Exploring the Ownership of Windstar Cruises

Are you curious to learn about the ownership of Windstar Cruises? Well, wonder no more! In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Windstar Cruises and uncover who exactly owns this renowned cruise line. Get ready to set sail on a voyage of discovery as we unravel the mysteries behind the ownership of Windstar Cruises.

Exploring the Ownership of Windstar Cruises

Overview of Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises is a luxury cruise line that offers unique sailing experiences to travelers seeking a more intimate and personalized vacation. With its fleet of small ships and carefully crafted itineraries, Windstar Cruises promises an extraordinary journey and a chance to explore some of the most beautiful destinations around the world. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the history of Windstar Cruises, its fleet size and destinations, as well as the unique features and selling points that set it apart from other cruise lines.

History of Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises has a rich history that spans several decades. It was founded in 1984 with the vision of creating a new kind of cruising experience that combines the elegance and romance of sailing ships with the luxury and amenities of modern yachts. Since its inception, Windstar Cruises has undergone several ownership changes and transformations, each contributing to its growth and success.

Founding of Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises was established in 1984 by a group of Norwegian investors who aimed to revolutionize the cruise industry. They designed and built the company’s first vessel, the Wind Star, a sleek and elegant sailing ship that could accommodate up to 148 guests. This ship set the stage for Windstar Cruises’ distinctive approach to luxury cruising.

Acquisition by Holland America Line

In 1987, Windstar Cruises caught the attention of the Holland America Line, a renowned cruise company with a long history of excellence in the industry. The Holland America Line recognized the unique appeal of Windstar Cruises’ small ships and acquired the company, bringing it under its umbrella. This partnership enabled Windstar Cruises to access the Holland America Line’s vast resources and expertise, contributing to its growth and expansion.

Sale to Ambassadors International Inc.

Eventually, in 2007, Windstar Cruises changed hands once again and was acquired by Ambassadors International Inc., a travel and leisure company specializing in niche markets. Ambassadors International Inc. recognized the potential of Windstar Cruises’ small ship concept and sought to build on its success. Under their ownership, Windstar Cruises continued to thrive, offering travelers unforgettable experiences on its fleet of elegant sailing yachts.

Sale to Xanterra Parks & Resorts

In 2011, Windstar Cruises embarked on another chapter of its journey when it was purchased by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a hospitality company renowned for managing iconic national and state parks in the United States. Xanterra Parks & Resorts saw great potential in the luxury cruise market and recognized the unique offering of Windstar Cruises. With their support, Windstar Cruises has been able to further enhance its fleet, destinations, and guest experiences.

The Xanterra Parks & Resorts Connection

Overview of Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Xanterra Parks & Resorts is a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation and is known for its commitment to preserving and protecting natural and cultural resources. The company operates lodges, restaurants, and other facilities in some of the most iconic national parks and resorts in the United States. Xanterra Parks & Resorts shares a common philosophy with Windstar Cruises, focusing on providing exceptional guest experiences while maintaining a commitment to sustainability and responsible travel.

Xanterra’s acquisition of Windstar Cruises

The acquisition of Windstar Cruises by Xanterra Parks & Resorts brought together two companies with a shared passion for creating extraordinary travel experiences. Xanterra’s expertise in managing iconic destinations perfectly complemented Windstar Cruises’ small ship luxury cruise concept. With the support and resources of Xanterra, Windstar Cruises has been able to expand its fleet, renovate its ships, and add new destinations to its itineraries.

The Anschutz Corporation

Introduction to The Anschutz Corporation

The Anschutz Corporation is a privately held investment company with diverse interests in a wide range of industries, including entertainment, energy, sports, and hospitality. The corporation has a long-standing reputation for investing in unique and innovative ventures, and its acquisition of Windstar Cruises was no exception. Through its subsidiary, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, The Anschutz Corporation has helped position Windstar Cruises as a leading player in the luxury cruise market.

Investment in Windstar Cruises

The Anschutz Corporation’s investment in Windstar Cruises demonstrates its belief in the company’s potential and its commitment to fostering growth and innovation in the travel industry. With the backing of The Anschutz Corporation, Windstar Cruises has been able to pursue its vision of providing unparalleled luxury cruising experiences. The investment has allowed Windstar Cruises to further develop its fleet, expand its range of destinations, and introduce new features and amenities to delight its guests.

Exploring the Ownership of Windstar Cruises

Recent Developments

Windstar’s expansion and fleet renovation

In recent years, Windstar Cruises has undertaken a significant expansion and fleet renovation effort to elevate its offerings and meet the evolving demands of its clientele. This initiative has involved refurbishing its existing ships and adding new vessels to its fleet. Windstar Cruises has invested in modernizing the onboard facilities, enhancing the dining experiences, and upgrading the overall guest experience to ensure that each voyage remains a memorable and luxurious journey.

COVID-19 impact on Windstar Cruises

Like many other travel companies, Windstar Cruises has faced challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The cruise industry was significantly impacted by travel restrictions and health concerns, resulting in the temporary suspension of operations. However, Windstar Cruises has taken proactive measures to prioritize the health and safety of its guests and crew. The company has implemented enhanced health and safety protocols based on expert guidance, ensuring a safe and comfortable cruising experience once operations resume.

Future plans and outlook

Looking ahead, Windstar Cruises remains committed to providing unforgettable vacations and continues to innovate and adapt to changing travel trends. The company plans to introduce new itineraries, explore emerging destinations, and enhance its onboard offerings to exceed guest expectations. With the backing of Xanterra Parks & Resorts and The Anschutz Corporation, Windstar Cruises is well-positioned for a bright future and is poised to continue setting new standards in luxury cruising.

Comparison with Competitors

Other luxury and small-ship cruise lines

Windstar Cruises operates in a segment of the cruise industry that caters to travelers seeking an intimate and personalized experience. In comparison to other luxury and small-ship cruise lines, Windstar Cruises stands out for its unique sailing yacht concept, allowing guests to experience the charm and romance of sailing combined with luxurious amenities and attentive service. This distinctive offering sets Windstar Cruises apart from its competitors and appeals to travelers who appreciate a more intimate and exclusive cruise experience.

Differentiation factors

What sets Windstar Cruises apart from its competitors are the small ship sizes and the ability to access ports that larger ships cannot reach. The fleet consists of six ships, including three sailing yachts and three all-suite motor yachts. These smaller ships provide a more intimate ambiance and allow for a closer connection with the destinations visited. Windstar Cruises also offers customizable shore excursions, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the local culture and explore off-the-beaten-path locations. The dedicated crew ensures personalized service, creating a truly unique and unforgettable experience for each guest.

Exploring the Ownership of Windstar Cruises


In conclusion, Windstar Cruises has a fascinating history and is currently owned by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. The company’s small ship luxury concept and commitment to providing exceptional guest experiences have set it apart from other cruise lines in the industry. Windstar Cruises continues to expand its fleet, renovate its ships, and explore new destinations, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of luxury cruising. With its unique offering and backing from industry leaders, Windstar Cruises holds great prospects for the future and continues to delight travelers with unforgettable journeys at sea.