Wind Surf: on the sailing ship of Windstar Cruises

Wind Surf, with a tonnage of about 15,000 tons, 2,400 square meters of sails on 5 masts and a length of about 190 meters, is one of the largest sailing ships sailing today offering splendid cruising itineraries.

With a capacity of 314 guests and a passenger-to-crew ratio of about 1:1, Windstar Cruises‘ unit is both a fully equipped ship with every comfort and amenity, with ample space at its disposal.

Launched in 1989, she has undergone extensive restyling, making her today a modern yet capable cruise ship that offers the excitement of sailing. The on-board style is informal and youthful, albeit with great customer focus and luxury cruise services.

Wind Surf has 6 passenger decks, in which are distributed the various types of cabins (as many as 8 different ones, including three levels of suites) and rooms available to guests.

Deck 4 houses most of the rooms and facilities, as well as the beautiful aft pool area. The latter offers a series of sunbeds and a few tables sheltered by umbrellas and is served by the Pool Bar, perfect for a refreshing drink between swims. Two Jacuzzis complete the area, which also initiates a pleasant outdoor walkway to the bow.

Entering the interior area, also on Deck 4 Main Deck, one encounters the Signature Shop, dedicated to various products, cosmetics, clothing and jewelry. Shortly after are the Reception and Excursions Office, which in turn introduce the spacious Yacht Club Café. This is the real beating heart of the ship, where one can enjoy a good cup of coffee throughout the day, perhaps accompanied by some sweet or savory snacks, as well as read a fine volume displayed in the Library, as well as ask about upcoming cruises at the special desk. The Yacht Club Café actually consists of a sequence of several rooms, including a chess playing area, two beautiful models of the Windstar Cruises fleet, and comfortable seating for reading or conversation.

Entertainment and music find their programming in the Lounge, an equally expansive venue that spreads out amidships. A bar serves the area, consisting of a series of side sofas and armchairs with center tables, all housed in a bright environment with truly elegant touches.

Closing the bow is the Amphora Restaurant, the main restaurant on board. Open for breakfast and dinner, it offers excellent international menus with wine pairings suggested by sommeliers. On one side you can enjoy the sailing panorama thanks to the large windows, while in the innermost area you are seated on circular sofas that give intimacy and a convivial context to the dinner.

Deck 5, Bridge Deck, houses precisely the forward command deck, around which it is possible to walk and observe the work of the officers. Amidships is the Wind Spa, equipped with several treatment rooms and a small but complete beauty salon. Finally, at the stern is the wonderful Compass Rose Bar, equipped with both an indoor area where live music and singing takes place in the evenings and an outdoor area. An ideal place for an aperitif at sunset or for dancing after dinner.

Two specialty restaurants are housed on the upper Star Deck: Stella Bistro, on the far bow, offers a French menu in an elegant setting played out in red and white colors. Images of ships and sails decorate the walls, and the tasting, free by reservation, is a dining experience definitely not to be missed.

The Veranda Restaurant has a small indoor area and a larger outdoor covered and uncovered area. Open for breakfast and lunch as a buffet restaurant, in the evening it transforms into The Candles, offering dinner served “under the stars,” directly on the outdoor deck and overlooking the sails.

The Terrace Bar, located aft, offers a small covered area dedicated to cigars and spirits, and some nice outdoor tables to enjoy the sunset and sailing. Also located on the Star Deck is the Fitness Center, a large and well-equipped gymnasium that also provides a splendid view of the sea.

The special features of Windstar Cruises and fleet sailboats such as Wind Surf are many. First of all, their size is able to offer a cruising experience in the utmost comfort, creating an environment of conviviality and friendship, which soon leads passengers and crew to get to know each other and share the travel experience with great pleasure. Sailing on a sailing ship naturally represents an added value: shortly after departure from each port, it soon becomes a ritual to enjoy the unfurling of the sails, carefully practiced by the officers on board and accompanied by the poignant notes of “Conquest of Paradise.”

But also of value is the presence of the Stern Marina. Whenever possible, Wind Surf opens the self-propelled platform allowing guests to indulge in the thrill of an offshore swim, rest on the inflatables provided, but also use canoes and surf.

Wind Surf gave us new emotions, confirming how small ships are able to offer a high level of service, albeit outside a context of rigid elegance and formality. For sailing enthusiasts, moreover, the experience of being on one of the world’s largest sailing ships is truly priceless, and without sacrificing the comfort of spacious, light-filled cabins and comfortable, state-of-the-art environments.

Don’t miss more information, tips and Reviews of Wind Surf on Cruising Journal, with opinions, full Photo Album, Video and cruises on offer.

Gabriele Bassi