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Windstar Cruises

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Title: Windstar Cruises  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Star Pride, Seabourn Cruise Line, Wind Surf (ship), Carnival Corporation & plc, List of cruise ships
Collection: Companies Based in Seattle, Washington, Cruise Lines
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises
Industry Transportation
Founded 1984
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, USA
Area served
Services Cruise ship holidays
Owner Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc.
Parent The Anschutz Corporation
Website Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises is a cruise ship line that operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships known for its intimate yacht style experience and unique voyages to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Its six yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America. In May 2014, Windstar added to its sailing yachts by adding the Star Pride power yacht, followed by Star Breeze and Star Legend in May 2015. The additional capacity opened up new itineraries such as voyages to Iceland, Panama Canal, Costa Rica and allowed Windstar Cruises to sail Tahiti year round. Windstar Cruises is named World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Cradling guests in pampered comfort, Windstar's intimate ships exude a private yacht-like atmosphere allowing for sincere camaraderie and lasting friendships between shipmates. With more than one staff member for every two guests, service is attentive without being intrusive. Menus are based on fresh, local produce that the chefs purchase at local markets giving the cuisine an incomparable local flair. Windstar carefully crafts guest’s special magical moments such as Exclusive Private Events, guest visits to the Captain in the Open Bridge, dine under the stars, listen to the swell of music as our beautiful yacht leaves port and complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, ski-tubing and kayaking from the ship’s Water Sports Platform.

Windstar Cruises is a part of Xanterra Parks and Resorts®, which is known for its “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint,” Xanterra’s entities include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks, as well as resorts, a cruise line, railway and tour companies.


  • History 1
    • Purchase by Holland America Line 1.1
    • Sale of Windstar to Ambassadors International 1.2
    • Homeports 1.3
    • Recent History 1.4
  • Fleet 2
    • Current Fleet 2.1
    • Former Fleet 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The line was established as Windstar Sail Cruises in 1984, and its first ship, the Wind Star was launched in 1986, and was followed by the Wind Song which was launched in 1987 and Wind Spirit which was launched in 1988. Two additional ships were ordered from the French "Sociéte Nouvelle de Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre" shipyard: the Wind Surf and the Wind Saga. These two ships were to be larger than the originals, holding over twice the amount of passengers and reaching a length of 660 ft compared to the smaller vessels of 440 ft in length.

Purchase by Holland America Line

Holland America Line purchased 50% of Windstar Sail Cruises in 1987 and purchased the balance of the company in 1988. HAL became a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc in 1989. The option to continue building the Wind Surf and the Wind Saga was passed up by HAL. With assistance from the French Government these two larger ships were built for Club Med as Club Med I and Club Med II, with HAL / Carnival retaining rights of first refusal for purchase. Few years Later HAL / Carnival Let them planned to buy Club Med I and Club Med II with permission. But Windstar cruises was unable to purchase Club Med I and Club Med II and rename them to Wind Surf and the Wind Saga because they don't have enough money to purchase both ships, They can only purchase 1 ship. So in 1998, Windstar acquired the sail cruiser Club Med I from Club Med Cruises, and rechristened her to her original name Wind Surf.

msy Wind Surf

In 2002, the Wind Song was damaged by an engine room fire in Tahiti causing great damage to the vessel. The French Navy put out the fire and towed the ship to Papeete, where examination showed extensive damage to engineering spaces, although the passenger areas were mostly intact. It was subsequently classed as a total loss because the ship was damage beyond repair and even scrapping was uneconomical, because of the ship's small size and remoteness from shipbreakers in India, China, and elsewhere. On January 22, 2003, with the agreement of Holland America and Carnival, the President of the Territorial Government of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, ordered the scuttling of the Wind Song. That night the ship was cleaned and towed into the Sea of the Moon between Tahiti and Moorea and sunk in approximately 3,000 meters of water.

Sale of Windstar to Ambassadors International

In March 2007, Carnival sold Windstar to Ambassadors International for $100 million.[1]

On April 1, 2011, Windstar's parent company Ambassadors International filled for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Windstar was planned to be sold to a company in White Plains, New York known as Whippoorwill Associates, Inc.[2] But through a Bankruptcy court in Delaware, a two day bid was held and Anschutz Corporation won Windstar Cruises which had the best bid of $39 Million. Subsidiary Xanterra Parks and Resorts is now the parent company.[3]


Windstar is considered a high-end cruise line, with its ships typically getting a four-star (out of five) rating. The ships are relatively small, with the Wind Surf having a capacity for about 300 passengers, and the others about 150. Star Pride carries up to 212 passengers in 106 suites as well as sister ships Star Legend and Star Breeze.

The ships are registered in the Bahamas. Under this flag they are some of the few cruise ships in the world where passengers are still allowed on the bridge (though not when entering or leaving port). Given their small size the service is very personal, and interaction with the ship's officers is easy. With a shallow draft of only 14' the ships can enter ports that are inaccessible to larger cruise liners. In some cases passengers need to take smaller boats into port (such as to Lipari) when the ship is at anchor, but access on and off a shipboard ramp is easily made.

Key ports include:

· Caribbean

· Mediterranean

· Greek Isles & Turkey

· Italy

· Northern Europe

· Costa Rica & Panama

· Tahiti

· Ocean Crossings

Recent History

It was announced on February 19, 2013 that Windstar completed the purchase of Seabourn Cruise Line's Star Pride, Star Legend, and Star Breeze. The Star Pride entered service 5 May 2014 with an inaugural cruise from Barcelona to Rome. In May 2015, Windstar increased its fleet from four yachts to six with Star Breeze and Star Legend. Both yachts underwent a $17 million, three-week dry dock in Genoa, Italy, before a christening ceremony in May.

Both yachts, each holding 212 passengers at double occupancy, received full stem-to-stern upgrades to the suites, public areas, and dining venues. Every guest suite received new carpets, linens, couches, mattresses, and more. To the public spaces and dining venues include more deck space, upgraded color palettes, more modern upholstery, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, and a complete transformation of several lounges. The redesign added an overall feeling of increased elegance.

In 2016, Windstar is planning a $3 million continuation of the Star Pride renovation. The Star Pride received a partial overhaul in 2014. The continuation includes the completion of the AmphorA remodel, and a total renovation of the reception, Screening Room, and more.


Current Fleet

Name Built Builder Entered
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Wind Star 1986 Sociéte Nouvelle de Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre 1986–present 5,307 tons  Bahamas Windstar Cruise's first ship
Wind Spirit 1988 Sociéte Nouvelle de Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre 1988–present 5,307 tons  Bahamas
Wind Surf 1989 Sociéte Nouvelle de Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre 1998–present 14,745 tons  Bahamas Windstar Cruise's biggest ship in the fleet and was previously Club Med 1 for Club Med
Star Pride 1988 Schichau Seebeckwerft 2014–present 9,975 tons  Bahamas Previously Seabourn Pride for Seabourn Cruise Line
Star Breeze 1988 Schichau Seebeckwerft May 2015–present 9,975 tons  Bahamas Previously Seabourn Sprit for Seabourn Cruise Line[4]
Star Legend 1990 Schichau Seebeckwerft May 2015 – present 9,975 tons  Bahamas Previously Seabourn Legend for Seabourn Cruise Line[4]

Former Fleet

Name Built Builder Entered
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Wind Song 1987 Sociéte Nouvelle de Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre 1987 - 2002 5,307 tons  Bahamas The ship suffered an engine room fire on December 1, 2002 and was scuttled and sunk the next month on January 22, 2003.

See also


  1. ^ Windstar sold to Ambassadors International
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b

External links

  • Official website
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