Intimate and authentically immersive, yacht cruising lets you experience  the world from a new perspective — in unparalleled comfort.

While nearly any cruise ship lets you see the world, today’s yachts bring you close enough so you can fully experience it. A yacht cruise will bring you closer to each destination and every port, so you can see the world from new perspectives. Yacht cruisers share intimate moments away from the crowds, and can immerse themselves in local, exotic cultures, all on a cruise ship where surprise and delight are constant companions.

And of course, part of the magic of yacht cruising is the incredible personal service. Guests will enjoy undivided attention from a crew who delights in remembering your name and preferences. Both gracious hosts and ambassadors, they delight in surprising you in discrete ways — satisfying your sweet tooth with  an extra chocolate on your pillow or sharing the location of a favorite seaside café.

Elevating the Yacht Experience

Windstar Cruises, known for portintensive itineraries, recently announced it would be raising the bar on the yachting experience with the renovation  of three of the cruise line’s yachts, Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride. Known as The Star Plus Initiative program, this is the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement, and renovation project in cruising.

“This is the biggest investment and expansion in Windstar Cruises’ history,” said the cruise line’s President John Delaney. “The investment of a quarter of a billion dollars ensures to our loyal and future guests, and industry partners, that these ships will continue to sail for generations and deliver on their promise of visiting the smaller ports and waters of the world that our brand is known for. We are all proud to be part of this historic event in the small ship cruise industry.” 

Work on the ships begins in October 2019 and ends in November 2020. The total capacity of the expanded ships will be 312 guests, with additional staff hired to maintain the line’s impressive 1.5 to 1 guest-to-staff ratio. The ships’ new engines will meet and exceed new global International Maritime Organization (IMO) limits — one of the requirements being the engines produce no more than .5-percent sulphur content. In addition, the new engines are designed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, supporting the company’s goals of traveling with a softer environmental footprint.

Ray Chung, Director of Design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, and his team have been tasked with creating modern and inviting new public spaces and 50 new suites. “They just don’t build ships like this anymore,” said Chung. “We are keeping the best elements and designs from these iconic vessels and re-envisioning them for the modern guest. The design of the public and private spaces provides a rich backdrop for guests as they create their own storytelling moments of their time on board. The design is very conscious of how people ‘flow’ effortlessly through the ship and leverages drama and scale for a larger visual impact.”

Of particular interest is the planned new Grand Owner’s Suite, the elegantly appointed mid-ship suite that boasts three adjoining individual suites to create a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath suite, separate dining room and living room areas, an entertainment bar, a spacious central balcony, and additional balcony in one of the bedroom suites. Totaling 1,374 square feet, the combined three-bedroom suite can accommodate up to seven guests — ideal for extended families and friends.

In addition to the new guest suites, all bathrooms in existing suites will be renovated in the same design. More news and reveals will be announced in the coming months, including two highly anticipated new dining spaces and new dining concepts on board, a world-class spa and fitness center, and an enhanced “living room-esque” deck space.  

The renovated ships will chart courses to some of the most popular, aspirational, and legendary destinations in the world including Iceland, Northern Europe, the British Isles, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Crete, Israel, Egypt, Malta, the Cote D’Azur, Alaska, the Panama Canal, Mexico, Baja, the West Coast of the U.S., and the Caribbean. Itineraries will continue to feature transits of the famous Corinth Canal — a feat only small ships can fathom — along with a plethora of other “small ship only” experiences.

The Spirit of Adventure

In keeping with the true sense of the yachting experience, Crystal Cruises 2015 launch of the Crystal Esprit — an all-suite, butler-serviced, 62-guest yacht — is perfectly suited for guests seeking active experiences in remote locales that are often only accessible by smaller ships.

This year, Crystal Esprit sails weeklong routes round-trip from Marigot in the early spring, visiting coveted harbors in the West Indies & British Virgin Islands. In the early summer, the yacht will return to the Adriatic, where she’ll explore the Dalmatian Coast with indepth focus on Croatia. She will cruise ports both beloved and less visited in Spain, France, Italy, Monaco and Greece, with combinable sailings from Venice to Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik to Venice, before offering holiday voyages along the Arabian Coast. In 2020, the yacht will return to the Seychelles, with round-trip voyages from Mahé. Crystal Esprit offers combinable 7-day voyages throughout the Dalmatian Coast, Aegean and Adriatic; and new itineraries visiting historically profound sites in Petra, the Holy Land and the Arabian Peninsula.

While the Crystal yachting lifestyle is driven by the spirit of adventure surrounding the luxury yacht, life on board is driven by the authentically warm hospitality of a home away from home. Throughout Crystal Esprit, travelers are treated to Crystal’s signature personal service and abundant space in a casually elegant atmosphere that reflects the adventurous and relaxed ways of life on the warm-weather itineraries she sails.

Each suite aboard Crystal Esprit is designed as a personal haven for guests, attended to by a personal Crystal butler, as they venture through the tropics and playgrounds of Europe. Yacht Suites boast 280 square feet of spacious luxury, with either king- or queen-sized beds and a comfortable sitting area ideal for taking in sea views. Designer Etro bathroom amenities, robes and slippers are all included, as well as 42-inch, flatscreen HD TVs, free unlimited Wi-Fi and a personal iPad® for each suite that allows guests to navigate the daily cruise and activity report and other convenient info.

Crystal Esprit also features an exclusively outfitted private marina, equipped with virtually everything guests could want for any manner of water sports and exploration. Travelers enjoy complimentary use of water skis, wake and paddle boards, kayaks, jet skis and snorkel gear, while the yacht also offers deep-water adventures up to 1,000 feet in the yacht’s own private submersible for an additional charge.

The yacht’s open decks also set a luxurious stage for daytime yoga, mat Pilates and meditation classes, set to the soundtrack of music sounding from the yacht-wide surround sound. The Fitness Center features state-of-the-art cardio equipment, Kinesis™ resistance training machines and free weights. In select destinations, Crystal Esprit’s Fitness Supervisor assists travelers with planning excursions that best suit their health and fitness desires and regimes. 

When it comes to onshore explorations, Crystal Esprit guests have the choice of at least two complimentary shore excursions in every port — one focused around the culinary offerings of the destination and others that offer high adventure of cultural connections. The experiences are designed to showcase the natural beauty and active lifestyle of each destination, with scuba and snorkel adventures offered in several ports on virtually every itinerary, as well as hiking, biking, zip lining, wildlife, aerial tours, and private beach visits. Through exclusive partnerships with other premier luxury properties, Crystal offers VIP spa, poolside and culinary experiences, including exclusive access to the private beach on Richard Branson’s Moskito Island.

more editorial

book with A Specialist

Choose one of our incredible travel experiences.

Search for the local Affluent Traveler Specialist in your area.

Contact your local specialist and start planning.


The Affluent Traveler Collection is your “Your Guide to the Good Life.” Our renowned luxury travel specialists have one goal in mind, to create luxurious travel experiences that will inspire your mind, body and soul. Through long-standing relationships with the most upscale hotels, cruise lines, guided vacation companies and more, our travel specialists use their years of experience and product expertise to design a tailor-made vacation just for you.

Ready to be guided towards the vacation of your dreams? We’re ready to help get you there. To find an Affluent Traveler Collection travel specialist, click here.




Preferred Suppliers


Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

the FAB Five!

The world is filled with splendid places that most of us only dream about. But, how do you know: Where to go? What to do? And where to stay? The Affluent Traveler Collection can help inspire your travel research.

We bring you sights and sounds from around the globe to inspire and intrigue your senses. Our Fab Five videos highlight our most impressive products and experiences, providing you with a glimpse of the extravagance that awaits your client in the world of the Affluent Traveler Collection.