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Explore the Natural Wonders of Costa Rica By Ship Aboard msy Wind Star

Eco-adventures abound on seven-night cruises along the Pacific Coast

Seattle, WA, August 1, 2006 — Windstar Cruises returns to Costa Rica this winter with the 148-guest motor sailing yacht Wind Star sailing 15, seven-night cruises along the picturesque Pacific Coast. 

Lured by natural beauty, jungles teaming with wildlife and a dizzying array of flora, guests sailing on the intimate and elegant Wind Star get the best of both worlds---upscale accommodations combined with eco-adventure. A local Costa Rica naturalist sails on each trip to pass on local knowledge of the country’s unique history, culture, geography and biodiversity.

“Windstar’s Costa Rica itinerary has proved very popular,” said Diane Moore, Windstar’s vice president of marketing and sales.  “We are one of the only cruise lines that offers an entire week exploring the country’s spectacular coastline, and we can visit more small bays and harbors due to the intimate size of the ship.”

In most ports of call, the msy Wind Star is at anchor while guests are tendered to shore in zodiac boats for an adventurous wet landing on the beach.

Sailing roundtrip out of Puerto Caldera, the ship first sails north to its only stop outside of Costa Rica—San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.   A tranquil fishing village with white-sand beaches invites guests to swim and relax in the sun. Shore excursions visit the important colonial city of Granada, Masaya Volcano, and an Indian craft market.

In Playas del Coco, the horse-shoe shaped bay is popular for scuba diving, fishing and sailing.  Shore excursions take guests on a float down the Corobici River or soaring through the treetops on a zip-line tour through the rainforest.

A day in Quepos, a former banana-exporting town, brings a myriad of adventures within reach.  Guests may choose a nature walk and swim in famous Manuel Antonio National Park,  a dense rain forest that opens up onto white sand beaches.  Monkeys and other animals thrive in the park. Another excursion explores the intricate ecosystem of the mangroves with monkeys, spoonbills, and a variety of other birds living in the upper canopy.  Other adventures available out of Quepos include horseback riding in the rainforest, a rainforest exploration via an all-terrain vehicle,  deep-sea fishing or a private cooking class at a nearby ranch and private reserve.

Marenco, located on Drake Bay, is the southernmost port on the itinerary.  It’s proximity to Corcovado National Park, known for its biological diversity, allows Windstar guests plenty of time to explore the 500-hectare reserve composed of mountains, cloud forest, pristine beaches and rushing rivers. Organized shore excursions include a guided hike through the park, beach horseback riding, and an excursion to Isla del Caño for snorkeling and exploration.

Anchored off the Curu Reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula, guests are tendered ashore to explore the wildlife refuge, home to 220 species of birds; capuchin, spider, white-face and squirrel monkeys; three-toed sloths, coati and anteaters.  Guests may elect to join a tour with an expert naturalist for a peaceful walk along the trails. In the afternoon, the ship sails to Tortuga Island for a beach picnic and complimentary water sports activities including sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, water skiing, ski tubing and wind surfing.

Complimentary water sports are a highlight of the ship which has an aft water sports platform that lowers into the water for swimming and water sports activities.  After a full day of adventure, guests will appreciate Windstar’s atmosphere of casual elegance. Guests are free to relax in comfort aboard their own private yacht —no ties, jackets or cocktail dresses required.

Windstar’s elegant motor sailing yachts have recently received a multi-million dollar investment in luxury amenities including new Signature Cuisine menus by acclaimed Chef Joachim Splichal of L.A.’s Patina Group.   Other amenities include new luxury mattresses and linens, flatscreen TVs, bath amenities by L’Occitane, Apple iPod Nanos and hammocks built for two on deck.

The Wind Star sails in Costa Rica from December through March.  Fares start at $1,749 per person based on double occupancy. 

About Windstar Cruises

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations.  Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas.

Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at www.windstarcruises.com.

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World’s Leading Cruise Lines

Windstar Cruises is a member of the exclusive World’s Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises and the Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, the member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets.  The World’s Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

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