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Windstar cruises doubles capacity

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises has doubled its capacity, purchasing three 200-passenger ships from Yachts of Seabourn, also based in Seattle. In turn, Seabourn plans to replace that capacity with an order for a new ship.

WIndstar now has a fleet of three ships powered by a combination of sails and engines. Thought the three Seabourn ships don’t have sails, their size fits with Windstar’s goal of a global footprint in small-ship yacht-style cruising, said CEO Hans Birkholz.

The first of the ships, the Pride, will join the Windstar fleet in April 2014. The other two will move to Windstar in the spring of 2015.

The Seabourn ships purchase is the third recent acquisition by owner Xanterra. Best known for its management of national park lodges, Xanterra also recent bought VBT, Vermont Walking and Biking Tours, and The Grand Hotel, just outside Grand Canyon National Park. Xanterra acquired Windstar in 2011; previously it was owned by Ambassadors International, which bought the line from Carnival Corp. in 2007. Seabourn is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.

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