Small Ship Cruise Line Continues Strong Growth
Seattle, WA, December 3, 2018 — Windstar Cruises is pleased to announce the addition of John Gunner as Vice President of Expansion Projects and Captain Michael B. Ross as Director of Marine & Safety Operations. Both will make important contributions to the award-winning cruise line’s operations as it continues to add new destinations and expand programs, notably the recently announced $250 Million Star Plus Initiative in 2019.
Gunner has decades of experience in the cruise industry primarily with Princess Cruises, where he served as Senior Vice President with responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the entire fleet. Ross has 35 years of experience in the maritime industry. Most recently he was Director of Management Systems at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
“Windstar is growing in so many ways; we’re investing $250 Million in our Star Plus Initiative while steadily expanding our global deployment. John and Mike bring a wealth of cruise experience to the operation of our fleet and a commitment to the highest standards for safe operations, while ensuring we do so with a light environmental footprint,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “I am pleased to have them join the team in key management roles that will help Windstar to continue to be the most innovative small ship cruise line.”
Gunner’s education in electrical engineering, with a focus on marine electronics and communication led him to positions as an electrical engineer before becoming a sea-going officer aboard P&O Princess Cruises, culminating as Chief Electro Technical Officer. He came ashore as Senior Project Manager for P&O Princess Cruises’ New Build Group, and for 12 years designed and reviewed development of passenger vessels, including five mega-ships. A promotion to Senior Vice President of Technical Operations gave him oversight for all aspects of technical and engineering operations for over a decade. Since 2016, Gunner has served as a technical consultant for Windstar Cruises, reviewing aspects of technical and engineering operations, assessing operations, and overseeing major vessel projects. His Vice President of Expansion Projects role is a new position at Windstar.
Ross brings deep and diverse experience spanning a career that encompasses positions on government vessels, Maersk Line Ltd., and Koch Shipping, Inc., before his positions at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line. He holds an Unlimited Masters License and is a seasoned professional in all facets of global operations, fleet and vessel management. Ross places a heavy emphasis on environmental compliance, safety awareness, and emergency preparedness; twice he received commendations for sea rescues. Ross is responsible for developing and implementing policies to ensure Windstar’s fleet operates safely and with a minimum environmental impact, and supports operations to ensure Windstar’s “180º From Ordinary” guest experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Nautical Science from the Maine Maritime Academy.
Windstar has more than 140 team members based in the award-winning line’s Seattle office and employs 1,500 seagoing staff and crew worldwide.
About Windstar Cruises
Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting approximately 300 ports and 80 countries sailing to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada and New England, South Pacific and Tahiti. Windstar’s fleet is the market leader in small ship cruising and has just embarked on a $250 Million Dollar Star Plus Initiative to enhance its Star-class ships and the onboard guest accommodations and experiences. Calling on hidden harbors, off-the-beaten-path and popular ports, the boutique cruise line carries 148 to 312 passengers on six small ships and takes travelers on cruises that are 180 degrees from ordinary. Windstar is known for immersive experiences and destination authenticity, port-intensive itineraries, exceptional award-winning service, and an innovative culinary program with culinary-themed cruises as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation. Windstar Cruises is a part of Xanterra Travel Collection, an award-winning, globally diversified travel company offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences in some of the most beautiful and iconic places on earth.