Our yachts define the Windstar experience – elegant, luxurious and timeless. When we began conceptualizing our $18 million fleet refurbishment, we looked for a design team that could stay true to the classical feel of our sailing yachts as well as enhancing the ineffable beauty of them. Windstar selected design and build partner Trimline Interiors incorporating McVitty Interior Consultants. The design team embraced Windstar’s vision and expanded upon it, creating designs which are unlike any other yachts in the world.  McVitty Interior Consultants’ Alan McVitty shared his inspiration with Kris Thompson Page, Windstar’s Director of Marine-Hotel Operations & Project Manager for STAR TREATMENT, below:

Last month, I traveled with our design team to Wind Spirit, where we planned the yacht’s complete refurbishments for 2012.  Lead Designer Alan McVitty of McVitty Interior Consultants shared the following thoughts with me regarding his inspiration and vision for the fleet makeover. Interview conducted on board Wind Spirit while sailing from the island of Menorca to Barcelona, Spain.

Alan McVitty

KTP: Could you start by telling me what your team’s response is to landing this project with Windstar?

AM:  Well, the excitement is unbelievable.  When I initially had the conversation with Mike Oliver at Trimline and then visited Wind Surf and Wind Spirit last year, it was just amazing to see these beautiful tall-masted yachts.  And to me, the exciting prospect is the potential.  They are amazing vessels, and from a designer’s perspective, the scope was unlimited, really.  So from the initial concepts and proposals, I had quite a clear idea of what I want to create; the largest luxury yachts in the world.  That’s quite a nice proposition, really!

KTP: What were the inspirations for the Windstar interior designs?

AM: The inspirations were quite diverse.  For the food and beverage areas, it was almost like a worldwide search in terms of places I have visited and been inspired by.   For example, for the Veranda we’ve taken references from Dean & Deluca in America, to Princi in Milan.   In terms of palates, we are using a lot of neutrals, and the paler colors that reflect the luxurious feel we are trying to create.  Also, the deck areas want to be presented in a way that are quite comfortable but with a luxurious feel, with versatility to create different atmospheres during the course of the day; from set-up in the morning for sun bathing, to creating lounge areas for afternoon cocktails, and yet again transitioning to outdoor dining venues in the evening.

KTP:  How will Windstar’s interiors be different from other cruise lines?

AM: I think for me, as a designer, I want to bring to Windstar as much as I can from my residential work.  Rather than a sea of the same fabric and all the same chairs, it’s about having a lot more attention to detail.  I’m hoping that will come across; that the yachts have been decorated with a lot of thought and care; taking the blandness away which I feel a lot of the commercial vessels have.  They often all look the same.   Differentiating yourself from that ‘sea of sameness’ is achieved with the right selections; the types of furniture, lighting, fabrics.

The team on Wind Spirit, left to right: Mike Oliver, Alan McVitty, Darren Smith

KTP: Which furniture and textile designers are you the most pleased to be incorporating into these designs?

AM:   We are partnering with a diversity of international suppliers, reflecting the feel of the yacht.  For the staterooms, we are working with an English manufacturer called Morgan Furniture, who are customizing the furniture designs for us.  Morgan has great green practices that run parallel to the ethos of Windstar Cruises.  We also have gorgeous accent fabrics in the suites and staterooms from Allegra Hicks; again, it’s in the details!  It’s a designer product in a standard stateroom, and I’m pleased we were able to put these elements into the design.  They bring something to the whole scheme.

KTP:  If you were to summarize Windstar’s new look in three words, what would they be?

AM:  Understated Elegance…

KTP:  That’s an understated response; you only used two!

AM: (Laughs) Understated.  Elegance.  And Classic.  Because classic style is an element of the design, too. We are going back to a classic era.

KTP:  You have now traveled with Windstar to several destinations.  Which was your favorite?

AM:  Last winter I was fortunate enough to fly into St. Barths, which has to be experienced!  That was amazing, and I loved that particular itinerary; Guadeloupe and the Grenadines, I thought it was a beautiful part of the world.

-Kris Thompson Page

Director of Marine-Hotel Operations & Project Manager for STAR TREATMENT

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