Luxury small ship line launches Star Pride
Windstar Cruises debuted the all new, all suite Star Pride today in Barcelona, Spain during a christening ceremony and pier-side fiesta to celebrate the launch of the luxury yacht's inaugural voyage through Spain, France, and Italy.
Mrs. Nancy Anschutz, wife of Mr. Philip Anschutz, owner of Xanterra Parks & Resorts(r), Windstar's parent company, was honored as Godmother of the yacht, successfully breaking the bottle of Veuve Clicquot in front of a crowd of past guests, media, and trade partners. Mrs. Anschutz was joined on stage by her husband Philip, Andy Todd, CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts(r); Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar Cruises; Captain Alan MacAry, 15-year Windstar veteran who serves as master of Star Pride, and Father Marto Rodriguez. The 200 person intimate gathering also celebrated the launch of Star Pride with a pier-side fiesta, enjoying local entertainment such as a Catalonian Rumba band and street performers from Las Ramblas, as well as Spanish tapas and sangria.
"Star Pride is the first of the three small luxury cruise ships added to the Windstar yacht fleet, and it leads the way as Windstar enters a new era of small ship cruising," said Hans Birkholz, chief executive officer of Windstar Cruises. "We are honored to have Mrs. Anschutz serve in the prestigious role of Godmother. It's fitting to have her christen Windstar's first yacht in 16 years as the Anschutz family and Xanterra Parks & Resorts(r), have been an integral part of Windstar's transformation the last few years."
Star Pride's debut follows an intensive 3-week transformation period in which all of the yacht's public spaces, dining venues, and suites were updated to meet Windstar's casually elegant, warm, and contemporary style. Windstar partnered with Alan McVitty and Trimline Interiors, both of whom spearheaded the recent $18 million renovation of Windstar's sailing yachts, to complete Star Pride's stem-to-stern transformation in Barcelona.
The updates to Star Pride's décor include new furnishings, upholstery, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings. Additionally, Star Pride introduced Windstar's new Destination Suites. Each of the Owner's Suites showcases a signature Windstar destination, complete with cultural décor and local art work. Windstar will eventually implement the Destination Suites fleet-wide.
New Itineraries and Destinations
Following Star Pride's inaugural voyage, the yacht will spend its summer season in the Mediterranean. In the fall, Star Pride will embark on Windstar's brand new itineraries to the exotic wonders of Asia and Arabia.
Star Pride will offer guests four new unique voyages to choose from, 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 also 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.
Star Legend and Star Breeze
Star Pride is the first of three new power yachts to join the Windstar fleet. Star Breeze will begin its maiden voyage on May 6, 2015, from Nice, France. Star Legend, will make its inaugural voyage on May 25, 2015, from Rome, Italy.
All three yachts are identical, with a guest capacity of 212 in 106 suites. At 10,000 gross tons, each yacht is 440 feet long with a breadth of 63 feet and six passenger decks. Similar to Star Pride, Star Legend and Star Breeze will undergo major transformations to public spaces, suites, and dining venues to fit Windstar's intimate, casually elegant style of small ship cruising.
The yachts' size fit perfectly with Windstar's small ship philosophy of exploring secluded coves and hidden harbors. Recognized by Condé Nast Traveler, Windstar's itineraries offer in-depth enrichment experiences that include local entertainment, authentic cuisine, and small group shore excursions.