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Windstar Cruises can trace its origin back to 1984 when three vessels that combined standard diesel engines with vast, computer-controlled staysails, took the cruise world by storm. Conjuring up an air of romance, these modern incarnations of tall ships are showstoppers wherever they sail. Windstar’s original fleet – the 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit, along with the 310-passenger Wind Surf – were purchased by Xanterra Resorts in 2011. A few years later this dynamic company also acquired the three former Seabourn sisters – renaming them Star Pride, Star Breeze and Star Legend – each of these ‘power yachts’ convey 212 passengers. More laid back than most other lines, the atmosphere on Windstar ships is elegantly casual and unregimented with no formal dress code.
Dining is a highlight of any Windstar cruise and the ship’s main restaurant – AmphorA – operates on an open-seating basis. Windstar’s signature outdoor restaurant is Candles – a perfect place for a romantic tête-a-tête under the stars. Wind Surf also offers the Stella Bistro for Mediterranean cuisine. Breakfast and lunch are served in the buffet-style Veranda. All ships have a swimming pool with a bar close by; as well as a well-appointed WindSpa and Fitness Centre.
Whether in the Greek Isles, the Mediterranean, Baltic, Central America, or the Caribbean, Windstar’s itineraries are port-intensive, usually with just one day at sea. When the ships anchor offshore, a water sports platform can be lowered from the stern for waterskiing, windsurfing, and kayaking. Entertainment is generally limited to music in the lounges; there are stylish lounges and bars, a small casino, plus both indoor and outdoor bars.