Seabourn sells 3 ships to Windstar

//Seabourn sells 3 ships to Windstar

seabourns.jpgLuxury operator Seabourn is selling its three oldest cruise ships. The Pride, Spirit, and Legend, each of which carries 208 passengers, are to be taken over by Windstar Cruises, doubling the size of its fleet.
The ships will complete their scheduled voyages before leaving Seabourn; Pride, originally built in 1988, will be transferred in April 2014; Spirit (1989) and Legend (1992) – pictured above – move in April and May 2015.
The company will retain the newer and larger vessels, Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, and are planning to order a fourth vessel of similar design.
Announcing the move today, Seabourn president Richard meadows said: “We are already in discussion with shipbuilders and an order is likely to be announced within the current fiscal year.”
The ships leaving the fleet will result in a capacity reduction of 624; the new-build is likely to add about 450 berths.
Windstar, whose three existing ships – Wind Spirit, Wind Star and Wind Surf are four- and five-masted sailing yachts, was taken over in 2011 by Xanterra Parks and Resorts which operates hotels and lodges in US National Parks such as Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Mount Rushmore.
Xanterra chief executive Andy Todd said: Windstar Cruises has experienced four straight years of revenue growth. This expansion is the perfect way to build on the momentum following our recent fleet-wide renovation, providing us with the much-needed capacity to match the accelerating demand for our intimate style of yacht cruising,”
Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar, added: “What our guests are most enthusiastic about is our intimate, yacht style of cruising. This style is the core of our brand experience and the new ships are a perfect fit to build on that foundation.”
Scott Anderson, of UK cruise agent The Luxury Cruise Company says the success of Seabourn’s newer ships meant it was only a matter of time before the company sold its older tonnage, but he was surprised that Windstar are the buyers.
“I would have thought that maybe another cruise line, such as SeaDream, might have purchased them. These smaller ships are much loved and have a very loyal following, that I’m sure will stay with them when they move over to the Windstar fleet.
“From a UK perspective, Windstar will need to start promoting more in an already crowded Mediterranean market to attract new customers – it will be interesting to see what itineraries they have planned to differentiate themselves from the rest .
“The popularity of the Seabourn’s newer ships is obviously paying off if they are building a fourth sister. The design of these ships is pretty much perfect and they have attracted a younger client base than before.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:38+00:00 19 February 2013|Cruise News|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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