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

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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.

MV WIND SPIRIT builder's plate.

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).

MV WIND SPIRIT profile at Bodrum.

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.

MV WIND SPIRIT at Istanbul.

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.

Deck Five:

MV WIND SPIRIT Deck Five, facing port.
MV WIND SPIRIT Deck Five, facing forward from starboard.
MV WIND SPIRIT over stern from Deck 5.

Atop the ship on Deck Five, there is a teak sunning and observation platform that overlooks the stern lido.

Deck Four:

MV WIND SPIRIT face. Photo by Mike Masino 2010.

Deck Four actually begins with the bowsprit and is followed by a well deck area with docking gear.

MV WIND SPIRIT, forward Deck Four, facing port.

Forward Deck Four is a teak lined sunning space with rattan deck chairs.

MV WIND SPIRIT bridge, facing starboard.

When not in port, the WIND SPIRIT has an open wheelhouse policy, conditions permitting.

MV WIND SPIRIT sail controls.
MV WIND SPIRIT sail control detail.

In addition to the usual bridge equipment such as radar, wheel and compasses, there is a panel with controls that unfurl each sail.

MV WIND SPIRIT Verandah, facing forward.

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.

MV WIND SPIRIT Midships/Starboard Deck 4, facing forward.

Open terraces aft of the Verandah seat an additional 30.

MV WIND SPIRIT aft stairs from Deck 4 to Deck 3.

Farther aft, a vestibule leads down to the public spaces on Deck Three.

MV WIND SPIRIT Deck Four Bar, facing aft.

In the shelter of Deck Five, the aft portion of Deck Four contains an al fresco bar and buffet terrace.

MV WIND SPIRIT Deck Four Bar, facing forward from port.

The bar is immediately forward of a dip pool and whirlpool.

MV WIND SPIRIT facing fwd. from fantail.

A large, open lido area follows.

Deck Three:

MV WIND SPIRIT’s bell is located on forward Deck Three.
MV WIND SPIRIT chef in galley.

Housed in the forward superstructure immediately aft of the well deck is the ship’s galley.

MV WIND SPIRIT Restaurant, facing forward from port.

The Restaurant is particularly attractive, with its large windows, richly burled veneers and deep blue soft fittings.

MV WIND SPIRIT Restaurant setting.

Settings include turquoise glass chargers and matching glassware. Wedgwood china, silver plate cutlery, starched linens and Riedel stemware further enhance the elegant dining ambiance.

MV WIND SPIRIT forward Lobby, facing aft.
MV WIND SPIRIT Shop, facing forward.

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.

MV WIND SPIRIT Library, facing aft.
MV WIND SPIRIT Library, facing forward.

There is a 12 seat Library on the port side aft of reception with computer terminals and travel guides, DVDs and various board games.

MV WIND SPIRIT Aft Deck Three Lobby, facing starboard.
MV WIND SPIRIT Spa, facing aft/starboard.
MV WIND SPIRIT treatment room facing forward/stbd.
MV WIND SPIRIT treatment room, facing starboard.

Another lobby follows, leading to the Windspa on the starboard side, which features two treatment rooms and a beauty salon.

MV WIND SPIRIT Lounge entry.
MV WIND SPIRIT Casino, facing aft.
MV WIND SPIRIT Casino, facing forward.

A casino with slots and two game tables accommodates 35 passengers and is accessed via the 148 seat Lounge.

MV WIND SPIRIT Lounge, facing aft.

The Lounge features full length windows, custom Marc Held designed furnishings, a large bar and dance floor.

MV WIND SPIRIT Aft Deck 3, facing aft.

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.

Deck Two:

MV WIND SPIRIT infirmary, facing starboard.

Accommodation on Deck Two leads aft to an infirmary on the starboard side..

MV WIND SPIRIT gym, facing port.

and the gym, which has an array of cardio machines and a limited assortment of free weights, to port.

MV WIND SPIRIT Aft Deck Two, facing starboard.

The aft portion of Deck Two contains the ship’s docking machinery…

Water sports hatch.

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:

MV WIND SPIRIT Deck One passage, facing forward.

Deck One is devoted to accommodation.


MV WIND SPIRIT Owner's Suite, facing aft.
MV WIND SPIRIT Owner's Suite, facing forward.

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.

MV WIND SPIRIT cabin door entryway.

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.

MV WIND SPIRIT cabin with queen bedding.
MV WIND SPIRIT cabin with queen bedding, ctd.

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.

MV WIND SPIRIT cabin wc.

The teak-floored bathrooms are very well designed with plenty of storage space.

MV WIND SPIRIT cabin amenities.

L’Occitane soaps and amenities are also supplied and include shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and moisturizer.

Random Bits

MV WIND SPIRIT totally random carpet shot #1.
MV WIND SPIRIT totally random carpet #2.
MV WIND SPIRIT totally random carpet #3.
MV WIND SPIRIT totally random carpet #4.
MV WIND SPIRIT totally random wood veneer shot.

End of MV Wind Spirit Decked!

Very special thanks: Vanessa Bloy, Martin Cox, Michael Masino

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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