Windstar Cruises, with headquarters based in Seattle, Wash., will sail all published 2011 and 2012 voyages, maintain its customer programs and policies and honor Windstar fares and reservations, including charter contracts.
“The first order of business for Windstar Cruises is that it is full sail ahead,” said Andrew N. Todd, President & CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts. “Going forward, we intend to maintain Windstar’s business and operations and invest in Windstar’s growth for the long term. We are very excited to have Windstar Cruises become part of Xanterra’s 135-year legacy in hospitality.”
Windstar Cruises operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explores the hidden harbors and secluded coves of some of the world’s most sought-after destinations. These luxurious and intimate ships cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. The company sails two ships that carry just 148 guests each and a third ship that carries 312 guests.
“Now that the sale of Windstar Cruises has closed successfully, Windstar will be financially stronger and well-positioned for long-term profitability and success under new ownership,” said Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar. “Windstar’s 2012 collection of luxury voyages was just announced, and we will continue to provide our guests exceptional luxury travel experiences and the highest level of service. We will also continue to strive to exceed our guests’ expectations aboard our luxury yachts for many years to come.”
For the fifth consecutive year, Windstar Cruises was named the best small/mid-size cruise line by the readers of Celebrated Living, American Airlines’ publication for first-class passengers. The 2011 Platinum List is an annual reader’s choice guide endorsing the top hotels, golf courses, spas and cruise lines in the world.
Xanterra traces its history in the hospitality industry back to 1876 with the Fred Harvey Company, known throughout the West for its pioneering efforts to develop and operate first-class hotels and restaurants along the route of the Santa Fe Railroad, including the world-famous El Tovar on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Harvey devised a system of alerting his restaurant kitchen staff of the imminent arrival of train passengers via the telegraph wire, thus allowing his dining room hotel staffs to anticipate the needs of countless travelers prior to their arrival. His innovations and expertise led to first-class and luxury travel service standards that were ahead of their time.
In 1968, the Fred Harvey Company was purchased by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, then called Amfac Parks & Resorts. Amfac later acquired TW Recreational Services in 1995, and the company relocated from Flagstaff, Ariz. to the Denver area. In 2002 the company changed its name to Xanterra Parks & Resorts. In March 2007 Xanterra acquired the Williams, Ariz.- based Grand Canyon Railway, and in 2010 it purchased the luxurious Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. The company also operates the exclusive Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park as well as upscale, world-renowned lodges such as El Tovar, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park and Crater Lake Lodge in Crater Lake National Park.