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Windstar Cruises Welcomes Two New Ships to Fleet Including First Star Class Newbuild


Ski Mom 2
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21 minutes ago, Ski Mom 2 said:

Did you see that they will be sending one of the sailing ships back to Tahiti in 2027 because of these new ships?

Plus the Spirit seems to be going back. Tahiti yearns for sails in my unbiased opinion. 

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I don’t see any downside to this. Bringing the triplets on board was a mess. But these are new and increase the fleet from 6 to 8. Not 3 to 6. Perhaps some lessons were learned. 

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They will be modifying both ships for Windstar, adding the Watersports Platform and two extra-large Owner's Suites at the rear (and somehow increasing the number of passengers from 176 to 224), but I suspect that most existing cabins will remain as they are.  Here is what World Explorer looks like now on its charter to Quark:

https://www.quarkexpeditions.com/expedition-ships/world-explorer#deck-plans-cabins

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Fantastic news! Now to figure out how to get on the maiden voyage. I don’t care about the breakin period🤓.

Just finished a March cruise on the Spirit…..it was wonderful. She needs her refit, but hey, she’s showing her age just like me😝

 

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I completed an 11-day expedition to Antarctica in January on Atlas World Traveller, a sister ship to the ships WS will be purchasing. The ship was absolutely beautiful inside and out and had the same warm, accommodating service as WS. It was a trip of a lifetime and I am hoping to travel to the Arctic as well. Perhaps, the Arctic will be a WS itinerary in the near future. If not, Atlas Ocean Voyages promises an amazing expedition.

World Traveller Jenny Island.jpg

lone penguin.jpg

seal Jenny Island 2.jpg

419078645_7188740431146596_3501218490949067377_n.jpg

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Just checked out the interior of the ship…..looks like a perfect fit for WS. Even the dining area aft of the restaurant lends itself to a candle’s venue.

Since the ship is being delivered in December…..could she start off in the Caribbean? I’d love to see an embarkation port of St Thomas, but San Juan would be in keeping with their current scheduling.

Waiting till June for scheduling……😰😰😰

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3 hours ago, RMS Olympic said:

Just checked out the interior of the ship…..looks like a perfect fit for WS. Even the dining area aft of the restaurant lends itself to a candle’s venue.

Since the ship is being delivered in December…..could she start off in the Caribbean? I’d love to see an embarkation port of St Thomas, but San Juan would be in keeping with their current scheduling.

Waiting till June for scheduling……😰😰😰

Me too.  I'm scheduled on the brand-new  Silversea Silver Ray for Jan. 2026, but with all the comments here about Silversea cutbacks I would seriously consider cancelling in favor of a brand-new Windstar yacht.  Happier to stick with a cruise line that's moving in the right direction!

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I called WS to see if there was a waitlist for the inaugural/maiden voyage….answer was no. But schedules would come out in June. I’m hoping a late Dec or early Jan cruise will be like the Breeze first sailing in 2021(post stretch)….in the Caribbean. So I will check the web site daily starting in mid May.

 

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I wonder how the additional 48 passengers will impact the interior public spaces, especially in cold weather. I seem to recall hearing this was a problem with the triplets after the stretch.

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48 minutes ago, avalong said:

I wonder how the additional 48 passengers will impact the interior public spaces, especially in cold weather. I seem to recall hearing this was a problem with the triplets after the stretch.

One difference (which may or may not make a real difference) is that these new ships were designed for polar voyages (meaning the interior spaces are heavily used) and Windstar says they aren't going there – in warmer climates many people will be outside. 

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33 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

One difference (which may or may not make a real difference) is that these new ships were designed for polar voyages (meaning the interior spaces are heavily used) and Windstar says they aren't going there – in warmer climates many people will be outside. 

Did I miss something? Did WS state that they will not be doing polar itineraries? Why buy ships that are rated for ice if you don't need that function?

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44 minutes ago, ridethetide said:

Did I miss something? Did WS state that they will not be doing polar itineraries? Why buy ships that are rated for ice if you don't need that function?

The alterations include this: "the bow will be changed a bit to look more yachtlike, and a ducktail added to support the watersports platform" – which I think would reduce the seaworthiness for extreme polar itineraries.

 

Also "Prelog indicated they won't be operating as expedition ships or going to the poles. But the capability could come in handy for destinations like Alaska and Greenland."

 

Why buy them?  Probably because they were cheap and the ice-strengthened hull is just an added benefit in the "why not" category?


The article from which I took those quotes also indicates that the new owner's suites will be where the helipad was [which I'm guessing is the big circle at the front of Deck 8].

 

The extra passenger capacity may be reflected in adding 3rd berths to some suites, rather than adding new suites – which would also mean that the ship is less likely to sail at 100% [relevant to the overcrowding question]

 

Here's the full article:

https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/shipbuilding-equipment/windstar-cruises-acquiring-two-mystic-invest-ships-one-newbuild

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

The article from which I took those quotes also indicates that the new owner's suites will be where the helipad was [which I'm guessing is the big circle at the front of Deck 8].

 

The OP's quoted article quotes Christopher Prelog saying that the new owners' suites will be aft wraps.

 

"Each ship has 112 suites, featuring full private verandas and infinity windows, ensuring unparalleled views for every guest onboard. Additionally, two new Owner's Suites with wrap-around balconies have been added to the aft of the ship, perfect for evening cocktails or a private dinner."

 

These sure look like beautiful ships!  I'm excited about this news and I haven't even sailed on my first Windstar yet!!  384 days to go!! 

 

~Nancy

 

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I was thinking the bow needed to be modified to look like the existing motor yachts. So happy this May actually happen.

As for the purchase….my thoughts are: ships available as Atlas may be struggling. These two ships are the right size, designed to be environmentally clean and with one still under construction easy to modify.

As for not planned for expeditions, the expedition market is full, WS demographics might not support cold itineraries beyond Iceland.

 

This purchase suggests the balance sheet is healthy unlike other cruise lines in debt up to their necks. Then no continuing cut backs😉.

I am soooooo happy!

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I agree with HMS. The financial wherewithal to commit to these ships was welcome news, almost as exciting as the ships themselves. (Although, as a former Crystal customer, I know too well that lines can become overextended very quickly and ship orders can be canceled.)

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5 hours ago, RMS Olympic said:

I was thinking the bow needed to be modified to look like the existing motor yachts. So happy this May actually happen.

As for the purchase….my thoughts are: ships available as Atlas may be struggling. These two ships are the right size, designed to be environmentally clean and with one still under construction easy to modify.

As for not planned for expeditions, the expedition market is full, WS demographics might not support cold itineraries beyond Iceland.

 

This purchase suggests the balance sheet is healthy unlike other cruise lines in debt up to their necks. Then no continuing cut backs😉.

I am soooooo happy!

I think the new-build purchase is a terrific idea, as the changes can be made early in the construction process.  But I question the refit – why not take the next new-build instead of sending this back to the shipyard for 'some work'?  Will it come out looking like Cher???

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