The world of cruise parent companies can be mind-boggling. You may not know it, but Carnival Corporation owns not only Carnival Cruise Lines, but Holland America, Princess, Seabourn, Windstar, Costa, Cunard, and other international lines. But the giant corporation is soon to be one cruise line short, when it sells Windstar to Ambassadors International (the parent company of river-cruise specialist Majestic America Line).
Technically, Windstar is a subsidiary of Holland America, but as Carnival owns Holland America, it has the right to sell Windstar if that’s the best plan for the company. “Windstar is an outstanding and unique cruise product and has garnered an extremely loyal following, however, Carnival Corporation & plc’s growth strategy is focused on expanding our core growth brands and opening new markets,” said Micky Arison, Carnival’s CEO. “We made the decision to exit from the niche cruise business some time ago and the sale of Windstar is in line with that strategy.”
Holland America will continue to operate Windstar during a transitional period, but cruisers shouldn’t detect many changes when the management switch occurs. Ambassadors International plans to honor current pricing, and guests already booked on 2007 cruises should assume that the sailings will take place as scheduled. Loyal Windstar sailors may notice some differences down the line, but as David Giersdorf, president of Majestic America Line, used to work for Windstar, you can rest assured that this new owner is committed to maintaining Windstar’s commitment to casual elegance and a luxury experience.