Small-Ship Cruise Line Announces Plans to Expand Fleet

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Another cruise line is growing its fleet! Windstar Cruises, a leader in luxury small-ship cruising, has announced plans for two brand new, all-suite motor yachts to join its fleet in 2025 and 2026. 

Star Seeker and Star Explorer to Join Windstar Cruises Fleet

Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises is growing from six ships to eight in the next two years. Star Seeker and Star Explorer, which will join the small-ship cruise line’s Star Plus Class, will enter service in December 2025 and December 2026, respectively. 

“We are thrilled for this expansion, building on the success of our game-changing Star Class in small-ship cruising with guests and travel partners, while offering new experiences,” said Windstar Cruises’ President Christopher Prelog. 

The new additions will join fellow Star Plus Class ships Star Pride, Star Breeze, and Star Legend – all of which can accommodate up to 312 passengers across 156 suites per sailing. 

Meanwhile, Wind Surf, Wind Star, and Wind Spirit make up the small-ship cruise line’s iconic Wind Class. These luxury ships carry between 148 to 342 guests and have a mix of more typical staterooms and suites. 

Full itineraries for the new Star Seeker will be released in late June 2024, and no timeline has been announced for when Star Explorer’s itineraries will be released. But the cruise line already knows that the addition of the new ships will allow it to increase its presence in destinations like Tahiti, where the cruise line has been sailing for more than 36 years.

New WindStar Cruise Ship
New WindStar Cruise Ship

While Windstar is known for offering European cruises year-round, its French Polynesian cruises are also a fan favorite. The new ships will also allow the luxury cruise operator to send Wind Star to Tahiti in 2027, where it will join Star Breeze, which is already sailing on 7 to 11-day voyages throughout French Polynesia. 

“This growth reflects the dedication of our incredible crew and team, allowing us to broaden our destination portfolio and even bring one of our Wind Class sail ships back to Tahiti,added Prelog.

In addition to Europe and Tahiti, Windstar also offers small-ship cruises to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, New England, Eastern Canada, South America, and the South Pacific. 

What To Expect From Windstar’s New Ships

Star Seeker is currently under construction at the WestSEA shipyard in Northern Portugal, and construction is yet to begin on Star Explorer, which will enter service a year after its sister ship. Even so, Windstar Cruises already has a good idea of what sailing on their newest ships will look like. 

Both ships will accommodate up to 224 guests across 112 suites, each of which will feature full private verandas and infinity windows. Additionally, both ships will feature two new VIP suites, called the Owner’s Suites, which will be located at the aft (or rear) of the ship and come with private wrap-around balconies.

New WindStar Cruise Ship
New WindStar Cruise Ship

Windstar’s commitment to excellent cuisine will also reach new heights in the re-imagined main dining room, named Amphora, which will serve a variety of upscale and innovative meals.

As the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, a New York City-based non-profit that works to elevate America’s food culture and the talent behind it, Windstar ships often welcome affiliated guest chefs from the organization to cook onboard for a limited time. 

Read Also: Windstar Announces Mystery Cruise, Ports of Call to Remain Secret

Additionally, the new Star Class ships will feature ice-strengthened hulls and will be equipped with the latest technology in safety, propulsion, and navigation, including pump jet thrusters and forward-facing Sonar.

The small vessels will also have tier III Nox rated Rolls Royce engines and will be able to connect to shore power, minimizing port emissions, and will feature advanced wastewater treatment systems to promote sustainability at sea. 

While lots of improvements are in the works for the new ships, Windstar cruisers will also recognize many of their favorite amenities they’ve seen from the cruise line in the past. These include the Watersports Platform with all-new staircase access, the Yacht Club café and lounge, a state-of-the-art spa and fitness facility, and deck barbecues.

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