The first of Windstar Cruises' three new all-suite yachts, the Star Pride, has been christened in Barcelona, Spain. The ship is sailing an inaugural voyage through Spain, France and Italy.
Mrs. Nancy Anschutz, wife of Mr. Philip Anschutz, owner of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Windstar’s parent company, was honored as Godmother of the yacht, successfully breaking a 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; Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar Cruises; Captain Alan MacAry, a 15-year Windstar veteran who serves as master of Star Pride, and Father Marto Rodriguez. The 200-person 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, have been an integral part of Windstar’s transformation the last few years.”
Star Pride’s debut follows a three-week renovation period in which all of the yacht’s public spaces, dining venues, and suites were updated to meet Windstar’s standards. 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 Asia and the Middle East.
Star Pride will offer guests four new unique voyages to choose from, including Black Sea Tapestry, a seven-day cruise through the Black Sea. Guests can cruise the southernmost tip of the Aegean on Pride of the Aegean, a nine-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul. Riviera Enchantment discovers the glamour, and the excitement of the world's most famous yachting playgrounds on a seven-day voyage round trip from Rome. Star Pride will also sail through the Corinth Canal, a first for Windstar, on the nine-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 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.