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Windstar Cruises Sails into 2019 with a Bevy of Travel Awards and Accolades for Best Small Ships, Culinary Partnership, Romance and More

February 8, 2019 Accolades No Comments

Windstar Cruises recent collection of prestigious accolades and awards from consumers and notable travel experts gives top marks for the fleet of six small ships that sail around the world on 7- to 65-day cruises and offer authentic experiences, destination immersion, and personalized service.

In the small ship category, Windstar was voted the Best Small Ship Cruise Line by AFAR readers; scored a top spot in as Best Small Ship in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and was named to the magazine’s prestigious Gold List for 2019. The upscale line earned a Best Small Ship award in Recommend magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards; was highlighted as a 2019 Top Travel Pick in Northwest Travel & Life; and USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards named Windstar to the top three for Best Boutique Cruise Line. Windstar was also ranked #1 in the Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines category of the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, honoring the top travel destinations and companies around the globe as rated by its readers.

Windstar’s onboard product and itineraries were recognized as Best for Romance in the Cruise Critic 2018 Editors’ Picks Awards, and received Prevue’s Visionary Award for Best Destination Immersion Experience. The foodie-focused line was recognized with a 2019 Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Cruise Partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation from Porthole Cruise Magazine, as well as being named Most Romantic Cruise Line in Porthole’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards;

“We are honored to be chosen as a reader’s and editor’s favorite several times over, particularly in categories such as ‘best small ships’,” stated Windstar President John Delaney. “These awards are really about our staff and crew on each of our ships who go the extra mile every day to personalize and provide a vacation that is unlike any other, truly 180 degrees from ordinary.”

Condé Nast Traveler – Best Small Ships (fewer than 500 guests) + 2019 Gold List Selection
Each year, Condé Nast Traveler readers rank the best cruise lines in the world, in 2018, Windstar ranked #3 in the Readers’ Choice AwardsSmall Ships category, with fewer than 500 guests. Additionally, Windstar was selected to the magazine’s 2019 Gold List, with editors listing Windstar’s Wind Surf as one of the best cruise ships in the world, calling its fantastic sails “a tonic reminder of exactly why you chose sea over land travel in the first place.” Windstar has been named to the Gold List for the past seven years.

AFAR – Best Small Ship Cruise Line
Windstar was named “Best Small Ship Cruise Line” in AFAR magazine’s second annual Travelers’ Choice Awards. More than 100,000 voters participated in the awards selection that reflects which cruises the magazine’s audience want to experience. “Egyptian cotton linens and a relaxing whirlpool tub welcome you after a day spent exploring the crystal-clear waters of a Tahitian atoll or hiking along Italian seaside cliffs from Santa Margherita to Portofino,” raved AFAR editors. Other categories where Windstar was a finalist included Best Experiential Shore Excursion, Most Unique Itinerary, Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Alaska, and Tahiti & French Polynesia.

Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2018 – #1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line
Windstar’s 310-guest flagship Wind Surf with her tall sails, one of the world’s largest commercial sailing vessels in the world, earned the top spot for Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines carrying 250 to 599 passengers. In addition Windstar ranked in the Top 10 Small-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines category small-ship ocean cruise lines have vessels that can carry up to 249 passengers; both awarded in July 2018.

USA Today – 10Best Readers’ Choice Award for #3 Boutique Cruise Line
Windstar was named the #3 Boutique Cruise Line in the world by the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Twenty boutique cruise lines were nominated by a panel of experts, including a USA Today and editors and cruise journalists. In addition, Windstar also placed as #7 in the Best Ocean Cruise Line category, while 212-passenger, all-suite Star Legend was #6 for Best Small Ship, and sister ship Star Pride earned #6 for Best Cruise Ship for Dining.

Cruise Critic – Best for Romance
In the Cruise Critic 2018 Editor’s Picks Awards, chosen by the site’s team of international editors and announced in December, Windstar scored big for couples and honeymooners. Editors raved “Windstar knows the secret to creating ambiance onboard: intimate ships, beautiful outdoor spaces for soaking up the sunset, alfresco dining and — on some ships — stunning sails for that wind-in-your-hair thrill. The line’s tropical and exotic destinations — Southern Caribbean, Costa Rica, Mediterranean or Alaska — are an added bonus when it comes to setting the mood for vacation romance.”

Porthole Cruise Magazine Editor-in-Chief Awards – Best Cruise Partnership: Windstar Cruises and James Beard Foundation
Windstar was selected for the Best Cruise Partnership Award by widely-traveled, industry expert Porthole Cruise Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Bill Panoff. As the Official Cruise of the James Beard Foundation, Windstar has elevated cuisine through the multi-year partnership that brings renowned chefs and beverage experts on select Culinary Collection theme voyages; and every sailing offers James Beard chef menu selections each evening and complimentary cooking demonstrations, complemented by unique small-ship experiences like Shopping with the Chef at local markets and exclusive Concierge tours such as Treepod Dining by Zip Line in Ko Kut, Thailand.

Porthole Cruise Magazine – Most Romantic Cruise Line
Windstar’s intimate size and swoon-worthy design features make it not surprising that the line was chosen as the Most Romantic Cruise Line by Porthole’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards in November. Winners of Porthole’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards were determined by the magazine’s readers and online fans who completed ballots and voted on a variety of cruise-related categories.

Recommend – Silver Award for Best Cruise Line/Small Ship
Windstar recently received the Silver Award for Best Cruise Line/Small Ship in Recommend magazine’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, highlighted in the December issue. Readers were given the opportunity to name the best in the business from individual hotel and tour operators to companies that do the best to support travel professionals. The magazine helps travel agents sell travel by providing them with in-depth destination information.

Prevue – Silver Award for Best Destination Immersion Experience
Windstar won Silver for “Best Destination Immersion Experience” in the Cruise Lines Category for Prevue Magazine’s 2018 Visionary Awards. The 7th annual Visionary Awards acknowledge the forward-thinking destinations, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, CVBs/DMOs, convention centers, and airlines of the travel industry. Voting for the Visionary Awards was conducted among 38,000 informed readers and the Advisory Board of Prevue, a leading meeting industry publications providing corporate planners with insightful group experiential and destination coverage.

Northwest Travel & Life – 2019 Top Travel Pick
Windstar was included in Northwest Travel & Life magazine’s “52 Getaways” issue in January 2019 and highlighted as one of the magazine’s 2019 Top Travel Picks. The magazine focused specifically on taking a Windstar cruise in Southeast Alaska in the spring, touting Windstar’s Alaska voyages as the perfect way to experience the region away from the crowds and with luxurious perks like incredible culinary experiences at sea.

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