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  • Writer's pictureHighlands Ranch Travel

The Shores Less Traveled

A Venetian-built stone fortress towers above the cluster of coastal medieval buildings as you glide into the small harbor of Greece’s Nafplion, waving to private yachts from your own well-appointed vessel. Your excursion to idyllic destinations such as this is one of the many we make possible with Windstar Cruises when you reserve your small-ship voyage to the world’s most exclusive ports of call.

Whether you choose to sail aboard a multi-masted sailing vessel or a speedier twin-propeller power yacht, Windstar’s six luxury ships can tuck into tiny Mediterranean nooks and anchor at small Tahitian and Caribbean ports for up-close encounters in remote locales. With no more than 310 passengers on board, you’ll forge new friendships and share special moments to last a lifetime.


Smaller is Better

Step away from the crowds. See more while enjoying intimate cultural experiences, and connect with parts of the world that larger ships cannot reach. Here are just a few of our favorite small ports that will give you life-changing, unforgettable moments.

Seville, Spain


After an eight-hour passage up a shallow, winding river you’ll reach Seville, a vibrant swirl of flamenco dancers, matadors and medieval and Moorish architecture. Drive past Spain’s largest bullring, the neo-classical Maestranza, and the Torre del Oro fortification before arriving at The Alcázar of Seville, a UNESCO World Heritage site that served as home to caliphs and kings for nearly 700 years. The scent of orange blossoms and roses fills the air as you stroll the ornamented palace. Don’t miss the friezes, tiles and stucco work on the Patio de las Doncellas.

Monemvasia, Greece


Ease through a narrow causeway, anchoring beside this picturesque Byzantine castle-city largely hidden from mainland Greece by a massive plateau. You’ll tender to shore, alighting onto cobblestone streets that wind their way within the castle walls, past crumbling churches and red-tile-roofed buildings. At Liotrivi, a boutique hotel set in the restored former mansion of world-renowned poet Yiannis Ritsos, enjoy a lunch of local cheeses and wines paired with bread and olive oil made right on the property.

Gozo, Malta


Perched in the Mediterranean Sea just off the southern coast of Sicily, the Maltese archipelago charms with its architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage sites. While many cruises only stop in the capital of Valletta, your Windstar ship also visits the smaller island of Gozo. Join a 4×4 safari to seek out hidden corners and breathtaking scenery including the Xewkija Dome, an enormous circular parish church built from white limestone which holds the title of the third-largest freestanding dome in the world.

French Polynesia


Delve deep into the South Pacific to French Polynesia’s less-visited islands, where your itinerary could include diving in the unique ecosystem of Fakarava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and sailing to the remote Tuamotu Islands. On Raiatea, you might choose to learn the secrets of Tahiti’s mysterious black pearls at the Anapa Pearl Farm or venture to the open-air Marae Taputapuatea Temple for an introduction to Polynesian folklore.

Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Bay of Terre-Haute, Les Saintes islands, Guadeloupe

Experience the best of the Caribbean in one single voyage, venturing to sandy beaches flanked by turquoise waters for an iconic view. Suited to small vessels, charming Les Saintes is nature at its best, and catamaran sailings to the archipelago’s most remote islands — Grand Ilêt, La Coche, Les Augustins and the Virgin Rock — offer unparalleled snorkeling amid a dazzling underwater spectacle.


From the palm-fringed shores of French Polynesia to the ancient architectural wonders of the Greek islands, your Windstar Cruises experience is filled with ways to connect you deeper to the land and culture. Every voyage includes a complimentary onshore Private Event to enhance your local experience, and onboard experts educate and entertain with their personal insight. Each day of your adventure culminates in a leisurely meal with friends and cocktails on the deck before retiring to your spacious stateroom or suite to dream of another day exploring new shores that others rarely get to experience.

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