Taking A Look At The New Windstar Cruises
The Windstar Cruises story began 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 go wrong with a Windstar cruise.
After flirting with bankruptcy in 2011, Windstar was purchased by Xanterra Resorts, which immediately injected a lifeline of much-needed improvements to the line. Ships were dramatically upgraded, itineraries were retooled, and runs that had once been abandoned – like picturesque Tahiti – were brought back to life. Under the direction of CEO Hans Birkholz, Windstar has undergone a remarkable transformation that has arguably left this niche cruise line at the best point in the history of the company.
Historically, Windstar Cruises operated a fleet of three ships: Wind Star, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf. All three feature gorgeous white sails that are used as frequently as possible, though the ship’s diesel propulsion is regularly used to maintain itineraries. Each of these vessels was given a dramatic makeover between 2012 and 2013, emerging with redesigned public rooms, refreshed staterooms, and a new onboard color palette, artwork, and upgraded culinary offerings.
In 2013, Windstar announced it would be purchasing three luxury cruise ships from Seabourn Cruises: Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit. Renamed Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride, they were delivered to Windstar Cruises between 2014 and 2015, and each underwent a substantial refurbishment intended to bring them in-line with the line’s existing fleet.
The Romance of Sail: Wind Star, Wind Spirit, Wind Surf
Windstar Cruises is one of a handful of cruise lines operating a fleet of small ships that offer the amenities of a premium cruise experience but with one utterly distinctive difference: These ships have sails.
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.
Wind Star and Wind Spirit are the line’s two smallest vessels, with passenger capacities of just 148 guests apiece. Wind Surf, built in 1990, is larger and can carry 330 guests.
The Power Revolution: Star Breeze, Star Legend, Star Pride
Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride are Windstar’s latest acquisitions. Each underwent a multi-million-dollar refit before entering service for Windstar between 2014 and 2015.
Articles About Windstar Cruises
- The Best Cruise Lines Ranked: A List of Our Top Picks
- Windstar Highlights 2020 European Itineraries
- Windstar Offers Wifi, Laundry Service, And More With New “All-In” Package
- Windstar Announces $250 Million Renovation and Lengthening
- Windstar Announces Caribbean and Latin America Sailings for 2019-2020
- My Top 5 Aspirational Voyages For 2019
- Windstar Adds Seven New Itineraries For 2019
- Windstar’s Star Legend Navigates the Ballard Locks
- Windstar Offers Overnight and Late Nights in Select Ports
- Windstar Will Bring Sommeliers to Four Ships
- Avid Cruiser’s Q&A With Windstar Captain James Griffiths
- Windstar Returns to Asia with 7 Sailings from September 2018 to April 2019
- Wind Surf 51-day Grand Mediterranean Cruise Announced for 2019
- Windstar Will Continue Partnership with James Beard Foundation in 2018
- Windstar Cruises Debuts Signature Expeditions in Alaska
- A Dream Itinerary on Windstar’s Star Legend
- Windstar’s Flagship Vessel Receives New Set of Sails
- Windstar Repositions Select Caribbean Itineraries to Barbados
- Windstar Debuts New 2017 and 2018 Asia Itineraries
- Windstar Launches New Star Collector Voyages
- Windstar Adds New Itineraries for 2018 Sailings
- Alaska By Small Ship
- Windstar Returns to Alaska in 2018
- Tasty Cruising Ahead: Windstar Named James Beard Foundation’s Official Cruise Line
- The New Windstar Cruises
- Cruising Costa Rica With Windstar President John Delaney
- Updated: Our Star Pride Review
- Star Pride Rejoins Windstar Fleet Following Refurbishment
- Star Legend Ship Review
- Upper Premium Cruises Defined
- Star Breeze Ship Review
- Star Breeze Live Voyage Report – Day 7
- Star Breeze Live Voyage Report – Day 5
- Star Breeze Live Voyage Report – Day 4
- Star Breeze Live Voyage Report – Day 3
- Star Breeze Live Voyage Report – Day 2
- Star Breeze Live Voyage Report – Day 1
- Updated: Our Wind Star Ship Profile
- Updated: Our Windstar Cruises Profile
- Live Voyage Report Preview: Sailing Windstar Cruises Star Breeze Through Panama & Costa Rica
- Five Things That I Enjoy About Crossing The Atlantic
- Sailing East: A Look at Cruising in Asia in 2014
- Featherweights: Best Small Ships Carrying 600 Or Fewer Passengers
- Is Silversea Becoming An Expedition Company? Plus Windstar’s New Tack & Designed In 2008? Regent’s New Ship
- Only Six Months Away, Windstar To Launch The First Of Its New “Motor Yachts”
- Caribbean Cruising, Winter 2013/14, A Sampler Of Offerings
- 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
- Vintage Interview with (Then) Windstar Cruises’ Diane Moore