Xanterra Parks & Resorts Completes Purchase of Windstar Cruises

DENVER, May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Xanterra Parks & Resorts completed the purchase of Windstar Cruises on Wednesday, May 25, after the sale of the assets of Ambassadors International, Inc. was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on May 19, 2011. Windstar was Ambassadors' principal operating unit.

Windstar Cruises, with headquarters based in Seattle, Wash., will sail all published 2011 and 2012 voyages, maintain its customer programs and policies and honor Windstar fares and reservations, including charter contracts.

"The first order of business for Windstar Cruises is that it is full sail ahead," said Andrew N. Todd, President & CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts. "Going forward, we intend to maintain Windstar's business and operations and invest in Windstar's growth for the long term. We are very excited to have Windstar Cruises become part of Xanterra's 135-year legacy in hospitality."

Windstar Cruises operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explores the hidden harbors and secluded coves of some of the world's most sought-after destinations. These luxurious and intimate ships cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. The company sails two ships that carry just 148 guests each and a third ship that carries 312 guests.

"Now that the sale of Windstar Cruises has closed successfully, Windstar will be financially stronger and well-positioned for long-term profitability and success under new ownership," said Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar. "Windstar's 2012 collection of luxury voyages was just announced, and we will continue to provide our guests exceptional luxury travel experiences and the highest level of service. We will also continue to strive to exceed our guests' expectations aboard our luxury yachts for many years to come."

For the fifth consecutive year, Windstar Cruises was named the best small/mid-size cruise line by the readers of Celebrated Living, American Airlines' publication for first-class passengers. The 2011 Platinum List is an annual reader's choice guide endorsing the top hotels, golf courses, spas and cruise lines in the world.  

Xanterra traces its history in the hospitality industry back to 1876 with the Fred Harvey Company, known throughout the West for its pioneering efforts to develop and operate first-class hotels and restaurants along the route of the Santa Fe Railroad, including the world-famous El Tovar on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Harvey devised a system of alerting his restaurant kitchen staff of the imminent arrival of train passengers via the telegraph wire, thus allowing his dining room hotel staffs to anticipate the needs of countless travelers prior to their arrival. His innovations and expertise led to first-class and luxury travel service standards that were ahead of their time.  

In 1968, the Fred Harvey Company was purchased by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, then called Amfac Parks & Resorts.  Amfac later acquired TW Recreational Services in 1995, and the company relocated from Flagstaff, Ariz. to the Denver area. In 2002 the company changed its name to Xanterra Parks & Resorts. In March 2007 Xanterra acquired the Williams, Ariz.- based Grand Canyon Railway, and in 2010 it purchased the luxurious Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. The company also operates the exclusive Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park as well as upscale, world-renowned lodges such as El Tovar, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park and Crater Lake Lodge in Crater Lake National Park.

About Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations.  Carrying just 148 to 312 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245.  Visit Windstar Cruises online at www.windstarcruises.com.

About Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Xanterra Parks & Resorts® (consisting of several affiliated Xanterra entities) operates lodges, restaurants, tours and activities at national parks and state parks and resorts. Xanterra Parks & Resorts is the country's largest park concessioner. Xanterra Parks & Resorts has operations in the following locations: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park, Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. and eight Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio's Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also operates Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Ariz.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been committed to the preservation and protection of the environment for many years. Through its environmental program, "Ecologix," Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been recognized repeatedly for environmental leadership in the hospitality industry and is the recipient of many honors, including major awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Travel Industry Association of America, American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Colorado Department of Public Health, State of Arizona, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

For more information about Xanterra Parks & Resorts, links to individual properties and reservations numbers, visit www.xanterra.com.

SOURCE Windstar Cruises



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