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Old March 26th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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Windstar drops Tahiti and Baltics for 2005

SEATTLE -- Windstar Cruises dropped its Tahiti and Baltic programs for 2005, opting instead for cruises to Costa Rica, Belize and Mexico, and increased offerings in the Mediterranean and the Greek Isles.
"With three ships, it was more difficult for us to do new things with one ship dedicated to a single destination," Windstar's vice president of sales and marketing, Tom Russell, said of the line's year-round Tahiti deployment, which it resumed in 2002 after a four year hiatus.

The Wind Star will return to Costa Rica after it sails its final Tahiti cruise Dec. 28. The 148-passenger ship will sail seven-day cruises between January 29 and the end of March, calling in Puerto Caldera, Playa Flamingo, Quepos, San Josecito, Curu and Tortuga Island, Costa Rica, and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

The vessel also will offer four Panama Canal cruises -- two 14-day cruises in March and November and two 10- and 11-day holiday sailings.

The 308-passenger Wind Surf will do seven-day cruises to Belize and the Mayan Riviera, which includes calls in Honduras, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico, from Cozumel between January and April.

The Wind Star, the Wind Surf and the 148-passenger Wind Spirit each will offer Mediterranean itineraries, with Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Nice, Marseille, Venice, Monte Carlo and Malta serving as homeports.

Russell also said the Wind Surf would not return to the Baltic region next year. "We're going to concentrate on warm water [destinations]," he said. "All three of the ships are perfect for that warm weather, drop-the-marina itinerary."

Windstar also will offer 34 cruises in the Greek Isles. The Wind Star and Wind Spirit will sail seven-day voyages between Athens and Istanbul in the spring and fall. The Wind Spirit also will pick up an eight-week series of cruises between Athens and Venice.

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