PORT–Windstar Cruises will resume home-porting here as of December 1 with its ship Wind Surf offering seven-day cruises out of St. Maarten. Port St. Maarten is also looking at accommodating cruise ships Star Pride and Star Breeze.
This news follows a meeting of Windstar Cruises Executive Sander Groothuis, senior management of Port St. Maarten and Princess Juliana International Airport representatives about the 2018-2019 cruise season. The latter was part of the meeting because airport operations have a huge role in home-porting turnarounds.
The spinoff effect of home-porting for the economy will be “great,” said Port management. “Strategically looking at the development of the home-porting segment, it can be anticipated that some cruise lines will opt for chartering flights to bring their cruise passengers to St. Maarten.”
XL Airlines was chartered to bring Pullmantur passengers to the destination in the past.
New Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson welcomed the news of Windstar Cruises’ return: “St. Maarten has home-porting experience. We have the return of cruise ships, and now we must move forward in bringing back the home-porting business that we had before,” he said.
Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting approximately 270 ports in 2018, sailing in Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska, Canada and New England, and cruising year-round in Tahiti. Windstar’s fleet is the market leader in small ship cruising with a total of 1,242 passenger berths calling on off-the-beaten-path and popular ports in more than 60 countries.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78019-windstar-to-resume-home-porting-dec-1