Windstar’s $18 Million Fleet Refurbishment

We often have exciting news to share with you, but rarely do we have something to announce of this magnitude. This fall, Windstar launches a multi-million dollar fleet refurbishment plan to renovate our sailing yachts.  It is one of several major projects within our “Full Sail Ahead” strategic initiative encompassing refurbishment, branding, technology investments and product upgrades over the next 18 months.

“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. Previously, there have been enhancements and refurbishment projects throughout the years to keep our yachts beautiful; however this is the most extensive fleet-wide refurbishment project in Windstar’s history.”

Wind Surf Suite CGI rendering. Copy right of MCVITTY Interior Consultants.

This November we will begin the first phase of Wind Surf’s refurbishment. She will emerge in December for her Caribbean season, with luxuriously appointed suites, elegant staterooms and corridors, and a ‘timber boardwalk’ throughout the main deck. The second phase of Wind Surf’s refurbishment will take place in the fall of 2012 and will focus on the yacht’s public spaces, including the Lounge, The Restaurant, Degrees, Veranda, Compass Rose, WindSpa, Yacht Club and Pool Bar.

Wind Star and Wind Spirit will also undergo refurbishments of staterooms, owner’s suite, corridors, and public spaces following their respective Costa Rica and Caribbean seasons. Wind Spirit will begin her Mediterranean season fully refurbished on April 15, 2012 and Wind Star on April 29, 2012.

The vision for the refurbishment is classic, stylish yacht luxury that dramatizes Windstar’s brand position of a “boutique yacht vacation” that is “180 Degrees from Ordinary.” The design palette combines sand and marine colors complementing the warmth of wood finishes, elevating the look and feel to ultimate luxury at sea.

To help us develop this sophisticated design, we turned to the experts: U.K.-based Trimline Interiors incorporating MCVITTY Interior Consultants. Trimline is a refurbishment company well known to the industry specializing in cruise ship and superyacht “turn key” interiors and has completed projects all over the world for many leading luxury cruise lines and yacht owners. Established in 1965, Trimline has its own in-house services including joinery, soft furnishings, upholstery, decoration and all types of flooring.

Wind Surf Suite CGI rendering. Copy right of MCVITTY Interior Consultants.

Alan McVitty is the lead designer and director of MCVITTY Interior Consultants, with a career that spans 24 years in the interiors sector. Having had many projects for luxury cruise lines and private yachts, McVitty had something unique in mind for Windstar: “Our focus was to provide Windstar with something completely different from what currently exists in the luxury cruise market,” said McVitty. “Every corner of our design was carefully confectioned with details and solutions to make guests find themselves not on another commercial cruise but experience a stylish, floating boutique yacht created with a vision to offer a uniquely different, cruise experience.”

Staterooms and Suites:

    • Staterooms on all three yachts will be transformed with new leather headboards, stately arm chairs, linen wall coverings, new lighting features, elegant window coverings, plush wool carpeting, art work, stylish bed cushions, and luxurious bed throws.
  • Suites will additionally be outfitted with new furniture that is easily convertible to lounging, dining, or accommodating a third occupant.
Wind Surf Stateroom CGI rendering. Copy right of MCVITTY Interior Consultants.

Wind Surf Public Spaces:

  • The Restaurant will be completed with a new seating layout, all new soft goods, and state-of-the art wine display and storage.
  • Degrees Restaurant will be transformed into a Mediterranean bistro, anchored by a central wine bar for counter dining as well as an inviting area to relax before and after dinner.  Wine tastings and cooking demonstrations will also be conducted here.
  • The Compass Rose will be reconfigured to open up expansively to the adjoining outdoor deck, and its interior completely renovated to reflect the sophisticated elegance of a private club.
  • The Veranda’s outdoor seating will be significantly expanded, creating an ideal mid-ship area for enjoying breakfast and lunch alfresco.  The interior will include a new buffet, new lighting, and epicurean style display counters.
  • In the Lounge, wall-to-wall carpeting will be replaced with hard flooring accented with inset rugs, a contemporary mix of furniture, lighter color palette and improved sound insulation around the casino.
  • Corridors will be completely renovated from floor to ceiling with all new wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, lighting and art work.
  • The Pool Bar will sport new awnings for additional shade, new deck furniture, and improved outdoor dining layout for Candles Grill.
Wind Surf Corridor CGI rendering. Copy right of MCVITTY Interior Consultants.

 

Wind Spirit and Wind Star Public Spaces:

  • The Restaurant will receive a complete makeover to create the excitement and drama of an exclusive destination restaurant with luxurious neutral tones and curved design elements.
  • The Veranda will be renewed with new lighting, fresh “market-style” buffet arrangements and reconfigured indoor/outdoor seating.
  • The Lounge will be contemporized with new furniture, soft goods, seating arrangements, window treatments and AV system, creating an ideal, welcoming space for evening entertainment.
  • The Pool Bar will be redesigned to offer a more engaging and upscale social experience and to create additional alfresco seating for sunset dining at Candles Grill.
  • The renovations to the Library space will create an intimate, luxurious cocoon for more contemplative pursuits.
  • WindSpa will also receive an interior soft goods update, to reflect the sophistication and elegance of relaxing with spa treatments at sea.

“The refurbishment will give Windstar clients a truly stunning and unique experience to explore destinations in perfect splendor, ultra luxury and comfort,” said McVitty.

Stay tuned for refurbishment updates and behind-the-scenes coverage, as we will keep you up-to-date throughout the duration of the project here on the Windstar Cruises blog.

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Good job Windstar!  The room designs look great and will be a nice upgrade.  I was considering one of your Europe 2012 sailings; now I’m certain I will book if only to see all the terrific improvements.  Your cruise line is the best!  Keep up the good work.

HI Lee

The renderings look great.. And all the best to you… Ready to sail.

Jeff

The renderings of the Surf look great, but how about some idea of what my ship, the Wind Spirit is going to look like.

Really nice changes, Windstar! Thank you! Can’t wait to see in real life. Hope everything goes smoothly, on schedule & under budget. 🙂 At first, we were sad we can’t do the back-to-back Mediterranean cruises we wanted to do in 2012 on the Wind Surf, but we can instead spend days prior to and post in the port cities we wanted to spend time in, that will equal the second week.

Can’t wait for cruise number seven on the newly refurbished yacht!

Having taken 3 Windstar cruises in a 12 month period,it’s safe to say we’re fans.We look forward to the new look and to seeing the staff we’ve come to love.

Does this mean that there will be no passengers on the Nov 2012 trans Atlantic crossing ?

Really like the new concepts.

It is very heartening to this 14 times Windstar cruiser that Xanterra has taken the bit in its teeth and is investing $18 million in fleet refurbishment. Brad enhancement and some repositioning are in order to stay active in this game, and it appears this is happening. Good!

So glad to hear that this refurbishment is happening!!  We sailed on Wind Surf in July from Athens to Istanbul.  While we greatly enjoyed our trip, it was clear that Wind Surf needed a complete makeover.  (I wrote an extensive review about it on CruiseCritic as CoolBreeze7.)  There is so much to like on these voyages…no crowds, lot’s of open deck, outdoor dining…that the interiors need to enhance, not detract from, the overall experience.  We’re looking forward to our next trip after the work is done!

We’ve sailed WindSurf twice prior to the previous owners, we switched to Princess and are one cruise short of black card status.
However our last Princess cruise was not up to expectations….
New ownership of WindStar and major modifications might just might lure us back.

Getting ready for trip number two on the Windstar!  I thought it was already one of the most beautiful and amazing places I’ve ever stayed …so, I’m sure all of the new refurbishments are going to add to the amazing experiences of the overall stay!  — Thank you for being the place I want to be, look forward to staying and spending my vacations!  🙂

We love windstar and are glad to have an owner who cares about the beautiful ships. We have sailed on all 4 ships, the Wind Song trip was our favorite ( Tahiti) out next trip on Wind Star is next year and will be our 12 th.Keep up the good work!

I dont see any cruises to Tahiti on the Destinations page.  Nor do I see a ship named Wind Song???  We’re researching a Greek Isles cruise but Tahiti / Bora Bora is also appealing.

We have taken 15 Windstar cruises and it only gets better.  Just booked the Wind Surf cruise for December 17….Anxious to see the new staterooms….A great enhancement……CJ

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I went on the WindSong back in 1996 to Tahiti. It was magical! A memory that will stay with me for a lifetime. I wish I could do it all again!! Do you no longer offer the Tahiti trips?
Can’t wait to see the refurbishments. I won’t give up my dream of going again some day! Thank you 🙂

I’ve never been on a cruise before and I’m worried about my issues with seasickness and claustrophobia.  Any insights?

There is a new electronic wrist band that some people really like and then there is “non drowsy” Dramamine. A great aerobatic pilot I know of really likes the new bands. I am going to get the band for my wife.

I am sailing on Wind Spirit from Lisbon to St. Maarten on 26 November on my fifth Windstar cruise.  Am I going to be the last Windstar passenger to buy soft drinks on board?

Fantastic!!  My wife & I have just booked our 3rd Windstar Cruise… sailing on 3/24/12 from St.Maarten on the WindSurf… our 3rd Windstar ship.  We cannot wait!!!!  Congrats on the refurb plans…btw, we recommend this perfect vacation experience ALL THE TIME!

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Will the refurbished ships be handicapped accessible?

15 windstar cruises for us to date. Our favorite was a last minute scheduled trip quite a few years ago when the Windspirit left its trial cruise in Alaska and went from Acapulco thru the Canal to Barbados. Crew was employed at the last minute but it became an unforgettable experience. Contadoras, Las Blas, etc. truly an adventure.. Will look forward to the next one.

We will be  on our third Windstar cruise on Dec 17-  can’t wait-  bringing some friends along this time-  looking forward to seeing the renovations even though I thought it was great just the way it was- 

Good morning, i applied for the position of deck Officer on your magnificent ships i hope to work for you it’s my dream since i decide to go at sea just want to know if you are planning to build new ships in the future???

We were on the Wind Surf last year before the new work on the ship and it was beautiful then!  Now it will be even better.  We just booked again for January 2013.  Can’t wait!!!

We sailed the British Virgin Islands several years ago with Windstar, and while we have taken 6 or 7 cruises since, nothing has come even close to your wonderful ship. We are so excited about our upcoming trip aboard your new refurbished Wind Star – sailing out of Barcelona the end of April. It’s something I dream about every single day, especially right now – looking out at 24″ of snow in Colorado!

Are children allowed on the Windstar ships.

Will the Wind Star Refurbishment be completed by the fall of 2012?

We are taking a cruise on the Windspirit in June.  How much of the ship will have been renovated by then?  Thank you.

We are taking the Wind Star in Jan 2012 for the Panama Canal/Costa Rica itinerary, will the updates be complete by that time?  We read several reviews that it was “tired” and “dated.” 

We are sailing on windsurf July 2nd 2012 in the Mediterrean for six days.
What refurbishments will be finished to your beautiful windsur yaht at this time. This is our first voyage..cruise on the windsurf. My first cruise. We are celebrating our birthdays and anniversary at this time. We are, also, going to tour Europe on our own at this time..Look forward to sailing with you all.

What refurbishments will be done by July 2nd 2012 for the Mediterrean Windsurf cruise? Will the suites be done.. We are so excited for our first sailboat cruise! If this is a wonderful as it sounds, we plan on going to the Carribean with you all.
Thank you.

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