Windstar A Winner With Conde Nast

While we’ve talked about it, we’ve never cruised on a Windstar ship…aka, yacht. It’s always been an intriguing prospect, made more intriguing by yesterday’s announcement Windstarthat Conde Nast Traveler readers have rated it as the No. 1 “small ship cruise line” in the world.

The annual Readers’ Choice Awards claim to be the longest-running and most prestigious in the travel industry, the “best of the best of travel.” More than 76,000 readers voted on, among other things, 453 cruise ships.

For small ships, their choice was Windstar.

This is a cruise line that obviously focuses on small ports, for the very good reason that it has small ships. It has six of them, having doubled the fleet last year, and they go all over the world — Asia, the Caribbean, all over Europe, Arabia, across both oceans, Tahiti and through the Panama Canal.

Windstar has been around for three decades and has, like many cruise lines, had multiple owners. Holland America owned it the longest, from 1987 to 2007, and Holland America’s corporate company (Carnival) sold it to Ambassadors International for a reported $100 million. One bankruptcy later, the powerful (and privately owned) Anschutz Corporation picked it up for a reported $39 million and today it thrives under that corporate banner as a high-end cruise line.

And “high-end” is something else that separates it from the traditional cruise lines. Put it another way: for many of us, a Windstar cruise is only a windfall away.

Today at portsandbows.com: Holland America and Christmas

Carnival Liberty
5 nights
November 23, 2014
Port Canaveral (return): Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Freeport
Inside: $189
Cost per day: $37
www.carnival.com

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