In 1984, the company Windstar Sail Cruises was established as an alternative to the ever growing modern cruiseliners flooding the Caribbean. Windstar Sail Cruises was going to operate smaller, engine-powered sailingships in a comfortable semi-luxury style. Semi, because the style is not very formal. Over the next years, the company introduced three ships to the same design, Wind Star in 1986, Wind Song in 1987 and Wind Spirit in 1988. The ships had a tonnage measurement of just over 5300 tons, a capacity of 150 passengers and 90 crewmembers and are driven by computer-guided sails at four masts. When there is no wind, the ships can sail on engine-power. While the first trio of ships was introduced, another pair of ships was also ordered, but those ships, named Wind Surf and Wind Saga, would be three times as big and were designed for the double amount of passengers. So Windstar was very confident at the time they started up.
In the last years of the 1980's, Holland America Line was looking for growth as they had experienced the slumb of the mid-1980's. What they had learned, is that the only way for the old company to survive was to diversify. Because of that, they merged with the Alaska-based Westours and this added hotels, a panoramic train and several tourboats and busses to the company. Next to that, HAL also looked to the sea and bought a 50% stake in Windstar Sail Cruises in 1987, before buying the other half of the company in 1988. Also, Holland America Line bought the 1946-founded Home Lines and just a few months later, this all was merged into the Carnival Corporation after that companies deal with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line had fell through. Carnival saw a great potential for the Holland America brand and as we later saw, the old Dutch company has now indeed grown to proportions it could never have done under the original owning company.
But what is important for us at this page, is that Windstar thus also became a part of the large conglometrate. The option for the two new ships thus also passed to HAL/ Carnival. Probably, the new owners did not really see the need to add the ships to Windstar. With the help of the French government, as the ships were built in France, they were completed for the French company Club Med as Club Med 1 and Club Med II, with a first option to purchase by Windstar Cruises at the moment they proved to be needed for Windstar. In 1998, Windstar did buy one of the ships from Club Med, the Club Med I, and she was named Wind Surf, as originally planned. The company did not have the financials to also buy the second ship, so she kept sailing for Club Med Cruises.
In 2002, the company met tragedy when the Wind Song suffered an engine fire while cruising close to Tahiti. Tha damage was extensive, although luckily there had been no casualties. But the ship was declared a total loss and even breaking up proved uneconomical. That is why she was scuttled and sunk between Tahiti and Moorea in january 2003.
In 2007, Carnival Corporation sold Windstar Cruises to Ambassadors International, but sadly this company was declared bankrupt in 2011. In a bidding at a Bankrupcy Court in Delaware, Windstar was finally sold to Anschutz Corporation, that placed the line under management of one of its subsidiaries, Xantera Parks and Resorts.
Below is shown the twin funnels of the Star Legend, one of the former Seabourn ships that was added to the fleet of Windstar in 2015.
In 2013, it was announced that Windstar had bought the three yaughts that started up Seabourn Cruise Line. As these ships of course are a totally different style then the semi-sailingships of the company. That is why they also recieved other names. Seabourn Pride entered service for Windstar first as Star Pride, Seabourn Spirit came in the beginning of 2015 but she was named Star Breeze because confusion could be there with Wind Spirit and last but not least Seabourn Legend became Star Legend in late 2015. With these three new ships, Windstar now has a fleet of six ships and because of that, they are seen in more places on the globe.
A ship now sailing for Windstar Cruises that is placed elsewhere is placed below
Star Pride (2015-now) is placed under Yaughts of Seabourn as Seabourn Pride.
Bookings can be made through Windstar Cruises