Sailing under the banner of its appropriate tag line "180º From Ordinary," Windstar was created in the mid-1980's with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The Windstar passenger sees the world from a romantic sailing ship with luxurious accommodations, a casual yet elegant atmosphere, and exquisite service and cuisine.
The Ships In late 1986, the first commercial sailing vessel built in 60 years slipped out of a French dry-dock in Le Havre. Although the towering sails echoed a bygone era of explorers, the msy Wind Star, with its sleek lines and computerized controls, was revolutionary in concept and design.
Windstar's ships are officially motor-sail-yachts (msy), but the designation belies the vessels unique rigging. Unfurling in two minutes at the push of a button, billowing white sails reach to the sky. All functions are operated from the bridge by computer micro-chips and navigational devices. The unusual "open-bridge" operation allows guests to drop by and acquaint themselves with the veteran captains and officers who demonstrate the ship's intriguing capabilities to modern day explorers.
The 148-passenger Wind Star was joined by sister ships the msy Wind Song in 1987, and msy Wind Spirit in 1988. A new era in luxury cruising was now being pioneered by Windstar Cruises. Nearly a decade later in 1998, the 308-passenger msy Wind Surf was acquired by Windstar. Sailing originally as Club Med I, the Wind Surf was built in 1990 in the same shipyard to strikingly similar specifications as her sister ships, making her a perfect match for the four fleet family.
Shipboard Life Windstar's unique concept of sailing has led the cruise industry in the luxury small ship, casual attire, and alternative dining arenas. Pioneering and refining these concepts has earned Windstar an excellent reputation and market niche, winning the allegiance of a new generation of contemporary cruise vacationers, one-third of whom are first-time cruisers.
Teak decking, rich wood interiors, an attentive service staff, intimate surroundings, eclectic artwork, exceptional signature cuisine featuring both light and vegetarian menu selections, and an extensive wine list are some of the extraordinary elements which have become synonymous with Windstar. Features unique to the Wind Surf include 31 deluxe suites, a Business/Internet Centre, The Bistro, The Terrace Bar for small intimate getaways and the nearly 10,000 square foot WindSpa offering a full array of spa treatments, consultative, health and fitness programs.
Passengers are cradled in comfort as all staterooms and suites offer ocean views, sitting area, new LCD flatscreen TV, DVD, CD player, safe, mini-bar/refrigerator, international direct-dial phones, bathroom with luxurious pampering toiletries, hair dryer, plush terry clothe robes, and an abundance of closet space. The library on board stocks an array of international newspapers, books and games, as well as a multi-media selection of more than 500 DVD titles and compact discs available for complimentary check-out.
Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, Windstar ships exude a private-yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between fellow sailors. Every day aboard Windstar brings the promise of new horizons and harbours to explore.
An interesting mix of shore excursions and complimentary water sports activities are available at each destination. Passengers may find themselves slicing through Caribbean waters aboard an actual America's Cup racing yacht, or exploring archaeological ruins in Greece, the "Cradle of Civilization." Water buffs can enjoy complimentary water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking from the ship's aft Water Sports Platform.
The company's cruise vacations offer a sea-side window on the world, combining the refinement of a luxury hotel with a moveable feast of cultural experiences.
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates the 308-passenger Wind Surf and 148- passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit. The three sailing yachts cruise to over 47 countries worldwide offering an affordable luxury vacation.
You are sailing into the fabled port (ancient, romantic) you have seen in travel books and magazines, only the breeze on your skin tells you: it’s real. You are gliding through a beautiful harbour in the Mediterranean, the Greek Isles, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica or the Caribbean. The destinations of Windstar are classic sailing playgrounds, irresistible in every era, for the simple reason that their aura of cool elegance and sportive privilege never go out of style. This classic elegance is mirrored in the Windstar experience on board as well. Throughout you will find an intimate and refined ambiance, with an emphasis on expansive choices, unfettered access, and the liberty to do whatever you desire. You might spend time in the ship’s library, pouring over an atlas or choosing a CD or DVD to take back to your stateroom. Whereas you will find all manner of new appointments aboard our ships, from flat-screen LCD televisions to granite-clad surfaces and updated fitness rooms, the real luxuries Windstar offers are not luxuries “du jour” but rather, luxuries of the heart. Absolute freedom, a relaxed sense of being, a lighter mind.
Complimentary water sports are available in the afternoons on most itineraries when anchored, on all three Windstar ships. Visit the open-air watersports platform located aft. All watersports are offered sea and weather conditions permitting. In the event of turbulent seas and adverse weather conditions, watersports may be cancelled for safety reasons.
Enjoy an open-water skiing adventure in an exotic lagoon, bay, or harbour. For experienced skiers only. Skiing slots are typically half an hour and take a maximum of two skiers at any one time. Sign up times are available on the sports platform during open hours.
Paddle off together to enjoy the coastal sights and get some exercise. Kayaks are available for one or two people for half-an-hour and must be entered from the water.
Among the most challenging of water sports. For experienced surfers only.
Enjoy the wind and the sea on the Topper or Rumba Escape Sailboats. Designed for experienced sailors, sailboats accommodate one or two people.
Scenic Boat Rides:
A relaxing way to take a closer look at the surrounding coast and wildlife. Come for a ride in one of our inflatable boats along scenic coastlines. Do not forget to bring a camera!
If a swim is all you desire, this too is an option. A swim line and user-friendly ladder are provided as well as supervision for your safety.
Enjoy the underwater beauty of reefs, coral, sea life and sunken treasure in many of the ports. Complimentary snorkel gear is provided. Snorkelling excursions are available for an additional charge. Underwater cameras are also available.
Discover Scuba Diving/Certified Scuba Diving Program:
Both programs are led by our dive-masters who are PADI certified. The Discover Scuba Diving program for beginners includes a simple, comprehensive classroom and pool session. After that, beginners can sign up for designated dives. Experienced divers need to bring their certification card and can accompany the dive masters on all dives offered.
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