Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations, is launching a multi-million dollar fleet refurbishment plan to be completed in multiple phases beginning this fall.
Total investment for the refurbishment is $18 million and it is one of several major projects within Windstar’s “Full Sail Ahead” strategic initiative encompassing refurbishment, branding, technology investments and product upgrades over the next 18 months.
“This is a significant investment in our luxurious sailing yachts and will enable us to provide an unparalleled guest experience,” said Hans Birkholz, President and CEO of Windstar Cruises. “Our new owners, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, are committed to Windstar’s growth for the long term. Previously, there have been enhancements and refurbishment projects throughout the years to keep our yachts beautiful; however this is the most extensive fleet-wide refurbishment project in Windstar’s history.”
Work begins this November on the first phase of Wind Surf’s refurbishment, emerging December 10, 2011, for the start of the Caribbean season, with renovated and luxurious staterooms, suites, bridge suites, corridors, and a ‘timber boardwalk’ throughout the main deck in keeping with her elegant yacht style. The second phase of Wind Surf’s refurbishment will take place in the fall of 2012 and focuses on the yacht’s public spaces including the Lounge, The Restaurant, Degrees, Veranda, Compass Rose, WindSpa, Yacht Club and Pool Bar.
Wind Star and Wind Spirit will undergo complete refurbishments of staterooms, owner’s suite, and corridors along with public spaces including The Restaurant, Veranda, Lounge, WindSpa, Library, Reception, and Pool Bar following their respective Costa Rica and Caribbean seasons. After the completion of work, both yachts begin their Mediterranean seasons with Wind Spirit starting April 15, 2012, and Wind Star beginning April 29, 2012.
The vision for the refurbishment is classic, stylish yacht luxury that dramatizes Windstar’s brand position of a “boutique yacht vacation” that is “180 Degrees from Ordinary.” The yachts will receive new furniture, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings. New furnishings will complete the look in keeping with the chic, private yacht scheme. The design palette combines sand and marine colors contrasting elegantly with the warmth of wood finishes, elevating the look and feel to ultimate luxury at sea.
Windstar’s chosen design and build partner for the project is U.K. based Trimline Interiors incorporating MCVITTY Interior Consultants. Trimline is a refurbishment company well known to the industry specializing in cruise ship and superyacht “turn-key” interiors and has completed projects all over the world for many leading luxury cruise lines and yacht owners. Established in 1965, Trimline has its own in-house services including joinery, soft furnishings, upholstery, decoration and all types of flooring.
Alan McVitty, lead designer and director of MCVITTY Interior Consultants, has a career that spans 24 years in the interiors sector. McVitty’s areas of expertise include both leisure and residential assignments along with projects for luxury cruise lines and private yachts.
“Our focus was to provide Windstar with something completely different from what currently exists in the luxury cruise market,” said McVitty. “Every corner of our design was carefully confectioned with details and solutions to make guests find themselves not on another commercial cruise but experience a stylish, floating boutique yacht created with a vision to offer a uniquely different, cruise experience.”
Staterooms and Suites:
Staterooms on all three yachts will be transformed with new leather headboards, stately arm chairs, linen wall coverings, new lighting features, elegant window coverings, plush wool carpeting, art work, stylish bed cushions, and luxurious bed throws. Suites will additionally be outfitted with new furniture that is easily convertible to lounging, dining, or accommodating a third occupant.
Wind Surf Public Spaces:
The Restaurant will be completed with a new seating layout, all new soft goods, and state-of-the art wine display and storage. Degrees Restaurant will be transformed into a Mediterranean bistro, anchored by a central wine bar for counter dining as well as an inviting area to relax before and after dinner. Wine tastings and cooking demonstrations will also be conducted here. The Compass Rose will be reconfigured to open up expansively to the adjoining outdoor deck, and its interior completely renovated to reflect the sophisticated elegance of a private club.
The Veranda’s outdoor seating will be significantly expanded, creating an ideal mid-ship area for enjoying breakfast and lunch alfresco. The interior will include a new buffet, new lighting, and epicurean style display counters. In the Lounge, wall-to-wall carpeting will be replaced with hard flooring accented with inset rugs, a contemporary mix of furniture, lighter color palette and improved sound insulation around the casino.
Corridors will be completely renovated from floor to ceiling with all new wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, lighting and art work. The Pool Bar will sport new awnings for additional shade, new deck furniture, and improved outdoor dining layout for Candles Grill.
Wind Spirit and Wind Star Public Spaces:
The Restaurant will receive a complete makeover to create the excitement and drama of an exclusive destination restaurant with luxurious neutral tones and curved design elements.
The Veranda will be renewed with new lighting, fresh “market-style” buffet arrangements and reconfigured indoor/outdoor seating.
The Lounge will be contemporized with new furniture, soft goods, seating arrangements, window treatments and AV system, creating an ideal, welcoming space for evening entertainment.
The Pool Bar will be redesigned to offer a more engaging and upscale social experience and to create additional alfresco seating for sunset dining at Candles Grill.
The renovations to the Library space will create an intimate, luxurious cocoon for more contemplative pursuits.
WindSpa will also receive an interior soft goods update, to reflect the sophistication and elegance of relaxing with spa treatments at sea.
“The refurbishment will give Windstar clients a truly stunning and unique experience to explore destinations in perfect splendor, ultra luxury and comfort,” said McVitty.
Refurbishment updates and behind-the-scenes coverage will be provided throughout the duration of the project on Windstar’s blog: HYPERLINK "http://blog.windstarcruises.com/" blog.windstarcruises.com.