During a special detour this past week from its summer series of inaugural Alaska cruises—running from May through September—the 212-passenger Star Legend became the largest cruise ship ever to transit the Ballard Locks and sail onto Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. Star Legend’s inaugural visit to Seattle was especially significant as the ship is owned by Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, which sails worldwide but that had not had a ship in Seattle in nearly three decades.
The ship carried Windstar employees, VIPs, travel partners and media on board for the day, with hundreds of people lining the locks and shoreline for the event and local media covering it live on board and from helicopters above. The ship had roughly 12 ft. to spare as the 63-ft. wide and 440-ft.-long vessel made its way through the locks.
Beginning at Pier 66 in Seattle, Legend first took a scenic cruise of Elliott Bay before transiting through the Ballard Locks, as well as through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and under the Ballard and Fremont Bridges. On board, catering was provided by Seattle’s own Renee Erickson, a James Beard award-winning chef who has sailed with Windstar as part of its unique partnership as the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation.
While on Lake Union, Zodiac rides were given to guests, highlighting the new fleet of six inflatable rugged boats that are a key part of Windstar’s new Signature Expeditions program in Alaska. During an official ceremony on board, the Zodiacs were named after prominent Seattle figures including chef Renee Erickson and Bonnie Elgin, brand advisor and the wife of Seattle advertising guru who penned Windstar’s tagline, “180 degrees from ordinary.”