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services & enrichment

All the Comforts of Home, All Around the World

You're jet setting all over the world, but the best part is coming back to the comfort of a well-appointed private space. A place to unwind and rest, to reflect on the day's adventures. From the plush leather headboard to the fine Egyptian linens and marble bathroom. Enjoy the thoughtfully designed spaces, with more room for storage than you’ve ever imagined finding on a ship, and the luxurious touches just for your pleasure, like L’Occitane bath products.

Everything is made to order for your enjoyment. Soft lighting. Beautiful artwork. Soothing, seascape color schemes. Every stateroom, every suite has been redesigned to Windstar’s exacting standards and matchless style. Go ahead and slip into your cozy robe and comfy slippers and surrender to the mesmerizing ocean view. There's so much more awaiting you tomorrow.

Small Things on Small Ships
The beauty of sailing with Windstar is the elegant simplicity of the experience. No line, no distractions, no unnecessary inclusions, just effortless enjoyment. Our optional amenities packages make your travels even more memorable and can be booked up to 7 days before your departure.
Windstar's All-inclusive Fare *Best Value*
Go all-in with all onboard amenities in a single fare at an unbelievable value of $89 per guest per day. Enjoy unlimited beer, wine and cocktails, Wi-Fi and gratuities – all in one convenient package.
Beverage Packages
While most non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary, you may enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail under the setting sun or a champagne toast at the evening Sail Away with our beverage packages for wine, beer, cocktails and more. Find the perfect wine pairing with your meal and then end the night sipping scotch as you contemplate the stars. Whether you’re a wine lover or an adventurous taster of the local drinks, we have beverage packages at an excellent value, just for you.
Luggage Shipping
Eliminate the hassles of carrying and checking bags or clearing customs with our luggage shipping service. Your bags will be picked up from home and delivered directly aboard your ship and then sent back once you’re ready to go home. Thanks to our partnership with Luggage Forward, you just board your flight and meet your bags at your destination.
Internet Packages
Keep in touch with your loved ones back home and share your cruise experiences during your voyage. Whether you want to check email or post updates to Facebook, we have multiple options to help you stay connected.
Star Boutique
Visit our newly transformed specialty shopping boutique, Star Boutique, rolling out fleet-wide through early 2022. The new shop features quality brand-name and exclusive Star Collection merchandise, from clothing and fragrances to jewelry and accessories, all at duty free or special pricing.
Peace Of Mind Travel Protection
When you’re on vacation you want to relax, not worry, and that’s what our Travel Insurance is all about. And with two different levels of coverage to choose from, you can get just the right protection you need to enjoy a worry-free journey. Get a cash refund up to the total cost of your cruise if you have to cancel your trip for illness, injury, and more. And get future cruise credits good for up to 90% of your cruise value if you have to cancel for any other reason. You’ll also be covered for unexpected expenses like meals and hotel should you be delayed getting to or from your trip, emergency evacuation, lost luggage, incidentals if your luggage is delayed, and more.
Talk, Text, & Share
Convenient service availability at sea in cabin and public spaces anywhere on the ship. Budget-friendly options – Easy-to-use cruise plans available, or pay per minute, text or data session.
Meet Our Guest Lecturers

On select Windstar voyages, satisfy your curiosity and enhance your understanding of the local culture by listening to our onboard lecturers. We’ve curated a group of speakers designed to bring you an insider’s perspective on a multitude of intriguing topics. Listen raptly as your voyage becomes more than just a vacation – and a thought-provoking exploration of enchanting lands.

Christopher Kelly

Mr. Kelly was born in Sacramento California. He earned a BA in Philosophy from UC Berkeley in 1981 and worked for nearly 20 years in the Television industry mainly on the West coast. He served as a director and partner in local TV stations in Seattle and Sacramento. Exiting the TV industry in 1997, Kelly has served on numerous company and non-profit boards. He is the past Chairman of Chyron Corporation (now ChyronHego) and has had a lifelong passion for military history. America Invades: How America has invaded or been Militarily Involved with nearly every Country on Earth was his first book. This book was adapted for the UK and published by Amberley Press as All the Countries the Americans Have Ever Invaded. Kelly and his co-author, English historian Stuart Laycock, wrote Italy Invades: How Italians Have Conquered the World. This title was published in fall of 2015. The title has been translated and was published by Polistampa in Italy in 2017 (Italy Invades: Il popolo che ha conquistato il mondo). Kelly edited and introduced a memoir that was written by his great grandfather, Thomas Tileston Wells. An Adventure in 1914, which concerns an American family on the brink of World War I, was published in the fall of 2016.

Dr. Chris Kostov

Dr. Chris Kostov is an Associate Professor in the School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs at IE University, Madrid, Spain. He also teaches online at Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine. He earned his PhD in History and Canadian Studies from the University of Ottawa, Canada, where he focused on modern European history and nation-building, North American native studies and Canadian migration trends. His dissertation “Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Canadians in Toronto (1940-1996)” dealt with inter-ethnic relations and conflicts in both Canada and the Balkans. Prior to coming to Spain, Dr. Kostov worked as a historical researcher in the federal government of Canada, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and taught history courses at the University of Ottawa. He was also an invited lecturer at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He edited in 2021 the volume Separatism and Regionalism in Modern Europe and he is the author of three books: The Communist Century: From Revolution to Decay, 1917-2000 (Explaining History, 2014), Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Canadians in Toronto, 1900-1996 (Peter Lang, 2010) and Terror and Fear: British and American Perceptions of the French-Indian Alliances during the Seven Years' War (Publish America, 2005), as well as a number of academic and encyclopedia articles and book reviews.

Dr. William Crowley

Professor Emeritus William Crowley obtained his doctorate from the University of Oregon and spent his academic career at Sonoma State University. He served a year as a Fulbright scholar in Mexico and has taught Spanish in Ecuador, Panama, and Paraguay as well as Mexico. He has conducted research in several Latin American countries, authoring academic articles and book chapters on a number of topics and has travelled widely in Europe. He has pursued wine revolution-related research and chaired the Geography Department at Sonoma State various times for a total of 13 years.

Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger

Carol Ann Lloyd is a popular speaker, author, and podcaster who brings the stories of history and Shakespeare to life. She presents programs for Smithsonian, Royal Oak Foundation, English Speaking Union, and Folger Shakespeare Library, OLLI at George Mason University, and more—online and on stage. Her podcast, British History: Royals, Rebels, and Romantics, explores the lives of famous and infamous characters in history. She is currently working on a book about the Tudors. Carol Ann also speaks about how Shakespeare can help us develop effective conversation and interpersonal skills. She is the author of Building Relationships, One Conversation at a Time, and an Audible book, How to Build Meaning Relationships through Conversation. Carol Ann in preparing to launch a new “Shake Up Conversation” program. She is a member and on the board of the National Speakers Association.

Diane Lake

Diane has been a working screenwriter since 1993 when she sold her first story idea to CBS. She has been commissioned to write films for Columbia, Disney, Miramax, Paramount, NBC and numerous independent producers. Her film, Frida, opened the Venice Film Festival in 2002, was named one of the 10 Best Films of 2002 by numerous top 10 lists, including the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. Frida was also nominated for six Academy Awards in 2003 and won two. Diane has spoken on film, writing and art worldwide—from Istanbul to Paris to London to Israel, and all over the U.S. - from Hawaii to California to New York to Washington, D.C. and many states in-between! Her short fiction has appeared in the Grey Sparrow Review and her textbook on screenwriting, The Screenwriter’s Path: From Idea to Story to Sale, is used at universities worldwide. She has a particular interest in artists and writers, and, since Frida, has written scripts on Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Raymond Chandler and Ernest Hemingway. Diane is also a Professor Emeritus in Visual & Media Arts, having taught at Emerson College in Boston/Los Angeles for 15 years. Learn more about Diane at her website: www.dianelake.com

David Litt

Ambassador David C. Litt served 34 years as a career U.S. diplomat, specializing in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. He was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Consul General in Dubai 10 years prior. Ambassador Litt was Political Advisor to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. In addition to a tour as economic/commercial officer in Kabul, Afghanistan in the late 1970s, he served twice as political officer in Damascus, Syria. Joining the Foreign Service in 1974, his other assignments included the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger, and the Consulate General in Palermo, Italy. Among several other languages, he speaks Italian, French, Arabic, and Afghan-Persian (Dari). He is currently Adjunct Professor in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, NC. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 2008, he became Executive Director of the Center for Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction at the Institute for Defense and Business in Chapel Hill, NC. He retired from that position in August 2022. Litt was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Miami, FL. He received a bachelor's degree with majors in history and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. At SAIS, he specialized in European affairs, economics and international law.

Dr. Robin Doughty

Dr. Robin Doughty serves as a professor emeritus of geography and the environment, at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the history of landscape change and conservation, with personal and professional interests in the protection of wildlife, notably endangered birds. Robin has traveled extensively in such places as China, Central and South America, Africa, and Australia. Recently, Robin authored his 10th book, titled The Albatross and the Fish, exploring how fishers are threatening ocean-dwelling albatrosses unless changes are made in industrial fishing. During the past 30 years, he has offered a variety of lectures about wildlife and conservation to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Eric Ball

Eric Ball is a third generation Californian whose ancestors sailed across the Atlantic to their new lives in the American Colonies in 1654. Later generations traversed the Great Plains in the 19th century by covered wagon and railroad to reach the Pioneer West. Eric first began traveling as a child with his parents. Each summer the family would pitch their tent somewhere in the Western United States and Canada. Fascinated by both historical figures and events, Eric is still an avid traveler. As an adult, Eric began the first of 63 cruises in 1988. He has lectured on eight cruise lines, sailing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean Sea and Drake’s Passage, combining his knowledge of history with his travel experiences. Eric makes these destinations come alive with captivating photographs and stories of the people who shaped world events.

Dr. Emma Roberts

Dr. Emma Roberts Ph.D., B.A. (Hons) is Associate Dean for Global Engagement and Reader in History of Art and Design at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She also heads the BA (Hons) History of Art and Museum Studies course. Having lectured on all aspects of History of Art and Design for 25 years, including for London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Emma is a highly experienced university lecturer who is also a frequenter of ocean liners. Emma is the author of several academic books, Art and the Sea [2022], Jamaica Making [2022], Who Do You Think You Are? The Asia Triennial Manchester [2018], The Public Sculpture of Cheshire & Merseyside [2012], The Liverpool Academy: A History and Index [1997]) as well as numerous journal articles and conference papers. Emma is also a curator of exhibitions- including the ground-breaking Jamaica Making exhibition in Liverpool, UK [2022], which was opened by former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Rt. Hon. Bruce Golding. Emma has also appeared on BBC Radio Four and on Channel Four (UK) television in her capacity as an expert on art and design.

Howard Roitman

Howard Roitman is a keen student of history, geography, and current events and loves to share those passions with other travelers. He and his wife have traveled extensively on all seven continents, and Howard uses that travel experience to bring a personal touch to speaking about an area. He is a firm believer that the value of travel is enhanced by an understanding of how history, geography, and culture have shaped the places we visit. And he always tries to find the elements that make each of our destinations unique. Howard began his career as a destination and enrichment speaker in 2018 after teaching for many years in the University of Denver’s University College Masters’ program and delivering community talks on a broad range of topics. He has been a destination/enrichment speaker on small ship cruises. He received a B. A. with honors in History from Brooklyn College and a J. D. from Yale Law School. He lives in Denver with his wife of 45 years.

Alan Hunt

Alan Hunt is a former British Ambassador, who served in Tehran, Jeddah, Panama, Madrid, Oslo, Buenos Aires (where he played a central role in the restoration of diplomatic relations after the Falklands Conflict) and in Düsseldorf (where he was Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment Promotion in Germany). In postings in London he handled international oil policy and relations with East Africa and Southern Europe, was Senior Civilian Directing Staff Member at the Royal College of Defense Studies and Director of Overseas Trade. His final posting was as High Commissioner in Singapore. He was Director of the Oxford University Foreign Service Program for 7 years and is now a consultant, lecturer and trainer in diplomacy and diplomatic practice. He has worked with, among others, Oxford University, the London School of Economics, the College of Europe (where he is a Visiting Professor) and the United Nations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He also lectures on cruise ships and has published four novels and a textbook on public diplomacy for the UN.

Dr. Jenn Cole

Dr. Jenn Cole is concurrently on the faculty of the Graduate School of Sustainability at Harvard Extension, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Previously, Dr. Cole was on the faculty at Harvard University in Earth and Planetary Sciences and served as Director of Environmental Studies at Northeastern University. She also teaches at Tufts University. Dr. Cole has over 40 publications in the fields of energy, wetlands, and agriculture, and has written books on natural disasters. She holds a Ph.D. in Earth Science from Syracuse University. She is an elected member of the Geological Society of America’s Geoscience in Education Committee as well as their Geology in Public Policy Committee and the GeoHeritage Panel. She also has a career in the environmental consulting field, serving as an expert witness in wetlands cases, and representing town conservation commissions on river and wetland protection act cases. She was Senior Hydrologist at Weston and Sampson Engineers, Inc., and is principal at her own private consulting firm, Rivers Consulting. She is a Conservation Commissioner in the Town of Otis, MA. Dr. Cole has given many invited talks, including the US Environmental Protection Agency and The Weston Observatory. She represented Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the White House on two occasions.

Javier Corrales

Javier Corrales is the Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor of Political Science at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. With a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Dr. Corrales specializes in Latin American politics and economics, with a special focus on issues of democratization (and de-democratization). His book, Fixing Democracy: Constituent Assemblies and Presidential Powers in Latin America (Oxford University Press) came out in May 2018, and he is also the co-author with Michael Penfold of Dragon in the Tropic: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez. This is one of the most popular books on American campuses of Latin American politics. His other books include: The Promise of Participation: Experiments in Participatory Governance in Honduras and Guatemala and U.S.-Venezuela Relations. He also co-edited The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America. Javier was a Fulbright scholar in Caracas in 2005 and in Bogota in 2016. He is on the editorial board of Latin American Politics and Society and Americas Quarterly and was chosen as one of the 300 best professors in America by the Princeton Review.

Dr. Jean Kenyon

Dr. Jean Kenyon received her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Hawaii, with an emphasis on the ecology of tropical reef corals. Prior to this, Jean studied endangered whales off Cape Cod, Massachusetts and in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. Jean has shared her knowledge of coral reefs, marine mammals, and seabirds with passengers on numerous excursions including those to the Antarctic region. Jean’s work as a marine ecologist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) included extensive SCUBA-diving operations to assess and monitor coral reefs throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago and Pacific trust territories of the U.S.

Joe Novitski

Joe Novitski has accompanied Windstar Cruises as an observer since the line was founded. A lifelong sailor and ocean racer, Joe recognized the significance of the first purpose-built sailing cruise ship and, with a book contract from Macmillan Publishing, watched the design and construction of Windstar in the shipyard and on her sea trials and wrote WIND STAR; The Building of a Sailship. Joe was born in Manila and raised in San Francisco, South Africa and Peru. He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in Philosophy then served as a line officer in the U.S. Navy. He studied at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy, as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Joe began his career in journalism with The Associated Press in Colombia, New York and Brazil. He joined the New York Times Foreign Staff as a correspondent, becoming Bureau Chief in Rio de Janeiro then Buenos Aires. He was expelled from Chile by the military government that overthrew President Salvador Allende. As a member of ocean racing crews Joe has competed in the Honolulu Race, the Newport-Bermuda Race, the Miami-Montego Bay Race and the Buenos to Rio Race. He was on the crew of SAGA when she won the Fastnet Race and when she placed first in Class B in the Bermuda Race, which finished that year in a hurricane. Joe also ran a 108-acre vineyard in California wine country. The experience yielded another book: A Vineyard Year.

Pat & Rosemarie Keough

Pat and Rosemarie Keough have been exploring the world side-by-side as professional photographers and book publishers for over 30 years. Yale University maintains an extensive archive of the Keoughs’ artistry, they have received many prestigious international awards and they have been honored with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals. Articles about the Keoughs and their books have been published in such magazines as Time, Forbes, and Smithsonian and the many adventures Pat & Rosemarie have had provide listeners with many a great tale.

Dr. Kevin Frank

Kevin K. Frank, PhD is a retired US Navy officer with 30 years of service. While most of his time was spent in the Mediterranean, he has spent extended time in Beirut, the Arabian Gulf and a year in Djibouti, traveling throughout East Africa. At the end of his Navy career, Kevin focused on getting his PhD in International Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. His dissertation focused on the development of the security sector in Uganda and he has written on the conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea in 2008. Kevin taught as an Assistant Professor at Campbell University in North Carolina. When the pandemic hit, he shifted his focus to online teaching, and continues to teach classes at Campbell University and The University of Arizona. Besides world-wide port calls, Kevin and his wife Tracy have continued to travel and are avid cruise ship guests. Their adventures were helped by having a daughter in the Peace Corps on the island of Vavau, Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific and now as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines. Kevin was raised in New York City, and currently resides with his wife in Durham, North Carolina.

Kirsten Nigro

Kirsten F. Nigro (Ph.D., University of Illinois, M.A., Middlebury College, B.A., University of Delaware) is Professor Emeritus of Spanish at the University of Texas at El Paso. During her career, she taught courses on Spanish and Latin American cultures and literatures at various universities, among them the Universities of Arizona, Kansas and Cincinnati, as well as Arizona State University. She is the author of dozens of articles, book chapters and review essays on topics related to Spanish and Latin American literature, theatre, and women studies; she also is the editor of various books of scholarly essays, as well as the translator of literary works from Latin America and Spain. She was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to study for her masters in Spain and has returned to that country on many occasions. She has led student groups there and has participated in conferences and theatre festivals throughout Spain. In retirement, Professor Nigro continues to publish translations and scholarly articles, and to teach courses on literary translation.

Dr. Michael Soon Lee

Dr. Lee is a former university professor who has written eight books about culture and has spoken on cruise ships for 30 years. He loves sharing history and culture with passengers to make their travel experience richer and more fulfilling. Michael was the first Asian American to earn the Certified Speaking Professional designation in the history of the National Speakers Association and has spoken to over 1,000 audiences around the world. His popular cruise programs are always unique, interactive, and engaging.

Mike Raick

Mike Raick has years of experience sailing the high seas, and many years lecturing to audiences large and small. He has presented his lectures both by land and by sea and brings to you a wealth of historic and technical expertise, as well as a love of music. Mike went into the Electronics Business for many years, where product presentations were an integral part of his responsibilities. He then discovered his first love, teaching the art of computer use. This led to his career at sea, which began in 2005, first in the computer classroom, and then lecturing to audiences at sea. He puts his variety of lectures together in a series of fascinating presentations. Peppered with engrossing images, filled with intriguing facts, video and musical clips that may bring a joyful tear to your eye. Mike is a very engaging presenter, and you will surely find his lectures both enjoyable and informative. When you attend one of Mike’s lectures, it will be clear that he loves what he does.

Michael Tunks

With a skilled educators’ ability to grasp the ‘big picture’ of human history, Michael presents a coherent, insightful and knowledgeable series on the natural and geographical wonders of Iceland and the legacy of the early Viking inhabitants. With 12 years of experience and 30+ cruise ship assignments, Michael provides entertaining and educational presentations full of stories, quizzes and dinner facts that give his audience opportunities to both participate and take some interesting knowledge away with them to share with others on the voyage. Michael Tunks lives in Sydney, Australia where he runs his own business providing online performance management solutions and data analysis services for education and local government both in Australia and internationally. Michael has held management positions in a variety of fields including education, finance, local government at state and national levels, and various roles in the cyberspace industry lecturing widely on these topics. He holds two Masters degrees in Education from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Macquarie University and a Diploma of Teaching.

Pauline Chakmakjian

Pauline Chakmakjian is the author of The Sphinxing Rabbit series of books and a speaker on a variety of subjects including Japanese art, history and culture. She holds a BA in English Literature (during which she was awarded a merit scholarship in Fine Art for drawing and painting), a Diploma in Law, an MA in Modern French Studies and is a member of the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple where she also volunteered for the Temple Church and Gardens. Pauline has served on the Boards of The Japan Society of the United Kingdom and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii. She also hosted two shows on a digital media platform called, ThinkTech Hawaii based in Honolulu. In 2014, Pauline was appointed a Visit Kyoto Ambassador by the Mayor of the City of Kyoto, the beautiful and charming old capital of Japan. Currently, she is a Kyoto Tourism Global Supporter and enjoys introducing the splendors of the Asia-Pacific region to audiences around the world.

Professor Paul Dunscomb

Paul Dunscomb is Professor of East Asian History at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He’s served as Chair of the Department of History (2014-2020) and inaugural Director of the UAA Confucius Institute (2008-2011). He is author of Japan’s Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922: A Great Disobedience Against the People (2011), the first ever complete narrative of the event in English, Japan Since 1945 (2014) for the Association for Asian Studies Key Issues in Asian Studies Series. His latest book, Squeeze Play: The Crisis in Japanese Professional Baseball of 2004 and the Curious Resilience of Heisei Japan is forthcoming. His current research project attempts to marry his knowledge of Alaskan and Japanese history into a new and comprehensive look at how the Second World War affected the fate not only of Alaska and its peoples but the Kurile Islands and residents of Northern Japan.

Dr. Rob Wilder

Dr. Rob Wilder was on Faculty at University of the South Pacific, University of California, University of Massachusetts and a Fulbright Fellow in the Ocean Resources Management Program. He is a Member Emeritus of Director’s Council at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, a Fulbright Senior Specialist on oceans and won an XPrize Foundation award on climate. He lectures at Oxford University, University College London in UK, at University of Western Australia and Semester at Sea. He is founder & CEO of WilderHill Clean Energy Index®, founded the WilderHill New Energy theme and CEO of WilderHill New Energy Finance. He’s been featured in Forbes Magazine, USA Today, is a published author in Nature, Scientific American, Stanford Law & Policy Review, National Academy of Sciences Press, Engineering News-Record, Institutional Investor, American Society of Civil Engineers Press, and University of Chicago Press. He holds a Ph.D. from UCSB and J.D. His academic awards include National Academy of Sciences Young Investigator Award in Coastal Ecology and Marine Biodiversity; AAAS/EPA Fellow in Environmental Science & Technology at the EPA HQ in D.C.; Scripps Ph.D. Dissertation Award and Sea Grant Fellow in State Legislature. Rob is a Member of IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law; has been on the Board and Interim Executive Director of Center for Sustainable Energy; was Trustee for the Society for Conservation Biology and served on the Sierra Club Board of Directors.

Dr. Samuel Edelman

Dr. Samuel Edelman is an eclectic scholar of communications studies, Jewish studies, and a global affairs specialist with more than 45 years of experience in both the university setting and in the practical world. Edelman has been a consultant and advisor to the Israeli Foreign Ministry Training Division, the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Education Division, the executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, head of faculty affairs for the Israel on Campus Coalition, dean at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, co-director of the State of California Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance, and professor emeritus at the California State University Chico. Edelman is one of the founding faculty members and the executive director of the Academic Council for Israel, an academic fellow and an adjunct professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at the University of Miami, and a lecturer at Florida Atlantic University Lifelong Learning Society.

Dr. John Rennie Short

Dr. John Rennie Short received his PhD from the University of Bristol and his MA in geography from the University of Aberdeen. He has received numerous research awards and is the author of 32 books, many invited chapters to edited books, and over 50 papers in scientific and academic journals. Born in Scotland, Dr. Short currently teaches at the University of Maryland where he is a professor of public policy.

Susan Ward

Susan Ward is a passionate world traveler, having visited more than 75 countries and all continents. Her natural curiosity is part of what makes her a captivating speaker. She weaves history, geography, and culture together to share her experiences and adventures. Flora – fauna – food – fashion … Susan has an appreciation for all aspects of a destination when she explores! A native-born Canadian with an MBA from the University of Ottawa, she is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CFP®) who works with groups to foster learning and appreciation for the extraordinary. Susan lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates for 16 years and has been part of the building of this great country. She is an ACC® (Associate Certified Coach) and is currently coaching individuals from around the world to benefit themselves, their organizations, families and society-at-large. Her passion is working with leaders to foster a deeper cultural understanding for their global operations, particularly in the Middle East. Susan holds the position of Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. A significant portion of her time is dedicated to giving back and Susan’s volunteer contribution includes mentoring rising female stars in Asia through the organization WEDU. Susan and her husband live in Thailand.

Thomas Heinrich

Thomas Heinrich is Professor of Business and Naval History at Baruch College, City University of New York, where he currently serves as chair of the department of history. Born and raised in West Germany, he received a doctorate in European and American history from the University of Pennsylvania. Long fascinated with Ancient Greek and Roman history, Professor Heinrich has conducted Mediterranean cruise lectures for more than a decade. His presentations introduce the history and culture of our destinations, in addition to preparing the audience to self-guided tours of the main sites.

Bob Varsha

Bob Varsha is one of the premier television commentators of the automotive world, with a résumé including everything from tractor pulls, to collector car auctions, to the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. He is perhaps best known for his 25-year tenure covering the Formula One® world championship. He began his long association with Grand Prix racing at ESPN in 1984 while adding a variety of sports including gymnastics, cycling, figure skating, and track and field. In 1999 he began a 17-year stint with the Speedvision /Speed Channel networks, now part of Fox Sports.

Dr. Virginia Matzek

Dr. Virginia Matzek is an ecologist specializing in restoring habitats, especially tropical and Mediterranean ecosystems. She received her Ph.D. in ecology at Stanford University and her master’s in environmental science at UC Berkeley. Dr. Matzek is a full professor at Santa Clara University, where she teaches courses aimed at sparking students’ curiosity about the natural world. Since 2007 she has been leading a natural history expedition to the Baja Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez with Santa Clara students. As a researcher, Dr. Matzek has received awards from the National Science Foundation, California Department of Conservation, US Department of Agriculture, the Delta Stewardship Council, and other scientific agencies, and has published her work in top conservation journals. Her scientific studies have taken her to the South Pacific, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. Dr. Matzek’s passion for the environment inspires her to work with nonprofits and policymakers on practical solutions to conservation problems. She serves as a scientific adviser to the Sempervirens Fund, which preserves old-growth redwood forest in California.

Dr. Wayne Engstrom

Dr. Wayne Engstrom has a Ph.D. in geography with a geology minor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he specialized in geomorphology (study of landforms) and physical geography. A Chicago native, he earned his BS and MS degrees, both in geography, from Illinois State University. During his academic career at California State University, Fullerton, Wayne taught courses on physical geography, geomorphology, the coastal environment, cities and nature, and the geography of Europe. Climate-vegetation-landform linkages and the human influences on these systems were emphasized in the courses. Wayne is also the author of a dozen articles appearing in scholarly journals. Backpacking and hiking in a variety of natural environments along the coast, in deserts, and in glaciated mountain ranges coupled with his global travels have strengthened his understanding of his topics.

Meet Our Guides

Meet our team of on board expedition experts who sail with the cruise the entire time as part of our Signature Expeditions program. They'll provide more insight, understanding, and commentary to show you an Alaska you've never seen before. Consisting of naturalists, glaciologists, historians and more, this team of experts will also lead a variety of guided tours, so they’ll bring everything you’ve learned on the ship to life and keep an eye out for all the things on your must-see list.

Amy Malkoski - Expedition Guide

Amy was raised in coastal Marion, Massachusetts near Cape Cod where she spent most summers exploring the intertidal areas of Buzzards Bay. A certified NAUI Divemaster she has spent many years exploring the underwater and some of her favorite places to dive are in cold water because of the rich underwater environment. Whether leading hikes through bear country in Alaska or the Arctic, running kayaking operations in remote places, giving lectures on marine animals or working as a naturalist and diver her passion for nature and enthusiasm to share amazing places with others is evident.

Bob Quaccia - Expedition Guide

Bob chose adventure for a career when he became a commercial fisherman in Kodiak, Alaska in his 20’s. After fishing for over 30 years he transitioned to being a skiff operator for the Marine Mammal Observer Program. This work took him to the remote waters of Alaska. Currently he has transitioned once again to being an Expedition Staff member throughout Alaska and the Russian Far East. He has also captained a whale and dolphin boat and run a tour boat in Crater Lake NP, Oregon. Bob has a BS degree in Biology and a 100-ton USCG Captains License and is an active birder participating in over 30 Christmas Bird Counts.

Brent Pikolas - Expedition Staff

Brent joins the Windstar expedition team after nearly two decades of exploring wild Alaska as a guide, naturalist, and captain. In recent years, he's also taken those explorations on trips to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands as well as Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. Brent has been the captain of passenger vessels focused on wildlife and glacier tours, and captain of the Kenai Fjords National Park research vessel, Serac. He has a degree in Environmental Education from Prescott College, and traveled throughout the Western US, Mexico, Canada, and Nepal. Brent is extremely passionate about the natural world and loves to share his in-depth knowledge whenever he can. Brent currently calls Seward home but also spends time surfing on the coast of El Salvador and trekking in Patagonia.

Brock Munson - Expedition Guide

Brock Munson is originally from Southern California, but in 2003 he turned hobby into career when he left the corporate world to pursue a life of guiding in the great outdoors and teaching about its endless wonders. The change ultimately led to unforgettable experiences in breathtaking destinations. His resume includes titles such as boat captain, expedition leader, naturalist, whitewater raft guide and outdoor science instructor. He has even peppered creativity into his life through photography, videography, creative writing and graphic design.

Denise Turley - Expedition Guide

Denise Turley grew up in wilderness and rural settings throughout the Northwest US. She was introduced to Southeast Alaska nearly 30 years ago while pursuing her B.S. degree in Zoology. For the first time in her life she felt like she had "come home." An avid birder, Denise has worked as an Avian Biologist ror nearly a decade. She now calls Sitka home where she performs seasonal bird surveys in Tetlin and Arctic National Wildlife Refuges. She and her husband spend their free time exploring remote areas throughout SE Alaska while documenting wildlife and bird activity and capturing images of this spectacular landscape.

Don Kluting - Expedition Staff

Don Kluting is a third generation Sitka, Alaskan, who spent his childhood throughout the wilderness on Baranof Island. Don worked as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat and attended the historic Sheldon Jackson College for a degree in fisheries management. He joined Sitka Mountain Rescue, an organization where he led and managed the team for more than 20 years working with the Coast Guard in rescuing nearly a 1,000 people in the remote wilderness and waters of SE Alaska. With his passion for landscape, wildlife and aviation photography he created a photography business “sharing images of the wilderness he loves. He and his wife plan to pursue their love of the wilderness through hikes, travel, photography and guiding.

Emily Burke - Expedition Staff

Emily grew up in New Hampshire where the area’s lakes and mountains nurtured her love of the outdoors and the environment. Her Harvard degree is in evolutionary biology and ecology. She has conducted seabird and fisheries research, guide expeditions, and develop educational programs for natural history museums and environmental non-profits. She has been exploring coastal Alaska for the past 6 summers and worked as a sea kayak guide and a deckhand and naturalist on glacier and whale-watching vessels. In the winter, she works as a naturalist and zodiac driver onboard expeditions to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula and teaches marine science to university students aboard sailing ships in New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. Emily looks forward to sharing the rugged and inspiring coastlines with you as an expedition guide.

Hannah Hindley - Expedition Staff

For the last decade, Hannah has guided along the Pacific Coast and beyond, from the Sea of Cortez and Hawaii to Yosemite, Olympic, and Wrangell St. Elias National Parks. She has led ice climbing and pack rafting trips, taught marine science aboard historic tall ships, guided teen backpacking adventures in the Sierras and the Olympics, and trekked across the mountains of Mexico, Nepal, and New Zealand. When she’s not out on the water, you can find her scouting for edible plants, overturning rocks in search of squishy things, or befriending local dogs.

Jared Fink - Expedition Guide

Jared hails from the lake country of Bristol Bay, in Western Alaska. Raised in the shadows of the Chigmit Mountains in Lake Clark National Park, he was influenced greatly by the exposure to places seldom traveled. He began working for an air taxi outfitter at 14 and then worked as a white water and kayak guide throughout college. After a brief career as an EMT he realized he missed working in the outdoors. He along with his partner and their little Alaskan now roam North America in a 16-foot travel trailer and have been returning to Alaska in the summers for the last 9 years to share their love of the wilderness and sea with others.

Jill Quaintance - Expedition Guide

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jill Quaintance, grew up off-the-grid, on solar power and water catchment. She learned how to shear sheep, pick and process coffee and truly appreciate a hot shower. Jill has a Masters Degree in The Palaeoecology of Coral Reefs from The University of Queensland, Australia. After spending 10 winters observing humpback whale behavior in Hawaii she also observed them in Alaska. Jill has spent four summers as an Expedition Leader through the Inside Passage. She also works as a SCUBA Instructor on the Big Island, and an avid free diver with a personal record of 105 feet.

John Calogero - Expedition Guide

John Calogero found fascination with the maritime world as a child on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in the programs of Jacques Cousteau. After learning to sail on Chesapeake Bay he jumped at the chance to research humpback whales along the coast of Greenland and then, he went to support coral reef research. John started working with Outward Bound 25 years ago instructing sail and oar courses. He has worked charter boat operations in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. He continues to assist cetacean researchers and for 12 years he has also been instructing wilderness medicine courses and leading maritime educational programs. John enjoys woodcarving, hiking, beachcombing, and sharing his enthusiasm for the maritime environment.

Kendra Wilson - Expedition Guide

Kendra Wilson was born and raised in Colorado, becoming aware of the fascinating outdoor world at a young age. Her youth was spent camping, boating, skiing and hiking; she held fast to that lifestyle as she grew up. She moved to Hawaii where she spent the next 12 years solidifying a passion for ocean and island life. Kendra obtained her 100-ton captains license, which allowed for a career alongside the beautiful coastline, corals, fishes, and marine mammals. Alaska has now captured her heart and she is eager to share her experiences and knowledge with others.

Lauren Cutler - Expedition Guide

Lauren is an adventure enthusiast who has been guiding in the outdoors for the past 10 years. From the tops of volcanoes and glaciers to below the ocean’s surface, she attributes her enthusiasm for the outdoors to her childhood on the central coast of California. Lauren graduated from the University of Hawaii with degrees in Economics and Anthropology. After graduating Lauren started her career as a boat captain in Hawaii. Lauren then began guiding in Alaska and completely fell in love with its wild and rugged beauty. Her goal is to excite those around her with the wonders of the environment.

Paul Murray - Expedition Guide

Since he was 13 years old Paul has been guiding both land and sea expeditions. He has traveled to 6 continents and nearly 50 countries, guiding in many of them. His passion for adventure has led him on amazing journeys; a 1,864-mile bicycle ride across Southeast Asia, a 60-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon and following the epic Chilkoot Trail and Yukon River in Alaska and the Yukon retracing the epic 1898 Klondike Gold Rush by foot and kayak. Paul calls Skagway, Alaska home, and has been a kayak/hiking/historic guide in Alaska for the past 15 years. He turned his love for videography and photography into a business, and founded his company, Murray AdVentures Inc. Paul plays tennis, and still enjoys a good rally session and is also an avid bridge and chess player.

Randall Tate - Expedition Staff

Randall brings a sense of adventure and a passion for wild places to every trip he leads. He grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where he fell in love with wilderness exploring. While earning degrees in marketing and psychology, he used summers for climbing, traveling, and working in the western U.S. He has been a rafting guide and a guide and expedition leader on small adventure cruise ships, teaching natural history and leading hiking, glacier trekking and kayaking excursions. Randall is an avid traveler, photographer and mountaineer, has visited all 50 of the United States and more than 30 countries. He completed two cross-continental road rallies and successfully summited Denali. A skilled Zodiac driver, Randall is also a certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician trained in avalanche safety, polar bear protection as well as kayak, swift water & crevasse rescue.

Sarah Bernstein - Expedition Staff

A childhood spent wandering the Rocky Mountains of Colorado ingrained in Sarah a deep love of and appreciation for the natural world. As a teen, she made her intrigue of the sea a reality, and her senior project explored the realms beneath the waves as she was certified as a naturalist, advanced and rescue scuba diver in the Caribbean. Sarah holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Evergreen State College and a Masters in Environmental Curriculum Design from the University of Washington. She has worked and studied worldwide, including research of green sea turtles in Costa Rica, pre-Columbian cultures of Argentina Patagonia and cetaceans of the North Pacific. Sarah worked for 8 years as a sea kayak guide along the orca highway of the Salish Sea and as a wilderness EMT and expedition guide on small adventure vessels for 6 years. She has guided and created expeditions in Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, the Inside Passage and the Sea of Cortez. She has also led conservation research programs in the Galapagos, Bahamas and Salish Sea.

Scott Edgerton - Expedition Guide

Scott was born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania. It was his early childhood that began a lifelong love of nature and exploration that continues to this day. He received a degree in Outdoor Recreation Management and a minor in Forestry from the University of Idaho and spent 10 years working for the US Forest Service. Scott then began working onboard expedition cruise vessels. He has served as a Dive Master leading Dive Excursions throughout the tropics and Pacific. Most recently Scott worked in Southeast Alaska aboard the Star Legend for Windstar Cruise Lines as a naturalist Zodiac driver.

Simon Hook - Expedition Leader

Simon Hook grew up near the ocean and its wildlife in northern California. His love nature led him to Alaska, specifically Sitka, over 10 years ago. He began working as a deckhand on passenger vessels and eventually worked his way up to expedition leader. Along the way Simon gained vast knowledge of the natural world and wildlife of Alaska. He also picked up a camera and has won several awards for photos of Alaska’s wildlife and landscapes. Simon enjoys hiking and backcountry skiing and just plain being outside and enjoys sharing his love of nature with others.

Meet Our Naturalists

Diego Vasquez

Born in Costa Rica, one of the greenest countries in the world, it is no surprise that Diego has been a true nature lover all his life. He describes his childhood as surrounded by tropical forest learning about the secrets of ecology. Diego started his education to become a licensed naturalist guide at the age of 18 and began leading expeditions for nature lovers in the national parks and ecosystems of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama by the time he was 21. This is not an easy task as this región is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Diego is also an experienced international tour manager. He has been the naturalist on board different Windstar vessels for several seasons, giving lectures about tropical ecology, the flora and fauna of the region, among other topics. With his deep knowledge Diego will enhance your experience on cruises. Diego is a very friendly, outgoing person and if you see him around the vessel he will be more than happy to share his knowledge and experiences with you and answer any questions you may have.

Karla Taylor

Born and raised in Tortuguero, Karla is a descendant of the first settler of Tortuguero where they have the longest ongoing research of sea turtles in the world. Karla has been involved with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation her whole life. After graduating from the National University of Costa Rica, she got a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where she became a parataxonomist., the science that classifies species. She was involved with the National Institute of Biodiversity for 7 years, traveling all over Costa Rica. For 20+ years she has been a naturalist guide discovering all of Costa Rica’s treasures and sharing that knowledge with others. Her goal is to change people’s lives with a true travel experience.