Windstar owner Xanterra to spend $18M on fleet renovation


Windstar Cruises' new owner, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, will invest $18 million in renovations of the luxury line's three ships, the Wind Surf, Wind Spirit and Wind Star.

The cost of the upgrades will be nearly half of the $39 million Xanterra paid for the line last May.

The project, called Full Sail Ahead, will be completed in multiple phases starting this fall, when the 312-passenger Wind Surf will receive upgrades to cabins, suites and corridors in advance of its winter Caribbean season, which begins Dec. 10.

Next fall, renovations to its public spaces will be completed. The Restaurant will be redesigned with a new seating layout, new soft goods, and a wine display. Degrees Restaurant will be turned into a Mediterranean bistro, and the Compass Rose will be reconfigured to open onto an adjoining outdoor deck.

The Veranda's outdoor seating will be expanded, and its interior will sport a new buffet, lighting and epicurean-style display counters.

The Wind Spirit and Wind Star, each accommodating 148 passengers, will be renovated next spring after their respective Caribbean and Costa Rica seasons and before their Mediterranean deployments in April.

The refurbishments will be similar to the Wind Surf's, targeting cabins, suites and corridors along with restaurant and lounge spaces, the spas, libraries, pool bars and reception areas.

"This is a significant investment in our luxurious sailing yachts and will enable us to provide an unparalleled guest experience," said Hans Birkholz, president and CEO of Windstar Cruises.

"Our new owners, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, are committed to Windstar's growth for the long term," he said. "Previously, there have been enhancements and refurbishment projects throughout the years to keep our yachts beautiful. But this is the most extensive fleetwide refurbishment project in Windstar's history."

Birkholz said the line looked at adding balconies but decided against it.

"On the existing cabins it would be very hard to do," Birkholz said. "It might be possible to add cabins and put them on, but that's a huge investment to reconfigure for that. We really don't have a lot of people asking for them."

Birkholz said there would be additional initiatives, not yet announced, to enhance the guest experience and "truly set Windstar apart from the other luxury lines."

He said upgrades to the Wind Surf would be completed at the Lisnave Shipyard in Setubal, Portugal, outside Lisbon, and the two smaller ships would be refit while in drydock in Barbados.

The vision for the refurbishments is "classic, stylish yacht luxury" that ties in with the line's slogan, "180 Degrees From Ordinary."

The line chose U.K.- based Trimline Interiors to implement the redesigns.

Refurbishment updates will be provided throughout the duration of the project on

Windstar's former owner, Ambassadors International, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 1. It had agreed to sell Windstar and other assets to the firm's biggest creditor, Whippoorwill Associates, a private equity firm in New York.

Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Xanterra, through its subsidiary TAC Cruise, entered a $39 million cash offer in mid-May, as the bankruptcy proceeding was under way.

Xanterra operates hotels and restaurants in several national parks.


From Our Partners

From Our Partners

Las Vegas Webinar image
The Latest in Las Vegas
Register Now
Los Cabos dining district
Los Cabos' 23400 District
Read More
2021 California Connect
California Connect
Register Now

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI