Cruising Press Releases

Windstar Wins 6 New Awards Including Travel Weekly’s Magellan, American Airlines’ Celebrated Living

Boutique Cruise Line Recognized in Travel Weekly Magellan Awards as Leader in Small Ship Cruising; Best Itinerary (Grand Japan); Leading Marketing Campaigns (“Have You Ever”); Best Shore Excursions (Dubrovnik Dinner at a Local Family Estate); and Top Overall Blog (Our Stories); Also Honored by Celebrated Living readers for Best Boutique Cruise Experience (Greece & Amalfi Coast)



Seattle, WA, September 18, 2017 — Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises has done it again, taking home three Gold Magellans and two Silver Magellans in the 2017 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, which recognized the company for the second year running as a “Gold Winner in Overall Small Cruise Ship” travel.


Windstar also earned accolades for its exceptional shore excursions, intriguing itineraries, one-of-a-kind advertising and marketing campaigns, and captivating blog. The Magellans come on the heels of another recent accolade, as Windstar was named to the Platinum List by American Airlines’ Celebrated Living magazine for Best Boutique Cruising Experience. In 2017, Windstar enhanced the overall guest experience, notably with an expanded culinary partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation.


Officially announced in the October 30 issue of the magazine, the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards honor the best in travel and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all. The awards are judged by a panel consisting of top-notch travel experts, bringing more weight to the award than the five-pound gold and silver statuettes that accompany the titles.


The Celebrated Living Platinum List Awards are featured in the current issue on board American Airlines’ flights, displaying their annual selection of the best of the best in luxury travel across 21 categories. A list of nominees were chosen by fourteen esteemed experts in the fields of media, hospitality, fashion, and the arts and then voted upon by the publication’s readers in an online poll.


“We’ve had an exceptional year and these awards are a reminder of just that,” said Windstar’s President John Delaney. “We couldn’t be happier or more honored to be recognized by both readers and industry greats as both a Platinum List Winner, and Gold and Silver Magellan Awardee and for our small ship cruise experiences, which we constantly strive to improve on so that no two experiences are alike.”


More on Windstar’s Magellan Awards:

2017 Gold Magellan Award Winner – Small Cruise Ship (500 Passengers or Under)

Windstar Cruises prides itself on a casually elegant approach to cruising — “180 Degrees from Ordinary.” Guests enjoy in-port overnights, adventures ashore with local experts, personalized experiences and world-class cuisine. Known for delivering exemplary service from charming staff, the line’s sleek ships offer ample open decks, watersports, and modern, nautical décor coupled with rare travel opportunities. Get lost in a book with the fjords of Norway as your backdrop, dive among the coral reefs of Tahiti or relive a bygone era sailing through the remote islands of the North Atlantic, where centuries-old castles dominate the landscape. Windstar continues to take the cruise industry by storm, adding 49 new itineraries and 147 maiden ports of call to next year’s Voyage Collection.


2017 Gold Magellan Award Winner – Expeditions – Shore Excursions (Grand Japan)

Each shore excursion is cleverly designed and crafted by Windstar’s team of in-house destination experts who personally curate, scout and inspect each site and activity, evaluating each potential guest experience along with well-established local tour operators. Windstar’s destination experts excel at crafting totally tailored and truly authentic local experiences especially for well-traveled cruise guests – the ones true travelers seek. Windstar has put together a fantastic array of shore excursions on its Grand Japan itinerary, creating unforgettable moments from Tokyo to Osaka over a 10-day period on board Star Legend, with highlights of exquisitely preserved samurai homes and perfectly sculpted Japanese gardens. Immersing guests in the wonderment of Japan, this extraordinary voyage visits Hiroshima, where not-to-be-missed Okonomiyaki savory pancakes can be sampled; explores the magnificence of Shingu’s UNESCO site Makimura-jinja Shrine, part of the Sacred Sites of Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range; and uncovers the beauty of UNESCO site Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain — an epic journey to Japan.


2017 Gold Magellan Award Winner – Advertising & Marketing Campaign (“Have You Ever”)

Launched in 2016, the brilliant “Have You Ever” Advertising & Marketing campaign helped turn “never have I evers” into “yes, I haves” for many of its guests. The innovative marketing concept reflected how the small ship cruise line could bring impossible travel scenarios to fruition, presenting the best, most exclusive, and off-the-beaten-path locations to its travelers. Some examples included never have I ever heard the visceral roar of the Monaco Grand Prix from premier grandstand seats, or mingled with the “glitterati” of Monte Carlo before retiring to my ship; never have I ever watched a live Russian ballet performance actually in Russia.


2017 Silver Magellan Award Winner – Shore Excursion (Windstar’s Concierge Collection: Dubrovnik Dinner at a Local Family Village Estate)

Windstar’s Concierge Collection was designed to appeal to discerning guests looking for exclusive and bespoke experiences in Europe, celebrating the destinations in a special way. These carefully curated expeditions immerse Windstar travelers into the local cultures, appealing to all the senses whether it be one of adventure or epicurean delight. One such special journey is the Dubrovnik Dinner at a Local Family Village Estate. Guests are taken to the fertile Konavle Valley where their host and chef prepare local specialties. The tour is available on Venetian Passageways, Quintessential Croatia, Marvels of the Croatian Coast & Greece, and Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast itineraries.


2017 Silver Magellan Award Winner – Overall Blog (Windstar “Our Stories Blog)

Complementing Windstar’s expertise in personalizing travel experiences and creating unique journeys, the Our Stories blog provides another level of insight into Windstar for those looking to plan their next holiday or read up on the upscale cruise line. Insider tips and secrets about particular destinations and hot spots from beaches and mountains to lakes and deserts are discussed, as are in-depth interviews with Windstar executives. Personal travel stories are also disclosed as are a round-up of the cruise ship’s new and current happenings and promotions. Essentially, all noteworthy Windstar-related topics can be found on this award-winning blog.


A complete list of this year’s Magellan Award winners can be found at



About Windstar Cruises
Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting 170 ports throughout Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, sailing year-round in Tahiti and the South Pacific, and adding newly announced Alaska, Canada, New England, Asia and Arabia. The boutique cruise line is the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation and the small ships are known for offering an intimate private yacht-style experience, unique itineraries and exclusive access to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Windstar’s fleet is the market leader in boutique small ship cruising with a total of 1,242 passenger berths. All ships in the fleet have recently undergone multi-million dollar transformations to embody casually elegant small ship travel. The all-suite Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride serve 212 guests in all-suite accommodations; while sailing ships Wind Spirit and Wind Star sail with up to 148 guests, and Wind Surf serves 310 guests. The small ships cruise to hundreds of quaint and popular ports worldwide. Windstar Cruises is a part of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, known for “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint.” Xanterra’s entities also include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks, as well as resorts, railway and tour companies. More information: