Carnival Corporation, owner of Windstar Cruises, announces today it has sold the boutique line to Ambassadors International for $100 million.

Windstar, which actually was a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp.'s Holland America Line, will join Ambassadors' Majestic America Line; MAL operates noted U.S. river and coastal cruise vessels such as Delta Queen Steamboat, Queen of the West, Empress of the North, and American Queen, among others.

This move follows Carnival Corp.'s strategy of divesting itself of niche-oriented cruise lines; Swan Hellenic, the one ship U.K.-based line, is another that is leaving the Carnival portfolio this year.

The Seattle-based Majestic America was created by Ambassadors in 2006 when it acquired two lines: American West Steamboat and the vessels of Delta Queen.

Windstar Cruises' three ships include the 312-passenger Wind Surf, and the 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit. The deal is slated to close in second quarter 2007, according to the Carnival Corporation announcement. Windstar will continue to operate the ships in the short term.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor