While there’s been lots of buzz about big cruise ships as of late, it’s not just the gargantuan floating palaces of the sea that offer a wonderful cruise experience. In fact, I’d argue that most of the cruisers I meet (myself included) count small ships among their favourite cruise experiences. And one of my favourite small-ship lines is Windstar Cruises.
Based out of Seattle, Windstar has a fleet of six unique ships. Wind Star, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf are all known as “motor-ship-yachts” thanks to their masts of billowing white sails, but decidedly cruise-like on-board amenities. Of the three, Wind Surf is the biggest, with a capacity for 310 guests. Wind Star and Wind Surf are smaller; these identical sister-ships carry just 148 guests apiece.
Windstar also has three “power yachts” — small, luxury cruise ships that the line recently acquired from Seabourn. Known as Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride, these ships have just 212 guests and no sails — but what they lack in sail power, they make up for in terms of lavish accommodations. Suites are, on average, larger aboard these power yachts, which longtime cruisers might remember better under their former names of Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit.
The Windstar Cruises lineup of three cruise ships that have sails (Wind Star, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf) and the three power yachts (Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride) have been on must do cruise list for a long time. I really want to cruise on a ship with sails. I have seen these while on other cruises and they are all beautiful ships and I feel that the small ship experience is enhanced by Windstar Cruises attention to detail.