar has cruised to Istanbul and the Turkish Isles for over seven years. It is a beautiful region with vibrant people who we have developed a very strong bond with," continued Meadows.

"Most importantly, we want to invite and encourage our travel agent and business partners, as well as cruise guests and others to join us and support the Turkish community. We are asking people to donate whatever they can to the Turkish Earthquake Relief Fund," Meadows added.

The Wind Spirit made its first call to the Port of Istanbul on Saturday, August 21, four days after the 7.4 magnitude earthquake shook eastern Turkey on Tuesday, August 17, 1999. Wind Spirit guests experienced a typical cruise day disembarking and embarking the ship without incident. Many encouraging comments were received from guests that stayed overnight in Istanbul prior to the cruise. The comments supported reports that the city of Istanbul, hotels, businesses, restaurants, tourist sites and shops were operating as usual.

The Turkish Tourist Office in New York has reported that the airport, seaport and Istanbul city buildings, hotels, roads and infrastructure were unaffected by the earthquake which was centered over 50 miles east of Istanbul.

The historic monuments and tourist sites of the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the cathedral of St. Sophia and the Grand Bazaar showed no visible damage, according to tourism officials. The Turkish Tourist Office statistics show that nearly 2.5 million people in Turkey earn their living from the tourism industry.

"We plan to fully endorse the Turkish tourism industry by maintaining all scheduled cruise itineraries for 1999 and 2000. We feel this is the most comprehensive show of support that we can offer," stated Meadows.

The Wind Spirit and Wind Song will complete the remaining 19 scheduled cruises between Istanbul, Turkey and Athens, Greece, finishing the season at the end of October, 1999. Windstar will also have both ships sailing from Istanbul throughout spring, summer and fall of 2000.

The crew of the Wind Spirit and Wind Song are also organizing a local humanitarian aid effort by collecting clothing, blankets and dry goods within Europe for distribution by Windstar's port agent in Istanbul.

Windstar Entices North Americans to Cruise Europe
After Kosovo Resolution

Peace in the Balkans brings great deals on luxury cruises, as the end of the NATO action in Kosovo spurs renewed interest in European travel. Looking to spike interest in its Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises, Windstar is enticing North Americans with phenomenal discounts (up to 50% off).

Now is the time to visit Europe with prices up to 50% off and luxurious accommodations available on board Windstar's fleet of elegant and casual sail-cruisers. Two-for-one dates are available on all Windstar European itineraries this summer.

Prices are 50% off per person starting at $2,493 per person, double occupancy. Per couple rate is $4,986 which represents a savings of $4,594 off the 1999 brochure price.

Visit France and Italy in style aboard the 312-passenger Wind Surf which boasts a full service spa-at-sea and 31 luxurious, ocean-view suites. Cruises depart weekly from either Nice, France; Venice or Rome, Italy. Cruise to chic Mediterranean ports such as St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portofino, Capri and Sorrento, Italy.

Sailing through the romantic Greek and Turkish Isles, Windstar's 148-passenger Wind Spirit and Wind Song depart weekly from Athens or Istanbul and call at Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Greece; Bodrum and Kusadasi, Turkey.

From July to October select 7-day cruises on the above itineraries offer the "2-for-1" promotional pricing.

Richard Meadows, vice-president of marketing and sales, said "Traditionally, by early summer, a stateroom on one of our Mediterranean cruises is hard to find. 1999 has brought many unexpecteds and the big message that we want vacationers to hear is -- now is a great time to cruise Europe.

"The war in Kosovo had a definite impact on summer travel to Europe by North Americans. Now that peaceful resolutions are taking hold, Windstar wants to entice vacationers that hesitated this spring to make summer or fall cruise plans. Our attractive 50% off pricing offers exceptional savings on a really great cruise vacation that delivers five-star service, cuisine and accommodations," Meadows added.

Windstar Cruises Back to Croatia

Windstar Cruises announced that the Wind Surf will return to Croatia. The first call at Dubrovnik by the 312-passenger Wind Surf will be made on July 1 followed by a call at the Island of Rab, Croatia on July 2, 1999.

The Wind Surf is reverting back to her original published itinerary which was changed due to the conflict in the Balkans.

"Dubrovnik is a gorgeous city with a rich and intriguing history and culture," commented Richard Meadows, CTC, vice president, marketing and sales. "Now that peaceful resolutions have taken hold in the region, we have moved as quickly as possible to include Croatia back into the itinerary. We are receiving very positive feedback from our travel partners in Croatia who are extremely excited about welcoming more American visitors this summer," Meadows added.

All ten of the remaining 7-day cruises of the Wind Surf alternating between Rome and Venice, Italy will now visit Croatia as originally scheduled.

Five Wind Surf cruises will sail from Rome to Venice departing June 26, July 24, August 21, September 18, and October 16, 1999, embarking on Saturdays. The 7-day cruises depart from Rome visiting Sorrento and Taormina, Italy; sailing a day at sea; followed by Corfu, Greece; Dubrovnik and Island of Rab, Croatia; arriving in Venice, Italy the following Saturday.

Alternately, the Wind Surf has five cruises from Venice to Rome visiting the same ports listed above. The 7-day cruises depart Venice on July 3, July 31, August 28, September 25, and October 23, 1999. The itinerary calls at Venice, Italy; Island of Rab and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; a day at sea; Taormina, Sorrento, and Rome, Italy.

Prices are 50% off starting at $2,493 per person, double occupancy, including port taxes. Per couple rate is $4,986 which represents a savings of $4,595 off the 1999 brochure price. In addition, Windstar is encouraging consumers to book within the next month by offering a $100 per person ship board spending credit for all guests that book a 7-day Windstar European cruise by July 19, 1999.

"Consumers are realizing that there are some fantastic deals available in Europe this summer," emphasized Meadows. "Our cruises, priced at 2 for 1, are hard to beat by land, considering the consumer can experience a five-star vacation including accommodations, all meals, and transportation to some of the most wonderful regions in Europe with no waiting at train stations or airports."

Sail With the Stars on Windstar
1999 & 2000 Theme Cruises Instruct and Inspire

The secret to a great vacation is not always where you go, but with whom. Here's an opportunity to meet and travel with some unique personalities on a Windstar sail cruise in 1999 and 2000. Depending upon their area of expertise, guests will conduct informal talks, cooking demonstrations or wine tastings, providing instruction to passengers.

Thirteen hosted theme cruises set sail in 1999 and 2000. The majority fall under the Signature Voyage program for the upscale line. For those sailings, Windstar offers package rates of cruise fare, air fare from New York, a 2-day pre- or post-hotel overnight and all transfers.

1999 Theme Cruise Hosts & Topics

Gary Eberle, Vintner
Sailing: Wind Surf, Rome to Venice, June 26 to July 3, 1999

Founder of Eberle Winery in central California, Gary Eberle is regarded as one of California's finest producers of limited-quantity, hand-crafted wines. Mr. Eberle was named 1998 "Wine Maker of the Year" by the National Vintners and Growers Association.

Joachim Splichal, Chef & Restaurateur
Sailing: Wind Surf, Venice to Rome, August 28 to September 4, 1999

Join one of America's leading master chefs, and the force behind the famed Patina and Pinot family of restaurants in California. Splichal is the creator of Windstar's Signature Cuisine.

Pierre Wolf, Radio Personality
Sailing: Wind Song, Rome to Lisbon, Oct. 23 to Nov. 6, 1999

Pierre Wolf is the host of "Food & Travel Showcase" a weekly radio show on the Business News Network. A connoisseur of all things culinary, Wolf will host demonstrations and speak on his experiences with food and travel. Wolf will broadcast live from onboard the Wind Song.

Jeanne Jones, Chef, Nutritionist, Columnist & Author
Sailing: Wind Surf, Rome to Lisbon, October 30 to November 14, 1999

A consultant, lecturer, columnist and author of many cookbooks, Jones will highlight her favorite subject: light and healthy cooking. She will give cooking demonstrations, share recipes, and talk about ways to improve your diet with moderation not deprivation.

2000 - Windstar Theme Cruise Hosts & Topics

Gary Eberle, Vintner
Sailing: Wind Song, Costa Rica, Jan. 29 to Feb. 5, 2000

Enjoy Costa Rica's exotic shores with Gary Eberle as he hosts special wine tastings teaching guests the subtleties of making and appreciating fine wine.

Lou Tice, Motivational Speaker
Sailing: Wind Surf, Lisbon to Nice, April 16 to 29, 2000

Learn how to turn potential into progress. Tice is a masterful teacher and educator who is remarkably successful at empowering individuals to achieve their full potential. Tice founded the Pacific Institute.

Elise Palmer-Miller & Maria Ford, Artists
Sailing: Wind Star, Cancún to Barbados, April 30 to May 4, 2000

Hone your artistic abilities as the Wind Star sails the picturesque Caribbean seas. Maria and Elise will conduct water-color painting classes and show you how to create collages using mementos from your journey.

John Thacher, Vintner
Sailing: Wind Spirit, Rome to Athens, May 6 to 13, 2000

As President and Winemaker for Cuvaison Winery, Thacher's philosophy and vision contribute to producing world class wines from the famed Napa Valley. Cruise for a week with Thacher as he guides you through the delicate intricacies of fine wine appreciation.

Jeanne Jones, Chef, Nutritionist, Columnist & Author
Sailing: Wind Surf, Rome to Lisbon, October 30 to November 14, 1999

Join Jeanne Jones in 2000 as she shares recipes, light cooking tips, and discusses ways to improve your diet. Sample the delicious cuisine on Windstar's Sail Light Menu, a series of creative vegetarian and low-fat dishes which Jones created especially for Windstar.

Wendy Perrin, Travel Journalist & Author
Sailing: Wind Spirit, Athens to Monte Carlo, Oct. 28 to Nov. 11, 2000

Author and Consumer News Editor for Condé Nast Traveler, Wendy Perrin has an unparalleled knowledge of how to anticipate, prevent, and handle travel mishaps. She writes with a lively, spirited style and peppers her advice with perversely entertaining tales of actual travel disasters.

Rates vary by sailing.

Wind Star Moves to Costa Rica and Caribbean
Instead of Southeast Asia

Windstar Cruises has positioned its ship the Wind Star from the Mediterranean to Costa Rica and the Caribbean instead of Southeast Asia as originally planned.

Windstar attributes the change to unforeseen political unrest and economic instability.

"Due to the latest round of events in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Windstar decided that it is in our best interest and the interest and safety of our guests to position the Wind Star to Costa Rica and the Caribbean for 1999," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar. "We were slated to operate for five months in Indonesia. The region's recent unrest and State Department travel advisories hamper our ability to market the cruises.

"Our Indonesian itineraries from Bali to Singapore were an integral part of our year-round Southeast Asia program," added Meadows. "Without these itineraries we think it would have been difficult to operate profitably in Southeast Asia on a year-round basis and we decided to move the ship in a different direction."

The Wind Star will join the Wind Song in Costa Rica, offering week-long itineraries with Sunday instead of Saturday departures. The cruise will include stops at Coiba Island, Panama, Drake Bay, Playa Flamingo, Tortuga Island/Curu Nature Reserve and Quepos, Costa Rica.

In April, 1999, the Wind Star will transit the Panama Canal east to Barbados to offer 7-day Caribbean itineraries throughout the summer and early fall. The ship will offer alternating North and Southbound Caribbean itineraries including among others the islands of Nevis, St. Martin, St. Barts, Tobago, Grenada, Isles des Saintes and Martinique.

Known for it upscale yet relaxed on-board atmosphere, Windstar operates three 148-passenger sail cruise ships and one 312-passenger sail cruiser, the Wind Surf.

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Revised: April 29, 2002