Windstar Cruises has announced it is to double the size of its fleet in one quick swoop as they have agreed the purchase of three of The Yachts of Seabourn. Windstar will purchase the entire Pride Class of Seabourn vessels in a rapid expansion of its fleet whilst Seabourn will dramatically reduce their fleet size at the same time. The new additions will give Windstar a total of 1,230 berths.
It is understood that Windstar chose the selected Seabourn vessels as the three ships in particular fit the mould of what the brand was looking for. Specialising in smaller ships, the Pride Class of Seabourn fits perfectly in line with the Windstar persona.
The three new arrivals to the fleet will take place in stages over the next two years commencing in 2014. Seabourn Pride will be the first ship to be handed over, taking place in April of 2014 and she will commence a Mediterranean calendar under the Windstar brand following a revitalising renovation and under a new name. The Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit will be next in April and May 2015, respectively.
“Each ship will go through a ‘Windstarization,’ ” Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ CEO said, which will make the look and feel of the interior spaces more consistent via soft goods like décor and furnishings.
“Windstar has experienced four straight years of revenue growth,” Andy Todd, CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, said in a prepared statement. “This expansion is the perfect way to build on the momentum following our recent fleetwide renovation.”
Birkholz added, “For Windstar, the strategy is keeping passengers in the family… so let’s give them more options in terms of destinations.”
This may increase the Windstar fleet size but Seabourn will be left boasting just three vessels, the line therefore has already begun discussions with shipbuilders over the development of a fourth ship.
“Our three newest vessels, Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest have raised the bar for ultra-luxury cruising, and we intend to add a fourth ship of similar design,” Seabourn’s president Richard Meadows said in announcing the sale. “Seabourn is already in discussion with shipbuilders, and an order is likely to be announced within the current fiscal year.”
The new ship will be large enough to bring Seabourn back to the capacity it loses with the sale of the three smaller ships.