When I ask well-traveled, non-cruisers what kind of ship they would consider for their first voyage, most say “small” and “casual.”
Yet if a company proposed to start a cruise line with new, small ships for 300 or fewer passengers, investors would be hard to find. Why? Because cruise experts say that they could not charge a rate high enough to pay for the cost of building a small ship.
So, there is irony in one of the latest success stories in the vacation industry. Windstar Cruises is carving out a popular niche with a growing fleet of small ships that carry 312 or fewer passengers. The key: Windstar’s billionaire owner is buying all of his ships second-hand.