Director of Product Development ,
Kelly and her team oversee all tour operators, scout new ports and all related guest experiences, contract for land-tours, pre/post transfers/hotels, manage onboard revenue expectations for tours via our Destination Managers (shore excursion managers at other lines.) Kelly has a team of four Product Managers who work out of the Seattle office and handle various regions of the world; the Destinations Managers also report to Kelly and team via specified region; four of our ships – Wind Surf and our three all-suite power yachts (212-310 guests) have a Destination Manager and Assistant DM; the smaller sailings ships (148 guests) have VL only. In the past year Kelly and her team have been instrumental in developing nearly 50 new itineraries in regions new to Windstar including Asia, Alaska, and Canada New England as well as exploring new routes throughout Europe. Windstar will visit a whopping new 170 ports of call in 2018 and Kelly's team has been the driving force for the authentic customer experience in each of those destinations.
As a small ship operations team, Kelly's department is extremely hands on, generally she or her responsible team member will be on the first sailing of the season for each location, vetting all product offerings and guest experiences. Kelly was in Asia last year for a scouting trip to China and is headed back soon to sail on the same route she scouted. Kelly's teams also scout and QC all of our itineraries, here's a blog post we wrote about her Japan trip last year in advance of our Asia cruises: http://blog.windstarcruises.com/2017/05/experiencing-japan-windstars-product-development-manager-melissa-witsoe/. Kelly was previously with Cruise West and has been with Windstar for 6-7 years; she regularly attends Seatrade and many other tour/destination conferences.