On the day that Star Pride transits the Corinth Canal, Melissa Witsoe recommends rising early, grabbing an espresso up in the Yacht Club, and scoring a prime spot on the bow as you navigate the narrow limestone walls: "I felt as if I could reach out and actually touch them," she says.
Our Storyteller: Melissa Witsoe
Product Development Manager
Melissa has been trotting the globe for more than two decades now, precuring excursions, inspecting hotels, and building local relationships to ensure that Windstar guests’ shore experience is as carefree and rewarding as possible. A few fun facts about Melissa:
Countries visited: 51
Ports visited: 220 or so, 119 of which she currently manages
Estimated miles logged: 50,000 a year
Hours spent on an airplane: Between 80 and 100 annually
Travel must-have: Nikon D5600 DSLR camera - "My best traveling companion!"
Favorite part of her job: "Working with wonderful, amazing people around the world"
On the day that Star Pride transits the Corinth Canal, Melissa Witsoe recommends rising early, grabbing an espresso up in the Yacht Club, and scoring a prime spot on the bow as you navigate the narrow limestone walls: “I felt as if I could reach out and actually touch them,” she says. Most cruise ships sail around the Peloponnese Peninsula to reach Western Greece, depriving travelers of the dramatic passage — and just one of the highlights of this history-rich voyage that, according to Melissa, “should be our bestselling cruise.” It’s a bold claim, to be sure; yet she makes a persuasive case, beginning with visits to six(!) UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (You can add a seventh with a pre-cruise hotel stay that’s walking distance of Athens’ Acropolis.)
There are the Bronze Age ruins of Akrotiri; Delphi, whose storied oracle revealed the ancients’ fates; and Olympia, where the first Olympics where held — and the torch for every modern-day Games begins. The Greek gods Apollo and Artemis were said to be born at Delos, while the Celsus Library in Ephesus serves as backdrop to a private, white-gloved dinner exclusively for Windstar guests. “Listening to the string quartet as the sun set, its orange glow streaming through that glorious façade—the image still brings chills,” Melissa muses. An overnight in Istanbul lets you visit the Hagia Sophia and other UNESCO-designated sites, and still have time for a Whirling Dervishes performance. Add charming little ports like Chania and Myrina, a leisurely day of cruising The Dardanelles, and, well, as Melissa puts it: “This cruise has it all!”