Offering the best of both worlds, the four-masted Wind Spirit sailing yacht feels adventurous but is actually quite cushy. This is not the kind of adventure cruise where you climb the masts and help pull up the sails. Instead, you sit back and enjoy the show from the comfort of a chaise lounge as the computer-controlled sails rise and fall at the push of a button.
The open deck at the stern is the place to be as you cruise between islands, taking a dip in the pool and soaking up views that go on for miles. While Wind Spirit feels gloriously intimate and carries just 148 passengers, it’s big enough for two restaurants, a lounge, a little casino, and a library. There’s even a small gym and a massage room. The 188-square-foot cabins fit in a lot of amenities, including minibars, with all soft drinks and bottled waters included in the fares.
What We Love
French Polynesia: Wind Spirit cruises French Polynesia year-round, sailing seven-night trips out of Papeete and a handful of longer sailings.
Complimentary Shore Experience: Once per cruise, passengers are treated to a complimentary experience in port. In French Polynesia, it’s usually dinner served on the beach of a remote motu, or islet. There, guests are entertained by local fire dancers, complete with thrilling flamethrowing and acrobatics.
Frequent Promotions: Deals on Wind Spirit cruises in French Polynesia might include complimentary alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, Wi-Fi, and tips.
Best Known For
Casual Elegance: No jackets or formalwear are required, and the smart-casual dress code feels just right in this part of the world.
Sail Away Dinners: You’ll want to spend as much time up on deck as you can, especially when the ship is sailing away from some picturesque place and the chef sets up dinner and drinks on deck.
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Who It's Best For
Couples: The ship appeals to couples looking for a romantic getaway on a ship that’s not overrun with children — or anyone else, for that matter.
Those Who Avoid Crowds: Wind Spirit is small enough that there are never lines to get on and off the ship, or at mealtime.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The Ship Is No Spring Chicken: Wind Spirit was built in 1988, and any ship more than 25 years old will have its share of issues.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.
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Wind Spirit at a Glance
- Line: Windstar Cruises
- Class: Wind Star
- Number of Passengers: 148
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 1988
- Refurbish Date: 2012