The Romance of Sail
Windstar has a niche all to itself, operating a fleet of small ships that offer the amenities of a premium cruise experience but with one utterly distinctive difference: The ships have sails.
It all started in 1984, prompted by a new ship design by Finnish shipbuilding firm Wartsila. The idea was called the Windcruiser, and it was like nothing else in the market: a vessel that combined standard diesel engines with several huge, computer-controlled staysails, which could propel the vessels on their own or work in concert with the engines, helping to save fuel. The fact that they add an air of romance to the cruise experience didn’t hurt, either, and that may be the word that still describes Windstar best to this day. For a romantic cruise, you can’t do much better.
Aside from sails, Windstar’s hallmarks have remained consistent throughout its quarter-century history and through four different corporate owners: It’s a line that sails in beautiful, exotic locations; it provides great service and excellent dining; and its onboard vibe is completely casual and unregimented — no dress code, no loud onboard activities, no stress.
Whether in the Greek Isles, the Mediterranean, the Baltics, Central America, or the Caribbean, Windstar’s itineraries are port-intensive, usually with just one day spent at sea. On board, there are few organized activities to distract you from daydreams. What activities there are include things like fitness classes and a nightly cocktail hour where the ship’s hosts fill you in on the next day’s port. When the ships are able to anchor offshore, the crew may lower a water sports platform from the stern, from which guests can go waterskiing, windsurfing, or kayaking. Entertainment is generally limited to music in the lounges, though once per cruise members of the crew put on a show highlighting music and dance from their home countries. Each of the ships also has a small casino, plus both indoor and outdoor bar/lounges.
Dining aboard Windstar
Dining is one of the highlights of any Windstar cruise, with dinners served in the ship’s comfortable main restaurant, which operates on a casual, open-seating basis — just show up when you’re ready during mealtimes and the maitre d’ will seat you. The fleet’s largest ship, Wind Surf, also offers a Mediterranean bistro called Degrees and two outdoor, alfresco venues: Candles for steaks and skewers and Le Marché for seafood. Fleetwide, breakfast and lunch are served in the buffet-style Veranda Cafe, and the Yacht Club Sandwich and Espresso Bar offers specialty sandwiches, fruit, and other snacks throughout the morning and afternoon.
Due to the small size of these ships, and their focus on providing a relaxed, adult atmosphere, there are no activities or play spaces for kids. Generally speaking, you’ll find very few kids on any particular sailing, even during school holidays.
Also, it’s worth nothing that all three ships lack staterooms designed for people with wheelchairs, and only Wind Surf has a passenger elevator.
All Windstar ships will undergo dramatic refurbishments in the next year to their staterooms and public areas, ensuring passengers continue to experince the magic of sail in style and comfort.
Scroll through the videos below for other videos featuring Windstar Cruises.
Articles About Windstar Cruises
- 9 Questions For The Avid Cruiser, Tips For Successful Cruises, Family Cruising & More
- Five Reasons Why I Prefer Cruising On Small Ships
- Two Caribbeans: Which Suits You Best? Big Ship Or Small Ship?
- Islands In The Stream: What Is Your Preference? Big Caribbean Island Or Small Island?
- The Caribbean’s Most Up and Coming Cruise Ports
- Seldom Cruised Caribbean Islands You Really Should See
- Big Ship? Small Ship? Which Is Better For Your Caribbean Cruise?
- Still Sailing On Wind Spirit: Live Voyage Report – The Last Day
- Wind Spirit From Stockholm: Aaron Saunders’ Live Voyage Report – Day 2
- Avid Cruiser Far & Wide: Ralph Grizzle Reports From Canada While Aaron Saunders Sails From Stockholm
- 10 Reasons To Cruise Over The Winter Holidays
- Women At The Helm: Windstar Cruises
- Wind Surf Question Of The Day: Will You Marry Me?
- View From Wind Surf: Breakfast In Corsica
- On Board Wind Surf: Tastings From One Of The World’s Top Wineries
- Wind Surf: Best Parking Place In Portoferraio
- Choose Your Cruise Style: Sailing Ships
- Leave The Cruise Feeling Better Than When You Started
- Windstar exclusive: Dinner at the Arasta garden of Ephesus Museum
- Ship Inspection: Wind Surf
- A Roundup of Cruise Bargains
- explore, dream, discover
- Something About Jerry
- A Few Good Men
- Luxury Cruise Report: Update & Trends
- Back-To-Back On Windstar
- Who Needs Balconies?
- Standard Staterooms Measure Up
- The Yacht Club
- Chasing The Wind
- The Sails Aren’t Just For Show
- Wind Surf’s Back to Back Caribbean
- Wind Surf’s Out-Of-The-Way Ports
- Checking In: Wind Surf’s New Suites
- Diane Moore On Windstar’s New Itineraries
- Diane Moore Discusses Stateroom Upgrades & New Suites
- Windstar Cruises’ Diane Moore On ‘New’ Wind Surf
- Interview with Windstar Cruises’ Diane Moore