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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69 responses to “Windstar’s $18 Million Fleet Refurbishment”

  1. Anonymous says:

    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.

  2. Jeffat says:

    HI Lee

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


  3. Jerry Baker says:

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

  4. Allison McFadden says:

    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.

  5. Jeremy Shepherd says:

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

  6. Judychasson says:

    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.

    • Thank you so much! And please let us know what you think of the updated look – we can’t wait to hear how our loyal guests feel about the changes. This is a very exciting time for us!

  7. Deltaqueen99 says:

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

    Really like the new concepts.

    • So glad you like the refurbishments! We’re very excited. And regrettably, due to the second phase of the refurbishment, Wind Surf will not be offering a Nov 2012 transatlantic crossing.

  8. Jkdiver says:

    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!

    • We couldn’t be happier with Xanterra – they are truly investing in us and ensuring that we will maintain a standard of quality that we pride ourselves on. Thank you so much for your well wishes!

  9. CoolBreeze7 says:

    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!

  10. aankus says:

    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.

  11. Rose says:

    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!  🙂

  12. Lunchczar says:

    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!

  13. Charlene says:

    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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  17. […] in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Baltic and Mediterranean for 2012, Windstar recently announced an $18 million fleet refurbishment plan, which will be completed in phases beginning this fall. Each yacht will receive stylish, new […]

  18. […] in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Baltic and Mediterranean for 2012, Windstar recently announced an$18 million fleet refurbishment plan, which will be completed in phases beginning this autumn. Each yacht will receive stylish, new […]

  19. Kate says:

    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 🙂

    • Hi Kate,

      Thank you so much for your kind comments! We also are so excited about the upcoming investments in our fleet – we think all our guests will be thrilled with the results. We hope to see you with us soon, and hear what you think of the updated décor!


      The Windstar Team

  20. Hi There,

    We do not have any cruises to French Polynesia scheduled for 2012, but we certainly take note of the destinations that interest our guests. Thank you for your input! Our Greek Isles itineraries are wonderful, and we think you’ll be able to find some fantastic options there: We would love to see you onboard – let us know if there are any other questions you have.

    The Wind Song is no longer part of our fleet. As a side note, we are excited to announce that the Wind Star, Wind Spirit and their larger sister ship, Wind Surf, are all scheduled to undergo complete refurbishments! You can check out their updated look here:

    Let us know what you decide and if there is anything else we can do to assist you!

  21. Hi Charlene,

    What an honor to have had you with us for 15 cruises! Thank you for your continued loyalty. We cannot wait to hear what you think of the refurbishments!


    The Windstar Team

    • John Swaren says:

      Awesome, Charlene!  I hope my wife & I can match that someday… so far 3 Windstar vacations in 2 years  🙂

  22. Karinedelson says:

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

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Suggested reply:

      We completely understand your concerns and many people have the same issues with seasickness as you do. Prepare yourself as best you can by bringing anti-nausea medications with you, and we also carry medications onboard. Keep in mind that our ships are equipped with stabilizers which minimize ship movement, and many of our guests have commented on how remarkably smooth our voyages are – even in comparison with much larger ships.

      Claustrophobia shouldn’t be too severe of a problem onboard, considering that our cabins are more spacious than most other cruise lines and that all of our cabins have windows looking out to the sea. We have wide open decks which you can spend a great deal of time on, and our public spaces are rarely crowded. That being said, claustrophobia is a subjective concern and if you deal with severe claustrophobia, you might consider seeking professional advice prior to sailing with us.

      Let us know if you have any other questions, and know that we do everything we can to ensure our guests have happy, healthy voyages with us.

    • MoneyWatcher says:

      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.

  23. Bob Booth says:

    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?

  24. Yes, our complimentary soft beverages begin at the start of the Caribbean and Costa Rica season in December. We do apologize for the inconvenience and regret that the timing was unfortunate for some of our guests. Thank you for your continued loyalty, and we will do everything we can to ensure you have a wonderful voyage with us.

  25. John Swaren says:

    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!

    • What a pleasure to hear! We can’t wait to have you with us again and if you have any photos of your journey or would like to reconnect with anyone from your cruises, come find us on Facebook:

      Thanks again for your continued loyalty and we really hope to hear some of your stories!

  26. […] new voyages in 2012, Windstar recently announced an $18 million fleet refurbishment plan. Each yacht will receive stylish, new furniture, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, […]

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  29. Marilynne says:

    Will the refurbished ships be handicapped accessible?

  30. Ken Holland says:

    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.

  31. Rob Fishman says:

    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- 

  32. Suma_francesco says:

    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???

    • Thank you for your comment! We are always interested in exploring new opportunities to grow the Windstar brand. Currently, our fleet consists of the three sailing yachts only. We wish you the best of luck!

  33. Wine says:

    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!!!

  34. Betsy Crawford says:

    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!

  35. Anyamulligan says:

    Are children allowed on the Windstar ships.

  36. Hi There! Thanks for your question. Children under seven years of age are strongly discouraged aboard Windstar cruises. The intimate ship size and unregimented atmosphere are adult in orientation and do not provide for the care, supervision, or entertainment of children. Nor do our ships stock cribs, booster seats or other equipment necessary for the comfort and safety of small children. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you in the planning of your vacation. We hope to see you aboard soon!


    The Windstar Team

  37. neil says:

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

  38. Thanks for your question! The Wind Star’s renovation will be entirely completed in November 2012. Check out this blog post for greater detail:

    We hope to see you with us soon!

    The Windstar Team

  39. Jeff Clarke says:

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

  40. We are so glad you picked Windstar and we can’t wait to welcome you aboard! The Wind Spirit will have completed staterooms, owner’s suite and corridors. The public spaces won’t be completed until November 2012. Here are all the details:

    Let us know if you have any further questions, and come find us at to connect with other sailors and get some info prior to your voyage!

    The Windstar Team

  41. JLynn2012 says:

    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.” 

    • Thanks for your question and we look forward to welcoming you aboard. We assume you mean January 2013? In which case, the Wind Star will absolutely be completed! We think you will be very happy with the renovations. Let us know if you have any additional questions we can assist with!


      The Windstar Team

  42. J Stanislaw says:

    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 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.

    • We are so excited to have you with us and are honored that you selected Windstar to celebrate such important occasions! We know you are going to have a wonderful time, and make sure you call us in advance about the occasions you’re celebrating so we can make a note on your booking reservation: 800.258.7245

      The staterooms and corridors are complete on the Wind Surf, here is some additional information and photographs for you to check out:

      Thanks for choosing Windstar, and we look forward to welcoming you aboard!


      The Windstar Team

  43. Kathie says:

    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.

    • We look forward to welcoming you aboard – once you’ve cruised on our sailing yachts, nothing else will quite match up 🙂 Yes, the staterooms and corridors are completed on the Wind Surf and the yacht will be completely renovated in December 2012. Here’s some additional information and some photos for you to check out:

      We also invite you to come join us at to get a first-hand account of the Windstar experience from other guests in preparation for your journey! Thanks for choosing Windstar.


      The Windstar Team

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