The "unofficial" buzz is that family ownership of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises is coming to an end. The Miami Herald and Travel Weekly have recently published articles stating this.
Captain Burke, who originally started the cruise line with a nineteen foot sail boat, The Hangover, that he won after an all night drinking binge.
Sadly, Burke suffered an incapacitating stroke in 2005, son and President, Daniel Burke died of a drug overdose and things haven't been going well for the company and control was moved to a family trust. They had a $30 million profit and have been having a hard time of late.
The lawyer who controls the trust, Stephen Pallister has stated that they are making a deal with TAG Virgin islands, a private equity firm. What that "deal" is has not been made clear.
This could mean some problems for people with upcoming cruises but nothing has been substantiated. Windjammer's S/V Yankee Clipper was detained by port authorities in Grenada over the Aug. 18-19 weekend after a U.S. crew member filed a complaint for about $9,000 in unpaid wages. A dispute over unpaid wages for the crew of the Aruba-based Polynesia reportedly prevented the ship from embarking as planned Aug. 20.
Two of the company's four ships are sailing right now with one in port for repairs. The fourth, the Polynesia, was seized by creditors in Aruba but the Captain stated that he feels the ship will be allowed to sail soon. This sounds like famous last words, in my opinion.
If I had a cruise booked on Windjammer I would make sure I had travel insurance and take a look at the fine print and make sure that it covers Windjammer for Supplier Default and bankruptcy.
As of right now there has been no OFFICIAL statements from Windjammer about this so there is nothing concrete to go on but IN MY OPINION it smells fishy and it isn't because of the sea.