Grand Prix a Windstar Winner

Last year, we wrote a blog about going on a Windstar cruise to the Grand Prix of Monaco, and what a cool experience that would be if you had even the slightest interest in Formula One cars.

We had no intention of re-visiting the subject this year.

Then a nice woman at Windstar sent us some information about this year's "cool experience." In 2012 (for the GP of May 2-13), Windstar's largest ship (they're called "yachts") — the Wind Surf — took 312 passengers on its Yachting The Riviera cruise. It started in Nice, included a weekend at the Grand Prix with preferred seating, and ended in Rome.

Fast forward a year…

For the GP of May 2014, the Wind Surf will offer the identical package…plus Windstar's newest yacht, the Star Pride, will carry another 212 passengers to the race on the Grand Prix of Monaco itinerary, one that includes all that the Wind Surf does but with grandstand seats for the weekend events, a post-race reception at the luxurious Hotel de Paris and a cruise host who is a former Formula One pit reporter (aka, he has stories to tell).

This will be Star Pride's coming-out party. The first of three vessels purchased by Windstar last year, it is due for delivery next May. No, it will be delivered next May. The other two ships, as yet unnamed, will arrive in 2015.

So having two ships and their passengers going to the next (and 72nd annual) GPOM represents a 60 per cent increase in capacity. Would you say Windstar's venture into the world of Grand Prix is successful?

Naturally, it's costly. Windstar is the industry leader in small-ship cruising and its cruises are priced accordingly. We couldn't locate prices for the Wind Surf on the website but we did find what it costs to go on the new Star Pride for the seven-day cruise from Rome (return) — $6,199. That's per-person.

Hey, there's nothing wrong with dreaming…and, even though it's 300 days before the finish line, you know that Windstar has a winner.

Norwegian Dawn
7 nights
October 25, 2013
Boston (return): King's Wharf
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64
www.ncl.com

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