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Windstar Ranked No. 1 Small Ship Cruise Line for Panama Canal and Central America by Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards

Expert cruisers share why small ships are not the only thing different about Windstar

SEATTLE, July 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Windstar Cruises has been ranked first for small ships cruising in Panama Canal and Central America by Cruise Critic in their third annual Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards. Based entirely on consumer ratings and cruise reviews, the awards name the world's most popular cruise destinations and new for 2018 also highlight the best cruise lines in each region.

Windstar was recognized as one of the best lines in the world, winning Top Cruise Line in Panama Canal & Central America in the Small Ship Cruise Line category.

"We are excited to be chosen as the top small ship cruise line in Panama Canal and Central America," noted Windstar President John Delaney. "Our goal is to bring guests closer to the pulse of the culture so they can experience authentic moments in every port of call. Our immersive Costa Rica and Panama Canal sailings are a perfect example of how small ships cruise differently. We are thrilled that Cruise Critic cruisers enjoyed their Windstar cruises to these beautiful ports and applaud Cruise Critic for helping consumers better understand which ship and destination will be their best choice."

Windstar's Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruises visit smaller harbors such as Quepos and Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica with a multitude of immersive excursions and adventurous tours. The unspoiled sands of Isla Parida, Panama is a favorite in the region where the award-winning line throws a one-of-a-kind Signature Beach Party featured on every sailing with delicious food, complimentary water sports and tropical music. Cruises to Central America also feature an onboard naturalist to teach travelers about the wildlife, flora and fauna of the region. Local entertainment groups come aboard to share colorful cultural costumes and lively music. A full-day transit of the century-old Panama Canal is a highlight on ever itinerary and offers expert narration of the navigation through the multiple locks series, impressive Gatun Lake, under the Bridge of Americas and across the Continental Divide. Windstar is one of the only cruise line's to offer a Panama Canal cruise crossing in just one week.

Windstar's robust complimentary Watersports program is a favorite on these itineraries with multiple chances to snorkel, swim, stand-up paddleboard, waterski, water trampoline and more. Shore excursions provide diverse and adventurous experiences such as spotting sloths while zip-lining through a tropical rainforest canopy; partaking in a mouth-watering farm-to-table lunch after an invigorating jungle-yoga lesson; deep-sea fishing; and learning mystical Mayan secrets on an in-land cacao chocolate farm.

On Windstar's small ship Central American cruises guests can opt to sail on the 148-passenger Wind Star sailing ship, or one of the line's elegant all-suite, 212-passenger motor yachts, Star Breeze or Star Legend. From Nov. 2018 to March 2019 and again in the fall, Windstar offers 25 plus sailings that range from 7-days to longer sailings up to 24-days that feature free laundry. On Dec. 11, 2018 the Tropical Escape through the Panama Canal itineary features an 11-day sailing from Aruba, visits Cartagena, Colombia; Colón, Pearl Islands, and Isla Parida, Panama; Golfo Dulce and Quepos, ending in Puerto Caldra, Costa Rica, and is priced at $1,999 per guest, double occupancy.

Cruise lines awarded in this year's awards stood out among all of the lines that sail in each region, receiving the highest ratings from cruisers who sailed with the line over the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic for ranking in its annual Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards.

"Our data regularly shows that whether you're a first-time cruiser or you've sailed dozens of times, destination is a top consideration when shopping for a cruise," explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic. "By awarding top destinations and now the best lines that visit them, we're even better able to connect travelers with standout experiences available in the incredible places they're looking to explore."

For full details on this year's winners, visit the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards.

Windstar also recently ranked #1 in Midsize-Ocean Cruise Lines category for the 2018 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards and is included on the 2018 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. To learn more about authentic small ship cruising with Windstar, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit http://www.windstarcruises.com.