You say you want a cruise that visits interesting ports; has active options like watersports; has superfriendly yet efficient, on-the-nose service; provides excellent cuisine; has sailing trips with a romantic vibe; and still doesn't cost an arm and a leg? You pretty much only have one option: Windstar.
This is no barefoot, rigging-pulling, paper-plates-in-lap kind of cruise, but a refined yet down-to-earth, yachtlike experience for a sophisticated, well-traveled crowd of folks who wouldn't be comfortable on a big ship full of tourists. On board, stained teak, brass details, and lots of navy blue fabrics and carpeting lend a traditional nautical ambience, and though the ships' tall masts and white sails cut a traditional profile, they're also state of the art, controlled by a computer so that they can be furled or unfurled at the touch of a button. Despite the ships' relatively large size (Wind Surf is one of the world's largest sailing ships, if not the largest), they're able to travel at upward of 12 knots under sail power alone, though usually the sails are up more as a fuel-saving aid to the diesel engines.
Windstar walks a tightrope between luxury line and sailing-ship line, with an always-casual onboard vibe, beyond-the-norm itineraries, and first-class service and cuisine.
Address: 2101 4th Ave., Suite 210, Seattle, WA 98121
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.