|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|Services||Cruise ship holidays|
|Owner||Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc.|
|Parent||The Anschutz Corporation|
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
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2014)|
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.
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.
Merging with Carnival Cruise Lines
In 2003, Holland America Line Merged with Carnival Cruise Lines creating Carnival Corporation & plc. 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
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. 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.
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 when they join the fleet May 2015).
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.
In the summer months the Windstar fleet sails the Mediterranean shores and in the Winter months the company sails the Caribbean and the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Star Pride will deploy to Asia October 30, 2014. After a hiatus of over 10 years since the loss of the Wind Song, Windstar returned to Tahiti in May 2014 with the deployment of the Wind Spirit to the South Pacific region.
It was announced on February 19, 2013 that Windstar completed the purchase of Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Spirit. The Star Pride entered service 5 May 2014 with an inaugural cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Sister ships Seabourn Legend & Seabourn Spirit (renamed Star Legend and Star Breeze) will enter service in May 2015 following a dry dock period.
In January 2015, Windstar announced that it would be spending a total of US$17 million on renovating Star Legend and Star Breeze before they joined the Windstar fleet. Improvements would include new flooring and furniture in the entertainment lounge, an increase in the outdoor space on the Star Deck, and an update to the décor in public areas. The Star Bar would be expanded, all the restaurants would be transformed into Windstar-style venues, and there would also be other changes, including the redecoration of all the guest suites. An additional US$3 million renovation of Star Pride would follow in April 2015: this would complete the remodelling of the main dining room, and the total renovation of the lounge, veranda, screening room, and more.
|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||2015–present||9,975 tons||Bahamas||Previously Seabourn Sprit for Seabourn Cruise Line |
|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.|
|Gross Tonnage||Planned Flag||Notes||Image|
|Star Legend||1990||Schichau Seebeckwerft||May 2015||9,975 tons||Bahamas||The Seabourn Legend Will Depart the Seabourn fleet in May 2015 |
- Windstar sold to Ambassadors International
- Norton Masek, Theresa (January 16, 2015). "Windstar Plans $17 Million Renovation of Two New Ships". TravelPulse.com (travAlliancemedia). Retrieved April 14, 2015.