Windstar Cruises was originally founded back in the year 1986. At that time, it was owned by Holland America, who continued to operate the cruise line for more than two decades when it was sold to the Ambassadors Cruise Group. Its small fleet originally consisted of four ships, but one of them – the Wind Song – was completely destroyed in a fire back in 2002. Today, the line’s three remaining ships make up the oldest fleet currently on the seas today. Despite their age, though, these unique ships – each of which boasts computer directed sails – have been kept up-to-date and show no sign of just how old they actually are. People choose Windstar for its one-of-a-kind itineraries and for the glamor of traveling beneath a row of full sails.

What’s New

Like so many cruise lines, Windstar Cruises is continually coming up with new features and improvements in order to keep people returning for more. One of the most obvious recent things that Windstar Cruises has done is make complete and major renovations and refurbishments to its three ships. Those ships are now like new once more. Windstar never replaced the Wind Song after it was destroyed in a fire, but its current fleet has been maintained and improved enough to make up for that. Also, Windstar expanded the dining options on its popular ship, the Wind Surf, adding two extra dining venues. More than likely, such expansions will occur on the other two ships in the very near future, and passengers can look forward to even more perks and advantages to sailing with Windstar Cruises.

Known For

Windstar Cruises has carved out a very nice niche for itself in the world of cruises. Although it doesn’t boast the ultra-glamorous Las Vegas style shows that other cruise lines do, it more than makes up for it by boasting some of the most customized cruising experiences in the world. Other key characteristics of Windstar Cruises include:

Cocktail Hours

Instead of having major productions for passengers to enjoy, Windstar Cruises is better known for offering refined and laid back cocktail hours on each of its ships. During those cocktail hours, passengers can chat with the shore excursion manager to find out what’s ahead in terms of shore excursions and other events.

Great Passenger-To-Crew Ratios

Windstar Cruises boasts one of the best passenger-to-crew ratios in the world of cruising today. Indeed, the average ratio is 1.5 passengers to every 1 crew members. For passengers, this means a remarkable level of customized service and a much more pleasant experience overall.

Watersports Platforms

While Windstar Cruises doesn’t boast a slew of planned and organized events on its ships, it does feature water sports platforms on each one of them. At these platforms, guests can enjoy a plethora of exciting different things, including snorkeling, wind sailing, water skiing, paddle boating and even scuba diving. This undoubtedly adds to the charm and glamor of Windstar ships and enhances it reputation for being a relaxing, anything-goes kind of line.

Top Itineraries

Costa Rica/Panama Canal

Windstar’s Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruises are among its most popular. They usually depart from Costa Rica and make stops at ports of call like Playa Flamingo and Tortuga Island.

The Mediterranean

Athens to Istanbul is one of Windstar’s best known Mediterranean itineraries. By booking such a cruise, passengers can enjoy stops at some of the most scenic and enjoyable ports of call in the Mediterranean. Typically, ports of call include Mykonos, Corfu and even Dubrovnik.


Many people choose Windstar primarily for its transatlantic cruises. Windstar’s transatlantic cruises generally depart from Lisbon and wind up in Barbados. Along the way, passengers get to enjoy the superior amenities and excellent water sports of a Windstar cruise.

The Fleet

Wind Spirit

The Wind Spirit is the twin of the Wind Star, and like the other ship it boasts crisp white sails that help it stand out from the crowd in an elegant and exciting way. Like all Windstar ships, the Wind Spirit is well known for its laid back vibe and for its flexible dining options. Indeed, the Verandah Café, for example, is famous for having short lines and a menu option for people who aren’t into buffet style food. A gorgeous atrium with soft, comfortable seating gives this ship an even more sophisticated and enjoyable ambiance.

Wind Star

Although the public rooms on the Wind Star – like all other Windstar ships – are hardly spacious or particularly ornate, they are comfortable, cozy and quiet. They also lend themselves well to socializing and give one the sense of being on their very own private cruise in many ways. Wind Star does not offer any major shows or revues, but it does feature a couple of lounge bands that add a bit of glamor to the ship’s overall feel. The best dining on the ship can be had at the 30-seat Candles, which is next to the pool and quite sumptuous.

Wind Surf

Windstar’s Wind Surf ship stands out from the fleet because, despite being quite compact, it manages to exude an air of roominess and space. Crew members on board this ship actually address passengers by name, too, adding to the personalized feel. A spa and a spacious casino are also exceptions when compared with Windstar’s other two ships, making the Wind Surf the most flexible of the fleet. For its mix of entertainment and comfort, the Wind Surf is an exceptional choice.