In his new position, Steinbrunner is responsible for overseeing all aspects of shipboard product delivery on Windstar’s six yachts including standards, procedures, enhancements, efficiencies and innovations as well as the leadership, training, coaching and collective performance of the hotel management team.
“Guenter is the picture perfect hotelier. His passion and love for hotel products is his daily dose of motivation. He is an accomplished leader and role model who will help us to evaluate, enhance and elevate the very good Windstar guest experience and help progress our product and service delivery to the next level. Guest luxury and customization is the predominant trend throughout travel today, and that is where we intend to excel,” explained Christopher Prelog, Windstar’s Vice President of Fleet Operations. “It is a true honor and privilege to have Guenter join Windstar in this role, the entire team is very excited for his arrival.”
With the addition of Steinbrunner, Windstar debuts a power-house of culinary industry talent along with Director of Hotel Operations Peter Tobler. Together with their teams, the duo will concept and implement new guest experiences and innovations for the award-winning small ship cruise line.
“At Windstar we believe it takes talent to create talent. Building a team of consummate hospitality professionals lets our loyal cruisers, new guests and travel partners know that we are a customer-first operation, dedicated to creating those magical moments that perfectly match our legendary and luxurious small ships and deliver the experience that dream vacations are made of,” says Prelog.
Steinbrunner begins with Windstar immediately, bringing a host of international travel and hospitality experience in the cruising and hotel industries. Previously with Seabourn, Steinbrunner spent eight years at sea as Hotel Director and then held a key leadership role on the Newbuild product development team ashore before overseeing the line’s ultra-deluxe vessels as Corporate Hotel Director. Steinbrunner was instrumental in designing the guest experience in conjunction with the role-out of the line’s Odyssey-class ships. Steinbrunner has familiarity in working with the three new-to-Windstar all-suite yachts that joined the fleet in 2014-15; his experience with Windstar dates back to early career days as Steinbrunner was instrumental in the launch of the three original Windstar sail ships in the late 1980s.
Steinbrunner’s guest-centric perspective and far-reaching knowledge of cruising, culinary and service will allow for rapid integration of his expertise and influence onboard Windstar’s casually elegant ships.
Steinbrunner began his career in cruise management in 1998 working for Premier Cruise Line; prior to that he worked in various roles onboard vessels and at numerous elite hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, England, Austria and the United States. He studied management at Cornell Institute and was trained as a chef and service professional in his home country of Austria.
Steinbrunner joins the 130-plus Windstar team headquartered in downtown Seattle and will assist to lead an 800-strong team of ship culinary and service staff and crew across the fleet. The industry leader in small ship cruising, Windstar recently received numerous kudos from CruiseCritic.com cruise reviewers in the 2017 Best Small Ships awards including Best Overall Small Ships, Best Dining and Best Cabins; was voted #1 Best Boutique Cruise Line by readers of USA Today and was named to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Gold List.
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