Windstar announces multi-million upgrade

Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of six boutique all-suite and sailing yachts, three of which are undergoing a significant redesign and renovation

Windstar Cruises has embarked on a multi-million dollar redesign and update on its three classic sailing yachts - the 148-guest Wind Star and Wind Spirit and 342-guest Wind Surf.

Windstar launched the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative to transform the three all-suite Star Plus Class yachts with new suites, restaurants, and a world-class spa and fitness centre. The multi-year initiative kicked off last month, with Wind Star completing phase one of her renovations.

“Our sailing ships are beloved by Windstar guests,” says Windstar’s President Christopher Prelog. “Being on the ship under sail is unforgettable and brings an element of freedom and romance to every voyage.”

Wind Star is the first sailing ship to start the process and is currently in Lisbon, readying to welcome guests onboard. A second phase will include remaining staterooms and dining venues in 2026. Wind Spirit will be fully remodelled and complete her renovations in 2025, while Wind Surf will be in two phases – 2024 and 2026.

The project encompasses a full redesign of all public spaces with new layouts, furniture, wall and floor coverings, lighting and custom art. Guest staterooms, Premium Suites, and Owner’s Suites will be fully refurbished including new furniture, interactive televisions, and décor.

“This multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative is all about providing guests with updated spaces that inspire relaxation, foster connection, and offer multifunctional needs of an intimate sized sailing yacht,” says Stijn Creupelandt, Windstar’s vice president of hotel operations and product development. “Spending time on our yachts is all about moments of connection, whether that be guest to guest or guest to crew, and we want to make sure our spaces reflect that desire.”

Opening up the lobby space has created a more expansive reception area with added seating and expanded retail space in Wind Star. A redesign of the lounge layout is meant to foster connections between people with a living room-like ambiance. New furniture, lighting and finishes enhance the area for daytime relaxation and evening entertainment. The World Spa by Windstar and gym have been thoughtfully designed with wellness and respite in mind. Both areas have all new finishes, colour palettes, and new state-of-the-art equipment.

 A focal point on every voyage, the pool deck has been expanded with removal of the skylight, adding in a new pool and jacuzzi, and extending the pool bar. New furniture includes sofas for lounging and colourful poufs, ottomans, and chairs around the pool. New speakers, lighting, and finishes add to the fun of parties on the pool deck. New fauna and greenery around the pool bar add a pop of colour.

Through its partnership with Fountainhead Arts in Miami, the cruise line is sourcing a curated collection of artwork for all three yachts. All are specially commissioned for Windstar with a common theme around the convergence of nature, organic materials, and the essence of yachting.

New, larger televisions in every cabin will be fully loaded with curated content and movies, and the line’s Wayfinder application. Additional WiFi access points will provide a better connection to Starlink internet.

Updates planned for guest staterooms, the main dining room Amphora, and lunch/breakfast restaurant Veranda will occur in phase 2.

“The design inspiration really developed from the yachts themselves,” explains Jessica Payne, Windstar’s manager of interior design. “I studied classic and modern yacht architecture to develop the sophisticated design foundation, and then went on to add pops of fun and peeks of relief inspired by our sails, the sea, the cities we visit, and our guests. Stepping into the lobby as you embark is about feeling a sense of stepping onto your own private yacht but experiencing the service of a luxury boutique hotel.”

Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of six boutique all-suite and sailing yachts carrying 148-342 guests. Small ship cruises sail throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, New England and Eastern Canada, the Middle East, and the South Pacific, including a ship year-round in Tahiti. 

The award-winning line is known for immersive experiences, destination authenticity, port-intensive itineraries, exceptional service, and an innovative culinary programme.

Cruise Master and Windstar Cruises organised a Cruise Nite in November last year in Dubai for more than 40 key agents who are top sellers in UAE for luxury cruises and other niche products. The evening took off with an introduction of the Windstar, keeping a focus on Mediterranean itineraries that sail from December to March 2024.