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Last week, we wrote about a unique Mediterranean itinerary aboard an equally special ship. This week, we thought we’d take a closer look at Windstar Cruises Wind Spirit.
Just a quick glance at this ship reveals part of why she’s so special: she’s part cruise ship, part sailing ship. Measuring 440 feet from bowsprit to stern, Wind Spirit transports 148 lucky guests to some of the world’s most popular cruise destinations. With her engine engaged, she’s capable of doing an easy 11 knots across the water, and can sail at almost 16 knots under the power of her sails..
Four masts measuring 204 feet in height hold six computer-controlled sails with a total of 21,500 square feet of surface area. To put it in perspective, these masts are taller than a Boeing 767 jet is long.
The romance of being at sea is clearly important to Windstar, which designed Wind Spirit from the ground up to offer its guests more than they’d expect on such a unique cruise product.
To start, the ship has over 10,000 square feet of open deck space, which means finding a quiet spot to relax and watch the ocean rush by is never an issue. Fans of larger cruise ships will also find plenty to enjoy, thanks to Windstar’s attention to detail. Every stateroom features ocean views, and all boast iPod docking stations, flat-panel TV’s, DVD players, and queen-sized beds.
Originally launched in 1988, Windstar recently completed a multi-million dollar enhancement program on its fleet of three ships. Dubbed Degrees of Difference, this ambitious program was designed to enhance overall passenger experience by revitalizing dining menus and offering more itinerary-inspired dishes, as well as the creation of a special Spa dining menu.
The line also rolled out a new Yachtsman’s Discovery Wine Program which features 21 distinct wines available by the glass. Special wine tasting opportunities are also available onboard all three ships.
Special Spa Staterooms and amenities were added, and the onboard WindSpa saw its offerings dramatically expanded, including the new Spa Under the Stars program which allows guests to sample different treatments and enjoy an assortment of drinks underneath the open sky on deck.
Aboard Wind Spirit, there are plenty of diversions to keep passengers happy. In addition to the ship’s main restaurant, poolside dining under the stars is available in Candles, and can seat 30 guests. Like many upscale lines, dinner is always open-seating.
A main lounge, Piano and Pool bar, Gymnasium and Sauna, swimming pool, hot tub, Library, and even a Casino are available to passengers. Passengers can also visit the ship’s navigation bridge when appropriate – an extremely rare opportunity these days.
Complimentary kayaking, water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, ski-tubing, and snorkel gear is available onboard. Scuba diving is available for a fee.
But the real draw here is the magic of sailing the ocean aboard Wind Spirit. Together with her fleetmates Wind Star and Wind Surf, these magnificent vessels are a modern take on the classic, yacht-like sailing ships that have been transporting passengers, people and goods around the world for centuries.
And in this fast-paced technological world, there may truly be nothing more relaxing than experiencing the joys of sailing as they used to exist.
For more information on Wind Spirit, her fleetmates and itineraries, be sure to pay a visit to the Windstar Cruises website, or follow them on Twitter @windstarcruises to get a better idea of all this unique line offers.
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