Windstar Cruises, the six-ship American adventure line, is planning a series of new itineraries for Australia and New Zealand for the first time – and has switched the sailing ship Windstar Spirit with the Star Breeze in French Polynesia.

Star Breeze will also sail itineraries from Tasmania through to the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, and East Asia.

The 312-guest Star Breeze, which was “stretched” to accommodate another 50 suites just before the pandemic, will be a flag carrier for Tahiti, one of our most popular destinations and Windstar’s only year-round destination.

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“We decided to switch out the 148-guest Wind Spirit with the 312-guest Star Breeze to increase guest capacity there,” said a spokesman.

The decision will pitch the vessel against the iconic Ponant-owned Paul Gauguin, which has sailed French Polynesia for 25 years.

“Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises simply knows it best, having sailed the longest of any operator in the region and celebrating 35 years of Tahitian sailings in 2022,” said the spokesperson.

It’s also the only destination where the U.S.-based cruise line sails year-round, giving guests ample opportunity to plan a once-in-a-lifetime visit in any season.

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The 148-guest Wind Spirit, complete with sails built for the breezes of the South Pacific, is sailing around the Islands of Tahiti now.

Star Breeze features newly renovated guest rooms, two new restaurants, a new World Spa, an infinity pool, and more.

“Windstar strives to take its guests down the road less traveled to immerse them in the region’s history, traditional culture, and incredible wine country,” says Windstar President Christopher Prelog.

“Windstar goes to rarely visited small ports like Thursday and Middle Percy islands and offers a series of thoughtfully curated shore excursions ranging from meeting with researchers at the Lizard Island Research Station to sampling Tasmania’s finest produce. We are all about getting our guests away from the crowds, up close with wildlife, and tasting the best flavours of the region.”

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Cruise Passenger toured the ship on a rare visit to Sydney’s White Bay with Australian representative Travel the World. The amazing renovation saw the ship sliced in half and a new section welded into the middle.

Our guide offered us a bottle of champagne if we could see the join.

The most noticeable difference in the new suites was fresh, light-wood furnishings, small balconies, and showers instead of baths.

More details on Windstar’s Australia and New Zealand itineraries can be found here.

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