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WindstarDoes sailing off into the Mediterranean sunset under billowing white sails sound like a head-in-the-clouds fantasy? Well, go ahead and turn that tall tale into your very own reality this fall (and beyond) onboard the sumptuous sailing yachts of Windstar Cruises. Happily, we’ve pinned down refreshingly down-to-earth rates on a duo of shoulder-season autumn sailings, as well as uncovered a special promotion for those looking ahead to their 2012 vacation planning.

Book terrifically discounted fares on two 7-night itineraries this fall from Athens to Rome. Set sail on Wind Surf on October 22 and save 54 percent off brochure rates, with fares marked down to $1,899 per person; or, opt for a November 5 sailing on the Wind Star, reduced a whopping 59 percent to just $1,699. Considering brochure rates for these sailings list them as high as $4,099, this is one deal not to miss the boat on. The itineraries take in the Aegean volcanic island of Milos and Monemvasia, neighbor to ancient Sparta, in Greece, before sailing to Sicily’s cobblestoned gateway of Messina, Amalfi or Sorento on the fabled Amalfi Coast (dependent upon itinerary), and Ischia in Italy.


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Or, look ahead to your 2012 trip planning, with the cruise line having just slashed rates on its 7-night Glitter & Glam of the Rivieras itineraries to as low as a palatable $1,799 per person (or $257/night). That represents a savings of nearly 30 percent, even for sailings during the summer high season! Duck into hidden harbors and quiet coves on the Wind Surf, as it glides from Barcelona to Rome, taking in glamorous French Riviera ports en route, including jet-setter haven St. Tropez, cinematic Cannes, and high-rolling Monte Carlo. Round out the sailing with a visit to Italy’s castle-and-village-dotted Portonvenere and hit the white beaches of Portoferraio, before finally disembarking in Rome. Reverse Rome-to-Barcelona itineraries are also available. Departures in 2012 are available on April 22, July 2, September 14, and October 29; special rates must be booked by October 31, 2011.


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Windstar is known for its intimate fleet of three tall-ship yachts, intimately appointed for no more than 320 guests, with a ship size small enough to allow them access to some of the world’s smaller and more exclusive ports. Casual elegance is the word onboard – leave the frilly formal wear behind and enjoy an atmosphere of laid-back luxury, focused on decadent cuisine and exceptional service – without the pretense. And don’t miss the complimentary water sports, with snorkeling, windsailing, water skiing, and more available from the vessels’ water sports platform right at your back door. www.windstarcruises.com

Cruise News readers, stay tuned: Learn more about life onboard Windstar in mid-October when I’ll be blogging live and sharing my experience from aboard the Mediterranean-plying Wind Surf.

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