Sailing ship cruises offer an intimate experience that connects you with wind and wave while providing a closer view of marine life and ship operations. It can be an exhilarating experience, feeling the power of the wind as it fuels your voyage. However, it is reassuring to know that these ships also have engines that are quite capable of keeping you on course should the wind not cooperate.
Passengers often participate in some of work that goes into sailing, and many people return from their cruises with new enthusiasm for sailing. There is much less formality aboard sailing ships than on the typical cruise liner as passengers come to know and make friends with the crews, as well as fellow shipmates. For the most part, the ships have all the accommodations for dining, lounging and, yes, even partying, but it’s all more relaxed and smaller.
There is a quite a variety of sailing ships offering cruise vacations, and travelers can find as much or as little luxury as they want to afford, particularly as it relates to their private cabins or communal berths. Sailing ship vacations also offer opportunities to visit smaller ports that may not be tourist traps because the larger cruise ships do not call there.
Itineraries are available to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, and on ocean crossings. Sailing to these destinations offers opportunities to enjoy destinations in an up-close and intimate way that is not as easily achieved on on traditional cruises.
The 5,700-ton, 148-guest Wind Spirit and her identical twin, Wind Star, were Windstar’s original vessels (launched in 1988 and 1986, respectively), and they’re still some of the most romantic small ships at sea — part sailing yacht, part premium cruise ship, and with all the fine service, casual atmosphere, and excellent cuisine for which Windstar is known.
Wind Spirit Dining & Public Rooms
In all, there are only four main public rooms: the Skylight Main Lounge and next-door Casino, the Restaurant, and the Veranda buffet restaurant. The Main Lounge is the spot for dancing, cocktails, and port talks, plus gambling in the casino, which is located in a small adjoining room. There’s also a second, open-air bar out by the pool, which is also the venue for Candles, a poolside steak and shish kabob restaurant that can serve about 30 guests per evening. Otherwise, guests take their dinner at the spacious, nautically-styled main Restaurant. Breakfast and lunch are served at the Veranda, a sunny, big-windowed room with indoor and outdoor seating.
Other rooms on board include a small spa, an equally small gym, and a cozy library where guests can surf the web or check out books, DVDs, and CDs for use in their staterooms. Outdoors there’s a small pool and hot tub, plus various decks and nooks appointed with deck chairs.
Wind Spirit Cabins
Wind Spirit offers two basic accommodation choices: standard outside staterooms and Owners Cabins. Each standard, 188-square-foot stateroom offers a queen-size bed, TV, DVD/CD player, Bose SoundDock (for use with iPods, your own or one you check out onboard), wi-fi, a small refrigerator, L’Occitane toiletries, adequate storage, and nicely designed bathrooms with granite countertops and teak floors. Owners Cabins offer a bit more space, measuring in at 220 square feet.
Note that no accommodations on Wind Spirit offer balconies: Instead, all staterooms have traditional porthole windows.
Wind Spirit is a yacht-size luxury sailing ship, with a feeling of being on ones own private sailing yacht. The ship offers the ultimate in luxury yacht cruising. The elegant ship calls on smaller, intimate yachting ports, hidden harbors, and secluded coves away from the crowds. Five Star cuisine is served in The Restaurant, or one can dine al fresco in the poolside Candles grill.
The ships cabins all include iPod docks and Bose speakers, flatscreen televisions, WiFi internet and L'Occitane products. The ship's popular watersports marina features complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking, available in most ports, when the ship is at anchor.
Year Built 1988 ♦
Year Refurbished 2007 ♦
Ship's Class: Wind Star Class ♦
Country of Registry Bahamas ♦
Tonnage 5,700 metric tons (a volume measurement, not weight) ♦
Length 440 ft - 134 m ♦
Cruising Speed 8 knots ♦
Passenger Capacity (double occupancy) 148 ♦
Passenger Capacity (maximum occupancy) 158 ♦
Passenger Decks 4 ♦
Officers and Crew 94 ♦
Officer's Nationality European ♦
Crew and Hotel Staff Nationality International ♦
Passengers to Staff Ratio 1.57 to 1
Total 74 ♦
Suites with Balcony 0 (none) ♦
Suites without Balcony 1 ♦
Oceanview with Balcony 0 (none) ♦
Oceanview without Balcony 73 ♦
Inside 0 (none) ♦
Accessible Cabins (all categories) 0 ♦
Windstar Cruises' cabins are elegant, comfortable sailing ship cabins, with traditional porthole windows. Amenties in all cabins include luxury bedding, a personal refreshment bar, luxury bath products, bathrobe and slippers, satellite TV programming, and complimentary room service.
TV with music channels ♦
CD Player ♦
iPod Dock ♦
In-Cabin Movies ♦
In-Cabin Internet Access ♦
Private Safe ♦
Open-seating dining in The Restaurant, with gourmet cuisine ♦
Specialty Restaurant: Candles - outdoor dining ♦
There is no traditional 1st and 2nd sitting on Windstar Cruises cruise ships ♦
Dress code on Windstar Cruises is elegant casual, no jacket required, and there are no formal nights ♦
24 Hour Food Service Available
Bars and Lounges ♦
Sports and Activities
Outdoor Pool ♦
Fitness Center ♦
Watersports Marina - for sailing, kayaking, swimming or waterskiing right from the ship when in port
Spa and Wellness
Full Service Spa ♦
Sauna or Steam Room ♦
Beauty Salon ♦
Children and Teens
There are no organized activities for children and teens
Other Facilities and Services
Duty Free Shop and Boutique ♦
Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service ♦