Windstar takes delivery of Star Pride on April 17, 2014, the first yacht of Windstar’s 2013 purchase of three luxury cruise ships. The work to transform Star Pride into Windstar’s private yacht style will take place in Barcelona immediately following handover. Star Pride’s inaugural voyage embarks May 5, 2014.
“The planning for Star Pride’s transformation to Windstar’s unique private yacht style is nearly complete. Our enhancements include significant style changes and stem-to-stern upgrades,” said Hans Birkholz, chief executive officer of Windstar Cruises. “The main theme is a casual elegant ambiance, with a warm contemporary style. The look and feel of the renovations will align with our sailing fleet.”
Windstar is working in partnership with Alan McVitty and Trimline Interiors, both of whom played a part in the success of Windstar’s recent $18 million sailing fleet-wide renovation, to complete Star Pride’s stem-to-stern transformation that will renovate public spaces, dining venues, and suites.
Public Spaces: the majority of public areas will receive updated décor, complete with new furnishings, upholstery, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings. The enhanced color palette combines sand and marine shades to contrast with the warmth of wood finishes, elevating the look and feel to casual elegance.
• Yacht Club: the indoor observation area on the top deck will become a chic coffee bar and lounge, where guests enjoy espresso and various sandwiches and pastries while relaxing with a good book, exploring their iPads with wifi, or just watching the coast line as they sail to the next destination. The area will receive a complete overhaul , with new Amtico® flooring, furniture, and an open layout that embraces the view.
• Compass Rose: the club space will turn into Windstar’s popular Compass Rose, redesigned with all new contemporary furnishings, including rich new flooring finishes, plantation shutters, and comfortable chairs and bar stools designed for socializing. Live music can be found here nightly.
• Reception: this area will be refreshed with new paneling, light fixtures, and wall coverings. An additional desk for guests to consult with the destination manager and guest service manager will also be added.
• Star Bar: the outdoor deck bar will offer casual drinks during the day and a venue for star-gazing by night. The bar area will be expanded with teak decking, new stools, and lighting.
Dining Venues: all restaurants will be transformed to embrace Windstar’s casual elegance, where guests are free to eat when, where, and with whom they please (no jackets or ties required). All dining experiences are complimentary.
• AmphorA: Windstar’s formal dining experience will be introduced as AmphorA Restaurant. The main dining room will be redesigned, featuring mirror panels with Murano glass, new soft lighting, wall coverings, and art work. The room will feature a new seating layout; setting the stage for Windstar’s signature dining experience featuring contemporary, international menus and fresh, local dishes.
• Veranda/Candles: the restaurant in the aft of the yacht will be an inviting buffet during the day, with plentiful outdoor seating highlighting Veranda’s new look – the perfect spot for breakfast and lunch alfresco. At night the venue will transform to Candles Grill, a favorite Windstar romantic experience where guests can dine with table service under the stars.
Suites: all 106 suites will be renovated to showcase new furnishings, leather headboards, plush sofas and chairs, drapes, new lighting features, window coverings, plush carpeting, new art work, stylish bed cushions, and luxurious bed throws. The suites will feature a warm color palette that embraces comfort and relaxation.
• Destination Suites: the Owner’s Suites will now showcase different, unique Windstar destinations, such as the Bora Bora Suite. Guests can get a taste of one of the hidden harbors that Windstar sails to, all in the comfort of their suite.
Life Onboard: Star Pride will highlight Windstar’s small ship advantage of sailing with fewer than 300 privileged guests. Life on board will showcase many of the experiences found on Windstar’s sailing fleet.
• Sail Away: guests will experience Sail Away from each port enjoying the enchanting music of 1492: Conquest of Paradise as the yacht cruises to the next day’s adventure.
• Deck Barbecue: the line’s signature Deck Barbecue gala will take place one night per voyage on the pool deck. The 5-star buffet offers an array of dishes from lobster to an Asian-style suckling pig, jerk marinated chicken and other specialties. Seafood paella is cooked right on deck giving guests a taste of the Spanish favorite with a local twist. After dining is complete, guests enjoy the ever-popular crew show.
• Open Bridge: Windstar will continue its Open Bridge experience, inviting guests to come into the Bridge when the yacht is at sea. Guests can talk with the Captain and officers on watch, view the navigational chart, and enjoy some of the best views on the yacht.
• Watersports Platform: the swim and sports platform located at the back of the yacht will be brought to life Windstar style. The platform offers a variety of water toys such as water skis, wakeboards, kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats, guests can also enjoy the freedom of their own private yacht by swimming to and from the platform.
• Service: Windstar’s crew members are highly valued and famous for their pampering without pretense, offering service that is personal, anticipatory, and genuine. In 2013 Windstar’s service garnered #1 placement in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards Small Ship Cruise Line category. This same level and style of service will be found on Star Pride.
• Luxury as You Like It®: Unlike many of the all-inclusive luxury brands, Windstar offers a choice of personal amenities. Shore excursions can be booked as a collection or by individual tour. Alcoholic beverages are available a la carte or through a beverage package, ensuring that guests aren’t paying for someone else’s bar bill. A variety of other amenities are available for guests to tailor their cruise as they choose.
New Destinations: With only 212 guests, Star Pride’s size fits perfectly with Windstar’s small ship philosophy of exploring secluded coves and hidden harbors. Recognized by Condé Nast Traveler, Windstar’s itineraries offer an in-depth enrichment experience that includes local entertainment, authentic cuisine, and small group shore excursions. Without sailing masts, Star Pride will open up a world of new places.
• Europe: The Pride offers four unique new voyages in Europe, including Black Sea Tapestry, a 7-day cruise through the enigmatic, once hidden, wonders of the Black Sea. Guests can cruise the southernmost tip of the Aegean on Pride of the Aegean, a 9-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul. Riviera Enchantment discovers the glamour, and the excitement of the world's most famous yachting playgrounds on a 7-day voyage round trip from Rome. Star Pride will sail through the Corinth Canal, a first for Windstar, on the 9-day cruise, Venetian Passageways, from Athens to Venice. Additionally, in May 2014, the all-suite yacht will dock in Monte Carlo and feature an exclusive Grand Prix themed voyage.
• Arabia: Two of Star Pride’s voyages will offer the alluring ports of Arabia and India. Wonders of Arabia, an 18-day voyage from Athens, Greece to Dubai, UAE, showcases the Red Sea, the Nile, and the rose-colored ruins of Petra. Guests can enjoy everything from India’s colorful cities to the tranquil beauty of Thailand’s beaches on Pearls of the Indian Ocean, a 15-day voyage from Dubai, UAE to Singapore.
• Southeast Asia: Star Pride will cruise the exotic waters of Southeast Asia with three new voyages beginning in December 2014. Treasures of Southeast Asia, a 14-day voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong, visits the ancient trading city of Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary, Hue, and Halong Bay. Guests can visit Imperial Hue, ancient Hoi An, and amazing Ho Chi Minh City on Vietnam Unveiled, a 10-day voyage from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Hong Kong. Singapore & the Malay Peninsula voyage, a 10-day round trip cruise that explores Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, was recently recognized as one of the 10 Best New Cruise Itineraries for 2014 by Fodor’s Travel.
“The transformation of these small all suite yachts will redefine the idea of casual elegance in luxury cruising,” said Birkholz. “We are eagerly anticipating the May 5th inaugural voyage when Star Pride’s luxurious, modern, and stylish upgrades will be unveiled.”
Windstar will welcome the two additional yachts in April and May of 2015. Deployment and additional details will be announced in the coming months.