Windstar Cruises' Employee Named to '20 Under 40’ List

WHY IT RATES: Guests have more itinerary options, including the Signature Expedition program, thanks to Windstar Cruises’ Jess Peterson, who was honored on the Seatrade Cruise News’ ’20 under 40′ list.—Jessica Zickefoose, TravelPulse Associate Editor

A global search for cruising’s top “20 under 40” came to a conclusion earlier this week, as the winners of the Seatrade Cruise News competition were announced at Seatrade Cruise Med in Lisbon, including Windstar Cruises’ Director of Itinerary and Revenue Planning Jess Peterson.

Peterson joined the small ship cruise company less than two years ago. Since then, the 28-year-old Stanford grad has made big waves, including:

—Overseen the fleet’s expansion in Asia, Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England, including the addition of seven new European and four new Asian itineraries in 2019, a return to Alaska this past summer after a 20-plus year absence, and new itineraries from New York City to New England and Canada this fall.

—Launched the Signature Expeditions program in Alaska that brings guests face-to-face with the regions awesome natural environment aboard Zodiacs and kayaks launched directly from the ship.

—Added more overnights and late-night port calls to Windstar itineraries (more than 45 percent of Windstar’s cruises offer a late night or overnight in port).

—Introduced Windstar’s new, epic 51-day Grand Mediterranean cruise in 2019, and 56-day Grand Caribbean cruise in 2020 aboard the MSY Wind Surf, the world’s largest sailing ship, among other new longer voyage products at Windstar.

“We are thrilled to have Jess honored by being named to this prestigious list and recognized amongst his impressive group of peers. The talent that Jess possess’ and work he produces for Windstar has allowed us to accomplish our goal of global deployment in a considerably short amount of time, while at the same time creating compelling and innovative itineraries that our guests are very excited about,” said Windstar President John Delaney.

“Jess is an invaluable member of the Windstar family and we are proud to have him on our leadership team,” he added.

According to an announcement from Seatrade, the winners were announced during a ceremony at Seatrade Cruise Med, and those attending the event received a trophy and an invitation to the stage for a short interview with two members of the judging panel, Mary Bond, managing director of publishing, Seatrade, and Craig Milan, VP itinerary planning and destination development, Virgin Voyages.

In its inaugural year, Seatrade Cruise News’ ’20 under 40′ had global participation and attracted nearly 100 entries.

“Both the volume and standard of entries this competition received have been truly outstanding; which made selecting the Top 20 winners a difficult task,” Bond said.

“Each individual who was nominated should be extremely proud of not just themselves but the future they are helping to ensure for cruising. It’s so encouraging to see so much young talent build, maintain and innovate this thriving and exciting industry.”

A complete list of this year’s winners can be found at

To learn more about authentic small ship cruising with Windstar, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit

SOURCE: Windstar Cruises press release

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