Windstar Cruises, a leader in luxury small ship cruising, unveils new plans for its Star Class yachts – a collection of three all suite ships joining the fleet over the next two years.
Windstar takes delivery of Star Pride on April 17, 2014, the first yacht of Windstar’s 2013 purchase of the three luxury cruise ships.
Windstar introduced Star Breeze and Star Legend, scheduled to join the Windstar fleet in May 2015. The yachts will spend their inaugural seasons in Europe, cruising new regions in Northern Europe, such as Iceland, as well as the Mediterranean.
“With only a maximum of 212 guests on board, these new Star Class yachts are the perfect fit for Windstar’s style of small ship cruising,” said Hans Birkholz, chief executive officer of Windstar Cruises. “All three of the new yachts will receive significant style changes and stem-to-stern upgrades to align with Windstar’s yacht style cruising.”
Star Pride will debut this year with its inaugural voyage and christening ceremony on May 5, 2014, in Barcelona, Spain, following a three-week transformation period. Mrs. Nancy Anschutz, wife of Mr. Phillip Anschutz, owner of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Windstar’s parent company, will be honored as Godmother of the yacht. Captain Alan MacAry, 15-year Windstar veteran will serve as master of Star Pride. The six-day inaugural voyage will sail from Barcelona, Spain to Rome, Italy with media, trade, and Windstar’s Yacht Club members on board.
“Star Pride is the first of the Star Class yachts, and we can’t wait to introduce a new era of Windstar Cruises,” said Birkholz. “We are honored to have Mrs. Anschutz serve in the prestigious role of Godmother. It’s fitting to have her christen Windstar’s first yacht in sixteen years as the Anschutz family has been an integral part of Windstar’s transformation the last few years.”
Star Class Transformation
The three power yachts are identical, with a guest capacity of 212 in 106 suites. At 10,000 gross tons, each yacht is 440 feet long with a breadth of 63 feet and six passenger decks. Windstar will take delivery of Star Breeze on April 15, 2015, followed by Star Legend on May 4, 2015, in Genoa, Italy. Both yachts will undergo a major transformation to public spaces, suites, and dining venues to fit Windstar’s style of small ship cruising. Windstar’s signature experiences, including the line’s famous deck barbecue gala, the Open Bridge experience, and the celebrated Sail Away party will be showcased on board.
Additionally, the Star Class yachts will introduce Windstar’s new Destination Suites. Each of the previous Owner Suites will be transformed into a signature Windstar destination. The suite will highlight cultural décor and local art work. For example, the Mykonos Suite on Star Pride will feature paintings showcasing scenic Mykonos views and Greek touches throughout the suite. Destination suites will eventually be implemented fleet-wide.
The fleet expansion provides Windstar access to new destinations including Asia, in addition to the fifty countries the company already sails to. The 2015 Voyage Collection will open for sale on March 24, 2014. Star Pride will cruise the exotic wonders of Asia and Arabia with a unique five-voyage collection. Star Legend, sailing its inaugural voyage from Rome, Italy, on May 25, 2015 will cruise new itineraries in Northern Europe. One of the voyages, Land of the Midnight Sun, will originate in Reykjavík, Iceland, a first for Windstar. Star Breeze will begin its maiden voyage from Nice, France, on May 6, 2015. The yacht will spend the summer season in the Mediterranean.
“Doubling the size of our fleet gives us the freedom and the flexibility to expand our voyage collection to new destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore, Arabia, and Iceland among others; which is something our guests are asking for,” said Birkholz. “Additionally, these ships also allow us to visit beautiful new places in the Mediterranean, such as a scenic cruise down the Corinth Canal, something that was limited before due to the height of our sailing yachts.