Windstar Cruises’ President Hans Birkholz Resigns
Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises
In a statement released by Windstar Cruises, Andrew Todd, President and CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the line’s parent company, has announced that Hans Birkholz has resigned as Windstar’s president after nearly six years with the company.
Todd said, “we thank Hans for his five-plus years of service during which time we doubled the size of the fleet, adding three all-suite yachts to our three sailing yachts.” Todd will act as interim president for Windstar until a replacement is discovered and appointed.
It is not known why Birkholz decided to resign. The news comes after Windstar’s Star Pride ran aground in Panama in December 2015. All guests and crew were safe, but the damage to the ship resulted in its inability to sail. Seatrade Cruise News reports that the ship is set to return to service on June 9 after being repaired at the Grand Bahama Shipyard.
The award-winning Windstar fleet currently consists of three power yachts – formerly of Seabourn Cruise Line and newly acquired, including the Star Pride and the Star Breeze and Star Legend – and three motor sailing ships – the Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit. Who will take over the presidency and steer the company forward is not yet known, but this year alone, the cruise line has received honors from Condé Nast Traveler and Cruise Critic.
Another recent shakeup at the company was the January departure of Amanda Graham, the line’s Director of Public Relations and Social Media, replaced my Mary Schimmelman in February. Meanwhile, Windstar features its 2016 James Beard Foundation Collection of three culinary voyages beginning on April 24 from Lisbon. Plus, for a couple days more through April 14, the line is running a European promotion for reduced fares and two free hotel nights or a VIP package.
When asked about future growth beyond in an interview by TravelPulse’s Theresa Norton Masek, Birkholz once said, “we’ve been growing our business for four years and right now we’re up 40 percent over the prior year for 2013 business. Business is good, and as long as we continue to grow, we’ll continue to look for new capacity.” Provided his replacement feels the same, Windstar’s outlook remains bright.
More by Jason Leppert
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