Treasures of Spain and Portugal

We are new to Tauck and considering Treasures of Spain and Portugal— small ship cruise on the Windstar ship, Wind Surf. The itinerary looks great but I’m looking for specific feedback on the ship. Our ocean cruises have primarily been on Viking up to now.


  • Peppercat - If he doesn't weigh in on your question, then you might send a Private Message to Sealord. Sealord is the forum's resident expert on Windstar cruising and all of their ships. I think he's been on 18 (or there abouts). I'm sure he'll be able to provide descriptions and answer all of your questions about the Wind Surf.

  • edited February 17

    The Wind Surf is our favorite ship. We have cruised with RCCL, Celebrity, Silversea, Ponant, Windstar and a couple others … the Wind Surf is our favorite. No big shows, no crowds, great food and service. It is necessary to manage your expectations, however. It is a big motor sailing yacht. In the Caribbean they often sail, but in the Med. it is mostly motoring. The ship is old but very well maintained. They have some suites, but the standard rooms are all identical, the only difference is location. We prefer to be near the aft elevator because of the easy access to the yacht club, which is where I get our morning cappuccinos. Room service will bring them of course, but I prefer to get them myself. We have done the ‘Treasures…” trip. It is very hot in the summer time. Mallorca was so hot we scurried back to the ship to cool off. It is a great trip.

  • We are looking at October for less heat. So glad to see great reviews; think we’ll have to book it 😁

  • Peppercat- we have sailed on the Wind Surf twice, but not with Tauck, and once on the Viking Sky. The ships are quite different. The Wind Surf is smaller, more intimate. The Sky newer, with better, balcony cabins. I thought the food was good on both. Of course, a cruise with Tauck will include all excursions. I think the included excursions on Viking are so-so, but the optional ones were good.

  • I don’t quite understand the comparison. The Wind Surf is a motor sailing yacht that carries a max of 350 passengers. The Viking Sky is a conventional small cruise ship that carries three times that number … close to a thousand. With the Wind Surf you should think teak decks and sails and nautical … port holes and all. You don’t need a balcony because in two minutes you are outside. Actually, the ‘Surf’ does have a couple of balcony suites, but the balconies are public area. When you sail on the Wind Surf, you are on a boat, not a floating hotel.

  • I "sailed" on Wind Surf for Tauck's Treasures of Spain & Portugal in August of 2021. The weather was nice except for the 94 degree day in Seville. You should have pleasant weather in October with a slight more chance of rain. I experienced Viking just once in 2019 from Athens, Greece up the Ionian and Adriatic to Croatia and Slovenia. Every morning I stood in long lines awaiting my turn at one of the breakfast serving stations. I then would carry my plate to meet up at a table with my companion who has other food preferences and had waited in line at a different serving station. The Viking Ship is big, although I'm told not nearly as big as other companies' ships. We waited, as directed, every morning and every afternoon in the Viking ship's theater for our selected excursion group to be called to disembark. It was a long wait every time. The time spent off the Viking ship while on excursions was short compared to Tauck. Viking groups are large and you pay a great deal for each additional optional excursion you select. The Tauck excursions are small-group with top-notch guides providing an intimate and up-close opportunity to experience the culture and location. Tauck excursions are all included in the advertised price and often there are unexpected additional options. I enjoyed breakfast alfresco every morning on Wind Surf's top deck ordering off a menu. The buffet was also an available option. You may also choose to eat inside. The Wind Surf waitstaff remembered our names and how we preferred our coffee, juice selection, eggs, etc. With Wind Surf you will not have the sleek, Scandinavian, modern atmosphere, nor a private balcony. There are however plenty of opportunities on Wind Surf to enjoy the common areas with more than enough deck lounge chairs and all the space/distance/privacy you want. Tauck's Wind Surf tour of Portugal and Spain was more relaxed compared to Viking. We were dressed casually but treated elegantly on Wind Surf. With Tauck we received more value for the cost.

  • Thank you for your specific feedback, very helpful! We do plan to book this cruise. 🙂

  • We are considering booking this trip and want to know about the experience on the Windsurf. Is there more rocking or chance to get sea sick on this sailing/motorized yacht than on, say, the Tauck's Riverboat Joy or a small cruise vessel like Asamara's Journey? How about the weather in April? Any help would be appreciated!

  • The names of all of Windstar’s boats are two words … like Wind Surf, or Wind Star, or Star Breeze. We have done eighteen cruises with Windstar on all of their boats, but mostly on the Wind Surf. The Mediterranean is relatively calm, and they rarely actually use the sails there. The ship is six hundred feet long, so it is not exactly a dingy. It is the biggest ‘sail boat’ in the world (it has a sister, the Club Med II). No ship in the ocean will compare with a river boat. Rivers don’t have waves and swells. The ride depends on the sea conditions whether or not you are in a dingy or an aircraft carrier. “Big” boats ride smoother than little boats, but I’ve seen green water come over the bow of an aircraft carrier. If you are motion sensitive, the lowest deck in the middle of the ship is the best place to be. Those happen to be among the cheapest rooms on the Wind Surf, but all of the standard rooms are identical. The suites are on the highest ‘stateroom’ deck which is not where you want to be if you have motion problems.

  • We were on a unique river boat last November that was registered to go on the sea, we went from a river into the sea, the Med, It was pretty rocky, some people did not like it at all. We were fine and it was only for a few hours.

  • I can understand that a river boat in the ocean could be a rough ride. The hull design is very different.

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