Island Windjammers Ships
OnboardMuch smaller than the ships run by the original Windjammer Barefoot Cruises line, Diamant may be short on amenities, but with its gleaming wood saloon and intimate outdoor dining area, it's big on atmosphere.
The upper deck is a popular place to congregate, both when the waters are rough and for sunning when anchored. The rear of the ship has an outdoor dining area and a cushioned back bench that the crew often cover to protect passengers from the sun. Most dinners and snacks are served out there, and passengers use the space as an area to gossip, read and even nap.
Diamant serves up three squares and a hearty snack daily from its tiny galley kitchen. The onboard chef creates meals that are a little lighter than the traditional big-ship cruise fare, but everything is delicious and filling.
For a ship so small, the quality of the staterooms is a pleasant surprise. All six of the staterooms are air-conditioned suites. Even the smallest cabins have drawers and hooks for belongings.
The barefoot philosophy espoused by the original Windjammers lives on with Diamant. Swimsuits, cover-ups and T-shirts are typical daytime attire, and dressing for dinner usually means nothing more than putting on a clean shirt.
Cruise fares include all meals, gratuities, snorkeling equipment, draft beer, wine and soft drinks.
About Island WindjammersIsland Windjammers Cruises is a new cruise line with a single ship -- 12-passenger Diamant, based in Grenada. Born from the ashes of the popular Windjammer Barefoot Cruises line, Island Windjammers aims to pick up where that company left off by offering small-ship cruises that are focused more on the joys of sailing than on shipboard amenities.
Consisting of four principals and about 30 investors, the group came together when Windjammer Barefoot Cruises went bankrupt in 2007, stranding crewmembers around the world. Through Internet message boards, such as the Flotilla, Windjammer customers raised enough money to get crewmembers home. With that success under their belt, several die-hard Windjammer fans decided to keep the momentum going and raise money to buy their own boat.
That wish came true in September 2009, when the group received a call from Federico "Fiddi" Angermeyer, a tour operator in the Galapagos who had bought The Mandalay -- one of the former ships owned by Windjammers Barefoot Cruises. Turns out Angermeyer had another boat to sell -- the much smaller Diamant. After inspecting the vessel, Island Windjammers bought the 101-foot schooner.
The first cruise sailed from Grenada's Port Louis Marina on November 15, 2009.
The Island Windjammer principals, including President Liz Harvey, still have their day jobs, and the line hopes to expand in the future, but for now, Island Windjammers wants to make sure that avid fans of the old Windjammer know that they are trying to "keep the dream alive."
Island Windjammers FleetThe 32-year-old Diamant, a 101-foot-long schooner, is currently the only vessel operated by Island Windjammers. Accommodating only 12 passengers at maximum capacity, Diamant is the right size for charters, so Island Windjammers is also exploring that market. Many of the crewmembers are former Windjammer Barefoot Cruises crew
Fellow PassengersCome prepared to socialize; with only 12 passengers onboard, it's hard to be anti-social. Many of the passengers are former Windjammer fans or have some connection to the Island Windjammer principals. The average age on a January cruise was 63.
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