Star Breeze

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Star Breeze in Portoferraio (cropped).jpg
Star Breeze in Portoferraio, Italy
  • 1989–2015: Seabourn Spirit:
  • 2015–present: Star Breeze
Port of registry:
Yard number: 1070[1]
Launched: November 1988[2]
Acquired: 7 November 1989[1]
In service: 28 November 1989[1]
Refit: 2007[2]
Status: In service
General characteristics [1]
Tonnage: 9,975 GT[3]
Length: 134 m (439 ft 8 in)[2]
Beam: 19.2 m (63 ft 0 in)[2]
Draft: 5 m (16 ft 5 in)[2]
Decks: 4 (passenger decks)[2]
Installed power:
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)[2]
Capacity: 208 passengers[2]
Crew: 164[2]
Armament: 1 × LRAD

Star Breeze (formerly Seabourn Spirit) is a German-built cruise ship completed in 1989. The luxury liner travels between Europe and Africa, and is owned by Windstar Cruises. In early 2005 she was rated the best small cruise ship by Condé Nast.[4] In April 2015, she departed the Seabourn fleet, and on 6 May 2015 she was rechristened and entered service with Windstar Cruises.[5]

Pirate attack[edit]

Seabourn Spirit in Rovinj, Croatia.
The motor of a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), shown after striking the Seabourn Spirit

On 5 November 2005 at 5:50 am, while Spirit was underway 115 km off the coast of Somalia with 115 passengers, the ship was attacked by two pirate speedboats launched by a mother ship.[6] Machine guns were fired as well as rocket propelled grenades at the cruise ship, and the remains of an RPG's rocket motor wedged itself in the wall of a room[7] and was disarmed by sailors from USS Gonzalez after the attack.[8] It was reported that a second RPG bounced off the stern.[4] No passengers were injured, but the ship's Master-at-Arms, Som Bahadur Gurung was hit by shrapnel whilst attempting to combat the raiders with a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD); the sonic device repelled the pirates by blasting a powerful sound wave.[9]

Security officer Michael Groves and British shipmate Som Bahadur Gurung (an ex-Gurkha) were honoured for their bravery by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 16 May 2007, receiving the Queen's Gallantry Medal and the Queen's Commendation for Bravery respectively.[9][10]

The ship then altered its course to Port Victoria in the Seychelles for repairs rather than the originally-planned Mombasa in Kenya;[4] the ship then sailed to Singapore and returned to its original schedule.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Seabourn Spirit (1989), retrieved 7. 12. 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Seabourn Spirit: ship specifications. Seabourn Cruise Line, retrieved 23 May 2010.
  3. ^ Results for Vessel: Seabourn Spirit> United States Coast Guard Maritime Information Exchange, 2 April 2012
  4. ^ a b c d Lehr, Peter (2007). Violence at sea: piracy in the age of global terrorism. Routledge. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-415-95320-7.
  5. ^ Staff, CIN (19 February 2013). "Windstar Completes Purchase of Three Seabourn Ships".
  6. ^ Bomb experts tackle missile, The Herald Sun, 8 November 2005
  7. ^ Rebuilding Africa tourism, Christian Science Monitor, 8 November 2005
  8. ^ Cruising into hell, The Daily Telegraph (Australia), 8 November 2005
  9. ^ a b "'I beat pirates with a hose and sonic cannon'". 17 May 2007 – via
  10. ^ Cocktail party follows pirate attack, The Courier-Mail,2005-11-08

External links[edit]

Media related to Star Breeze (ship, 1989) at Wikimedia Commons