Sign Up for Our Monthly Cruise Newsletter
Windstar Cruises’ recent acquisition from Seabourn of the 212-passenger Star Pride is just the start of a major expansion for the cruise line. It’s also the result of one of the most perfect win-win deals in cruise industry history.
Last year, Windstar was ready to expand its fleet for the first time in 16 years. The line wanted to add motorized yachts that would have a higher speed capacity and greater itinerary reach than the company’s signature sailing ships. At the same time, Seabourn — whose new design for larger ships that launched in 2009 was a smashing success — wanted to make its fleet consistent.
It was a perfect match. Seabourn sold its three smaller vessels to Windstar and signed for a new ship build to cover the capacity loss, ordering the company’s largest vessel at 604 passengers.
The acquisition of the three Seabourn vessels doubles the size of Windstar’s fleet and increases overall capacity to 1,230 passengers. Star Pride launched in May. Star Breeze, which is now sailing as Seabourn Spirit, and Star Legend, now sailing as Seabourn Legend, will set sail under the Windstar banner starting in May 2015.
Consistent Design and DecorStar Pride has undergone an extensive renovation by the same company that completed the $18 million refurbishment of Windstar’s three sailing ships: the 148-passenger Wind Star, 148-passenger Wind Spirit and 312-passenger Wind Surf. As a result, the decor and approach is consistent across all four vessels to the extent that some of the names of the public spaces on Star Pride were changed to parallel those on the sailing ships.
Star Pride features Windstar’s hallmark service and its focus on unusual ports of call. Pricing is comparable throughout the Windstar fleet, with some adjustments for room size.
Accommodations on Star Pride are generally larger than on the sailing yachts. Standard suites are 277 square feet, with sleeping and sitting areas and a coffee table that can be raised for dining in. There are French balconies on 36 Star Pride staterooms, and all accommodations have walk-in closets and elegant bathrooms. Private verandas are a feature on the four Owner's Suites (now called Destination Suites), which are from 530 to 575 square feet, and on the two 400-square-foot Classic Suites.
Former Windstar guests and Seabourn passengers who checked out the renovated Pride have been enthusiastic about the dining, accommodations, service and public rooms, according to Jerry Duckett, vice president of sales and marketing for Windstar.
Since its launch as a Windstar vessel in May, guest demographics on Pride have mirrored those on the sailing ships: English speaking, well-traveled, highly educated and 40 years old or older.