Small ship line Windstar Cruises has added a new Formula 1® experience for its guests, this time at the final race of the 2023 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. The racing excursion is in addition to Windstar’s long-standing themed F1® cruise to the Monaco Grand Prix, with this year’s Rome & Prix du Monde of Monaco slated for May 21-28 aboard Windstar’s flagship: 342-passenger sailing yacht Wind Surf.
Offered by no other cruise line, the Windstar shore excursion to the Formula 1® Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023 is available as part of Windstar’s first-ever sailings in the Middle East on board the all-suite, 312-passenger Star Legend.
During an overnight in Abu Dhabi amidst the inaugural 10-day Sparkling Sands & Cities of the Persian Gulf voyage departing Dubai on November 23, guests will have the option to experience the climactic race of the F1® season on November 25 and 26 with premium grandstand seats for the time trials and the race, transfers to and from Yas Marina Circuit, English-speaking coordinators, and onboard perks like an exclusive cocktail party. Guests will also be joined by F1® Sports Broadcaster Bob Varsha, who will provide insights and expert analysis of the race and drivers. Pricing for the excursion is $1,599, while rates for the cruise are from $2,999 per person.
Cruising to the Monaco Grand Prix has its origins in the 1990s as Windstar’s first themed cruise and one of the industry’s very first themed cruises (long before cat lovers, bikers, rockers, and other hobby groups made them so ubiquitous). Windstar’s passengers n the Rome & Prix du Monde of Monaco itinerary, which consistently sells out far in advance, all receive race tickets, specifically Section K seats for the time trials and final. The entire cruise is hosted by a Formula 1® racing expert who provides behind-the-scenes insight, and there is also a themed cocktail reception and dinner on board, plus extras like high definition binoculars, comfy seat cushions, and ear protection. Cruise fares are from $7,699 per person, including all Grand Prix programming; 2024 cabins are still available.
“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.”