Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 by Peter Knego
Owners: Windstar Cruises
Registry: Nassau, Bahamas
Builder: Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre, Le Havre, France
Entered Service: 1988
Tonnage: 5,350 gross tons
Length: 439 feet (including bowsprit)
Beam: 52.1 feet
Draft: 13.5 feet
Passenger Capacity: 148 (152 maximum)
Number of Crew: 98
Propulsion: 3 Wartsila diesels and six sails
Maximum Speed: 17 knots
Click on the following link to see what a seven night cruise on the WIND SPIRIT is like: Wayward On The WIND SPIRIT Sea Treks
Windstar Cruises formed in 1984 under the name Windstar Sail Cruises after ordering three identical 150 passenger vessels that could be propelled by both wind and diesel power.
The first of the class, the MV WIND STAR, was completed in 1986 by Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre at Le Havre, France. The WIND SONG followed in 1987 and the WIND SPIRIT in 1988. The ships’ mostly still original design and decor was the product of respected French architect Marc Held (who styled several super yachts and oversaw the 1980s refit of the French cruise ship MERMOZ).
Holland America Line began a two stage acquisition of the company in 1987, completing its ownership in 1988. In 1989, Holland America and Windstar were acquired by the Carnival Corporation. A second pair of larger ships was on the drawing boards, to be named WIND SURF and WIND SAGA but the option was dropped by Carnival-owned HAL and the ships were completed for Club Med. Cruises. Windstar grew into a four ship fleet in 1998 when it purchased Club Med. Cruises’ CLUB MED I and renamed her WIND SURF (the ship’s original intended name).
On December 1, 2002, an engine room fire ravaged the WIND SONG while she was sailing in Tahitian waters. All passengers and crew were safely evacuated but the ship was damaged beyond economic repair and scuttled between Tahiti and Moorea.
In 2007, Windstar Cruises was sold to its current owners, Seattle-based Ambassadors International.
WIND SPIRIT is primarily powered by three Wartsila diesels that can propel her single screw at a very stately 14 knots. When her 21,000 square feet of sails are engaged and under the right wind conditions, she can reach 17 knots, with or without the engines running.
Atop the ship on Deck Five, there is a teak sunning and observation platform that overlooks the stern lido.
Deck Four actually begins with the bowsprit and is followed by a well deck area with docking gear.
Forward Deck Four is a teak lined sunning space with rattan deck chairs.
When not in port, the WIND SPIRIT has an open wheelhouse policy, conditions permitting.
In addition to the usual bridge equipment such as radar, wheel and compasses, there is a panel with controls that unfurl each sail.
Narrow open promenades continue aft to the only enclosed public space on Deck Four, the 80 seat Verandah, which is surrounded by full length windows on three sides and topped by a dramatic skylight that infuses the room with natural light.
Open terraces aft of the Verandah seat an additional 30.
Farther aft, a vestibule leads down to the public spaces on Deck Three.
In the shelter of Deck Five, the aft portion of Deck Four contains an al fresco bar and buffet terrace.
The bar is immediately forward of a dip pool and whirlpool.
A large, open lido area follows.
Housed in the forward superstructure immediately aft of the well deck is the ship’s galley.
The Restaurant is particularly attractive, with its large windows, richly burled veneers and deep blue soft fittings.
Settings include turquoise glass chargers and matching glassware. Wedgwood china, silver plate cutlery, starched linens and Riedel stemware further enhance the elegant dining ambiance.
On Deck Three, just aft of the Restaurant, there is a large entrance lobby with reception on the starboard side and a shop to port.
There is a 12 seat Library on the port side aft of reception with computer terminals and travel guides, DVDs and various board games.
Another lobby follows, leading to the Windspa on the starboard side, which features two treatment rooms and a beauty salon.
A casino with slots and two game tables accommodates 35 passengers and is accessed via the 148 seat Lounge.
The Lounge features full length windows, custom Marc Held designed furnishings, a large bar and dance floor.
A small sheltered nook is located in the midships/aft portion of Deck Three with a spiral staircase leading up to the lido on Deck Four.
Accommodation on Deck Two leads aft to an infirmary on the starboard side..
and the gym, which has an array of cardio machines and a limited assortment of free weights, to port.
The aft portion of Deck Two contains the ship’s docking machinery…
and a hatch that opens into a water sports and marina platform with snorkeling, zodiacs, water skiing, wind surfing, sailing, ski-tubing, sunbathing on a large styrofoam float and kayaking.
Deck One is devoted to accommodation.
The 220 square foot Owner’s Suite is located on the starboard side of Deck Two and has a separate bedroom and sitting area as well as a larger bathroom.
The Wind Spirit has a total of 74 staterooms, all of which are ocean view and, with exception of the Owner’s Suite, measure 188 square feet. Pairs of cabins share a common entryway.
Each cabin features twin portholes, Eurotop queen or twin bedding and a dining/sitting area with plenty of very well designed storage space, a mini bar, safe, flat screen television, CD/DVD player and phone. Decor is in rich wood tones offset in blue and white. Bathrobes and slippers are also provided along with fresh flowers and fruit. Some cabins have a third berth and a few have inter-connecting doors. There are no specially modified handicap-accessible staterooms on the Wind Spirit.
The teak-floored bathrooms are very well designed with plenty of storage space.
L’Occitane soaps and amenities are also supplied and include shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and moisturizer.
End of MV Wind Spirit Decked!
Very special thanks: Vanessa Bloy, Martin Cox, Michael Masino