Seabourn will build a fourth larger ship and sell its three smaller, original ships to Windstar Cruises
Seabourn Pride will be the first original Seabourn ship to Windstar
Seabourn Cruises, a luxury cruise brand within the Carnival Corp. family of cruise lines, announced on Tuesday that it will sell and slowly transfer the three original small ships that started the Seabourn fleet to Windstar Cruises, an independent cruise line with head offices in Seattle, Washington.
These three smaller Seabourn ships are each a mere 10,000-tons and only carry 208 passengers. The first of these ships to transfer to Windstar will be the Seabourn Pride (the oldest) in April 2014 after the end of its currently announced itineraries. The next ship to go will be Seabourn Spirit in April 2015 and finally the Seabourn Legend will join Windstar in May 2015.
I don't have an "in" on the Seabourm side though I just received the following from e-mail from Windstar.
I am thrilled to announce that Windstar Cruises is doubling the size of our fleet with the addition of three Seabourn ships: Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend, and Seabourn Spirit, purchased by our owner, Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Under the project name Global Windstar, we will now be the leader in the small-ship cruise market with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,230 berths.
We will take possession of the all-suite ships, which hold 208 passengers each, over the next two years in the Mediterranean. The Seabourn Pride will be the first ship to enter into our luxury fleet in April of 2014. Following a Windstar-branded renovation, the Pride will set sail a month later in the Mediterranean in May 2014; voyages are expected to go on sale in May of this year. We will take possession of Seabourn Legend in April 2015 and Seabourn Spirit in May 2015; the yachts will start sailing in May of 2015 following their dry-dock period.
Windstar is proud of its heritage in sailing and will continue to offer voyages on all three sailing yachts. What our guests continue to be 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. Global Windstar will also allow us to service new regions of the world such as Asia and South America, in addition to the fifty countries we already sail to. We will continue to focus on the unique destinations that larger ships cannot call on. The opportunities of Global Windstar are already evident with the recent announcement of Windstar's return to Tahiti in May of 2014. Tahiti has been one of the top destinations requested by our guests and travel partners.
I hope you are as excited about this news as we are. In the coming months we will reveal additional details, including the new ship names, itineraries, onboard experiences, and renovation details. Windstar offers you an intimate, unique, and engaging cruise vacation - and I can't wait to see you on board again, whether it's relaxing under the sails or cruising on one of our new all-suite yachts.
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"We believe that these gracious ships embody the future of ultra-luxury cruising and it is likely we will announce an order for a fourth ship of similar design within the current fiscal year. The new ship will allow us to maintain much of our current guest capacity."
Wouldn't count my chickens yet..."Likely" is the key word
Paul, I don't think the Sea Goddess ships were the original ships in the Seabourn fleet as you wrote -- they were built for Sea Goddess cruises and only came into the Seabourn fleet years later when Carnival bought Cunard.
Good point Bernie - the new ship could be a public relations addition so people won't feel sorry for the crew people. I guess it is implied that Windstar will hire different crew people for the ships when they get them, since they source crew people solely from the Philippines and Indonesia, a tradition started by Holland America.
You know - it is just SO important to be politically correct these days, because the workers of a company are the most important people in the company - not the owners, shareholders, investors or customers.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.