Meet Signature Expeditions Creator: New Expedition Captain James Griffiths

We are excited to announce the appointment of Captain James Griffiths to a new position as Expedition Captain for the award-winning small ship cruise line. In this new capacity, Griffiths is overseeing the holistic creation, development and implementation of the line’s newly-announced Signature Expeditions program. Griffiths joined Windstar in 2014 as Captain of the MSY Wind Spirit, prior to that he worked for many years in the Expedition industry operating expedition ships at senior management levels in some of the most remote areas of the world.

“My background is in expeditions, so I am really pleased to help develop Windstar Signature Expeditions Program. We will be doing more scenic and whildlife views than any big ship. We will be stopping the ship in remote locations, launching our expedition equipment, and our expedition staff will take you off the ship to get up close and personal to the whildlife, to the ice, to the glaciers. It’s going to be fantastic!”

∼ Expedition Captain James Griffiths

Windstar_Captain-James-GriffithsGriffiths was made Captain of the 212-passenger MV Star Legend during her 2015 inaugural season, the same ship that will debut the Signature Expeditions program in Alaska in May of 2018. Designed to deliver destination authenticity, Signature Expeditions will be featured on all sailings from 11- to 14-days, with rich and immersive itineraries, sailing between Seward (Anchorage), AK and Vancouver, BC.


As Expedition Captain, Griffiths’ new position puts him in charge of overseeing all aspects of Windstar’s Signature Expeditions program. As a key part of the program, Griffiths has personally assembled an expedition team of world-class naturalists who will guide guests on their fascinating Alaskan journey crafted to provide multiple high-touch adventures and enrichment opportunities each day. Griffiths’ highly specialized skills and talents lend themselves to this new opportunity as Expedition Captain including his extensive experience with ship command and handling; crew management; introducing new cruise vessels and destinations; safety, training and navigation including ice navigation; inspections and compliance, expedition ship operations and polar wildlife.Cruise_Captain_St.Lucia


“We are fortunate to have Captain Griffiths amongst our ranks and are thrilled to place him in this role leading the creation and development of our brand new Signature Expeditions program. Captain Griffiths’ experience with vessels of prestige and breadth of knowledge of the expedition, nautical and maritime industries is most impressive. Many of our guests have sailed with Captain Griffiths and know him as a delightful, accomplished, and down-to-earth leader, interested in sharing his life experiences with others. We are delighted to have him on our management team.”

∼ Windstar Cruises President John Delaney

Interview With Captain James Griffus, Windstar Cruises Expedition Captain


Captain’s Expertise

Griffiths’ career has provided him with a wide variety of roles at sea, notably as Captain of the National Geographic Explorer and Senior Master of the National Geographic Orion during her maiden Antarctic Peninsular Season. Griffiths has sailed on board some of the most well-known passenger ships in the world including 11 years working aboard the highly prestigious ships of Cunard Line being appointed Chief Officer at age 25 on board the RMS Queen Mary 2.


Griffiths was educated in the U.K. and holds multiple degrees and designations from the Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton, Middlesex University and the Nautical Institute in London, and Lloyds Maritime Academy in Kent. Griffiths is a native of South Wales where he resides when not traveling for work or leisure. Griffiths operates from the fleet and at Windstar’s headquarters in downtown Seattle.

When You Go

Each once-in-a-lifetime experience will leave you hungry for more of the real flavors of Alaska. Book your Alaska cruise and Signature Expeditions today. Call your travel professional or Windstar Cruises at 855-419-3877.

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