Cruising Press Releases

Windstar Appoints Captain James Griffiths as Expedition Captain

Windstar Appoints Captain James Griffiths as Expedition Captain Overseeing the Boutique Line’s New Signature Expeditions Program



Seattle, WA, Dec. 13, 2017 — Windstar Cruises announces the appointment of veteran Captain James Griffiths to a new position as Expedition Captain for the award-winning small ship cruise line. In this new capacity, Griffiths is overseeing the holistic creation, development and implementation of the line’s newly-announced Signature Expeditions program. Griffiths joined Windstar in 2014 as Captain of the MSY Wind Spirit, prior to that he worked for many years in the Expedition industry operating expedition ships at senior management levels in some of the most remote areas of the world.


Griffiths was made Captain of the 212-passenger MV Star Legend during her 2015 inaugural season, the same ship that will debut the Signature Expeditions program in Alaska in May of 2018. Designed to deliver destination authenticity, Signature Expeditions will be featured on all sailings from 11- to 14-days, with rich and immersive itineraries, sailing between Seward (Anchorage), AK and Vancouver, BC.


As Expedition Captain, Griffiths’ new position puts him in charge of overseeing all aspects of Windstar’s Signature Expeditions program. As a key part of the program, Griffiths has personally assembled an expedition team of world-class naturalists who will guide guests on their fascinating Alaskan journey crafted to provide multiple high-touch adventures and enrichment opportunities each day. Griffiths’ highly specialized skills and talents lend themselves to this new opportunity as Expedition Captain including his extensive experience with ship command and handling; crew management; introducing new cruise vessels and destinations; safety, training and navigation including ice navigation; inspections and compliance, expedition ship operations and polar wildlife.


“We are fortunate to have Captain Griffiths amongst our ranks and are thrilled to place him in this role leading the creation and development of our brand new Signature Expeditionsprogram,” commented President John Delaney. “Captain Griffiths’ experience with vessels of prestige and breadth of knowledge of the expedition, nautical and maritime industries is most impressive. Many of our guests have sailed with Captain Griffiths and know him as a delightful, accomplished, and down-to-earth leader, interested in sharing his life experiences with others. We are delighted to have him on our management team.”


Griffiths’ career has provided him with a wide variety of roles at sea, notably as Captain of the National Geographic Explorer and Senior Master of the National Geographic Orion during her maiden Antarctic Peninsular Season. Griffiths has sailed on board some of the most well-known passenger ships in the world including 11 years working aboard the highly prestigious ships of Cunard Line being appointed Chief Officer at age 25 on board the RMS Queen Mary 2.


Griffiths was educated in the U.K. and holds multiple degrees and designations from the Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton, Middlesex University and the Nautical Institute in London, and Lloyds Maritime Academy in Kent. Griffiths is a native of South Wales where he resides when not traveling for work or leisure. Griffiths operates from the fleet and at Windstar’s headquarters in downtown Seattle.


Windstar operates a fleet of six small cruise ships: three Wind-class sailing ships classified as motor sail yachts (MSY), and three Star-class all-suite ships classified as motor vessels (MV); the ships provide a 1.5:1 guest to crew ratio, and accommodate 148 to 310 passengers serviced by between 100 and 200 staff and crew varying by vessel. The industry leader in small ship cruising, Windstar regularly receives numerous awards including being recognized by readers as 2017 Best Overall Small Ships, Best Dining and Best Cabins; Windstar was voted #1 Best Boutique Cruise Line by readers of USA Today; named to Travel+Leisure World’s Best 2017; and Celebrated Living’s Platinum List for Best Boutique Cruise Experience. The line offers nearly 400 cruises annually sailing to 270 ports worldwide with 50 new itineraries offered in 2018 to popular cruise destinations including Asia, Alaska, and Canada and New England.


For additional information on Windstar’s fleet of ships and private yacht-style cruising, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit



About Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting approximately 270 ports in 2018 sailing throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada and New England, and cruising year-round in Tahiti and the South Pacific. The boutique cruise line is the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, and the small ships are known for offering an intimate private yacht-style experience, exceptional culinary experiences, immersive itineraries, and exclusive access to the world’s best ports and small harbors. Windstar Cruises is a part of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, known for “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint.” Xanterra’s entities also include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks, as well as resorts, railway and tour companies. More information: at


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