Windstar Cruises

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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 noted for its modern computer-controlled sailing ships.


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[edit]

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[edit]

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 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.

Recent History[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]


Current Fleet[edit]

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 Star at Kusadasi 2012 DSCF1907bearb..jpg
Wind Spirit 1988 Sociéte Nouvelle de Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre 1988–present 5,307 tons  Bahamas Le voilier de croisière Wind Spirit (1).JPG
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 Motor-sail ship.jpg
Star Pride 1988 Schichau Seebeckwerft 2014–present 9,975 tons  Bahamas Previously Seabourn Pride for Seabourn Cruise Line Seabourn Pride 01.JPG
Star Breeze 1988 Schichau Seebeckwerft 2015–present 9,975 tons  Bahamas Previously Seabourn Sprit for Seabourn Cruise Line[4] Seabourn Spirit (ship, 1989) IMO 8807997; in Split, 2011-10-25 (2).jpg
Star Legend 1990 Schichau Seebeckwerft May 2015 9,975 tons  Bahamas Previously Seabourn Legend for Seabourn Cruise Line[4] Le paquebot de croisière MS Seabourn Legend (1).jpg

Former Fleet[edit]

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. WindSong.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Windstar sold to Ambassadors International
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ Norton Masek, Theresa (January 16, 2015). "Windstar Plans $17 Million Renovation of Two New Ships". (travAlliancemedia). Retrieved April 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]