Island Windjammers, which operates carefree, casual Caribbean cruises, has welcomed its second ship, the 24-passenger Sagitta, to its fleet. The ship operated two shakedown cruises and is set for its first official voyage to depart on Jan. 13 from St. Maarten.
“It’s really exciting,” said Liz Harvey, president of Island Windjammers. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it all came together on schedule and we’re all thrilled.”
The three-masted motor-sail ship was purchased from Angermeyer Cruises, which had operated Sagitta in the Galapagos Islands. Built in 1961 by the Swedish navy, Sagitta has 10 standard cabins with a double lower berth and single upper berth, along with an owner’s suite, a large aft cabin with a double bed and small refrigerator. The company added two tiny single-berth cabins that share a bathroom and are priced for less than a share of a double-occupancy standard cabin. All cabins have a private bath, portholes and air conditioning. The vessel also has an outdoor lounge area, indoor bar, dining salon and a library area. It is 120 feet long and 22 feet wide.
Island Windjammers also made a number of improvements to the vessel, including renovating the owner’s suite with king-size bed, refrigerator, TV/DVD player, and a large granite and tile master bath. The interior was completely refurbished with all new curtains, upholstery, wall coverings, artwork, paint and carpet. All bathrooms got new granite countertops and fixtures. A new self-service bar area has a frozen drink machine, while the outdoor area received awnings for shade on hot days, new deck and beach chairs, and new snorkel equipment. The vessel also received new sails and a new main engine, computer systems and navigation electronics.
“We’re pretty much sold out through the end of January, but we do have some availability in February,” Harvey said. “Bookings have been great, but there are still cabins available.” Sagitta will operate six-night roundtrip cruises from St. Maarten, departing Sundays, to Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Bart’s and St. Eustatius.
Island Windjammers was formed by the rabidly loyal fans of the defunct Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, which went out of business in 2007. The new company started sailing in 2009, with a client base primarily made up of former Barefoot fans. The company’s first ship, the 12-passenger Diamant, operates out of Port St. Louis, Grenada, and offers six-night cruises, Friday through Thursday, to Carriacou, Union Island, Bequia, Tobago Cays and Mayreau.
Fares for six-night cruises are $1,799 to $1,999 per person, double occupancy, including port charges, taxes, meals, snacks and beer, wine and rum punch. The owner’s suite on Sagitta sells for $2,199 to $2,399. Discounted sailings are offered on the company website’s specials page. Island Windjammers also offers nine- and 12-day cruises. Island Windjammers pays travel agents 10 percent commission on the cruise fare, minus the port charges and taxes.