Windstar Cruises has broadened its range of offerings by introducing a one-of-a-kind Formula 1 experience, allowing guests the opportunity to attend the final race of the 2023 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. Racing enthusiasts will be able to witness the thrilling conclusion of the Formula 1 season firsthand, with exclusive access.
The addition complements Windstar’s existing F1 cruise to the Monaco Grand Prix, with this year’s Rome & Prix du Monde of Monaco scheduled for May 21-28 aboard the company’s flagship, the 342-passenger sailing yacht Wind Surf.
F1 Experience in the Middle East on Windstar Cruises
Windstar Cruises offers guests exclusive access to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023. The excursion is available as part of the line’s maiden sailings in the Middle East on board the all-suite, 312-passenger Star Legend.
The 10-day Sparkling Sands & Cities of the Persian Gulf voyage will depart Dubai on November 23, with an overnight stay in Abu Dhabi during the last race of the F1 season on November 25 and 26.
“I’m a huge fan of F1® racing, and with the sport experiencing its highest ratings ever in the U.S., more and more of our Windstar customers are racing fans as well,” explains Windstar President Christopher Prelog.
“When we were planning our first-ever sailings in the Middle East, which begin in November, I had hoped a 2023 race date would overlap. And lucky us: our inaugural Middle East voyage aligns with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s a green flag for Windstar’s sailing in a new, exciting region and a checkered flag for the 2023 racing season… a perfect fit.”
Guests who choose to attend the race will enjoy premium grandstand seats for the time trials and the race itself, transfers to and from Yas Marina Circuit, English-speaking coordinators, and onboard perks like an exclusive cocktail party.
F1 Sports Broadcaster Bob Varsha, a four-decade veteran of radio and television sports commentary, will accompany guests, providing expert analysis and insights into the race and drivers. The excursion costs $1,599, while the cruise itself starts from $2,999 per person.
MSC Cruises announced a similar event in March 2023 as part of its official partnership with Formula 1.
Windstar’s Monaco Grand Prix-Themed Cruise
Dating back to the 1990s, Windstar’s Monaco Grand Prix-themed cruise was among the industry’s first themed cruises long before such events became widespread.
The Rome & Prix du Monde of Monaco itinerary consistently sells out well in advance, with all guests receiving tickets, including Section K seats for qualifying and the race. Windstar provides several amenities to keep guests comfortable during the race, including high-definition binoculars, comfortable seat cushions, and ear protection.
Throughout the entire cruise, a Formula 1 racing expert will be on board to share behind-the-scenes insights, and guests can partake in a themed cocktail reception and dinner.
The cruise sets sail from Barcelona and follows an exciting itinerary. On May 24, the ship docks in Palamos, followed by the picturesque port of Sanary-sur-Mer in southern France. After a day in Cannes, it’s time for the main event.
On May 27 and 28, the ship will be in Monte Carlo for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Following the excitement of Monte Carlo, the ship heads to Portoferraio and Elba, with the cruise concluding in Rome.
Windstar Cruises operates an array of small, luxurious cruise ships within its fleet. The cruise line boasts six yachts, three of which are masted sailing vessels, providing a relaxed and sophisticated ambiance. Wind Star and Wind Spirit each accommodate 148 guests, while Wind Surf has a capacity of 342 passengers.
The 12,995 gross tons Star Pride, Star Breeze, and Star Legend – carry 312 passengers each. Windstar offers voyages to diverse destinations, including Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska, British Columbia, Canada, New England, Tahiti, the South Pacific, Mexico, U.S. Coastal regions, and Australia.