Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.

Hans Birkholz
Hans Birkholz

Name: Hans Birkholz

Occupation: CEO and President of Windstar Cruises 

Residence: Seattle, WA

College: University of Minnesota for undergrad, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School, for grad school

College major: Business Administration

Website: windstarcruises.com


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Short bio: Hans Birkholz serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of Windstar Cruises, a leader in small ship luxury cruises. Since joining in May of 2010, Birkholz has steered Windstar through a major transitional period implementing many new successful initiatives, including fleet expansion and an $18-million fleet-wide renovation project.

Birkholz holds a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota. Birkholz’s passion for Windstar Cruises comes from a long history of competitive sailing. He lives in Seattle with his wife and son.

How often do you fly? Approximately 30 times a year.

How many countries have you been to? 73 countries.

How many continents have you been to? 6 continents.

Earliest travel memory: The first long flight I remember being on was a Pan Am flight to to the Middle East when I was 8 years. It was a Boeing 707, and a trans-Atlantic flight, which at the time, was a pretty big deal.

Favorite American city: Whichever one I am currently living in. At the moment, that’s Seattle.

Favorite international city: Rome, Italy.

Favorite World Heritage Site: Sistine Chapel.

Favorite airline: Delta.

Aisle or window: Aisle.

Favorite hotel: Kimpton Hotels.

Favorite cruise line: Windstar Cruises.

Favorite island: Staniel Cay in The Exuma Cays.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Blueacre Seafood in Seattle.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Soggy Dollar Bar in Joost Van Dyke.

Favorite bar: The Connaught Bar in London.

Favorite food: Confit de canard or any dish made/served with white truffles.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): In the air it is club soda with lime, at sea it is a classic martini.

Favorite travel movie(s): Lawrence of Arabia.

Right now I am reading: The Economist.

Best travel tip: The secret to traveling light, you pack three of everything: one to wear, one to wash and one for reserves.

3 Comments On "Travel Style: Hans Birkholz"
  1. naoma foreman|

    Looked on another page and wondered where COMMENTS are: Now I see them here.

  2. Kimo Dejon|

    Having flown almost four million air miles since 1983 – for business and pleasure ( mostly business! ) – I can honestly say that travelling expertise and knowledge comes from making many mistakes – and learning from them! The first time I got off a plane in Singapore, after 21 hours of flying and found that my suitcase was somewhere in Hong Kong, I knew I would never check a bag again…never! Since then, I can pack everything I need into a simple roll-aboard and travel globally for a week or more if needed!
    I agree about two things with Hans – the Soggy Dollar Bar on Joost Van Dyke ( I love hole in the walls ) – and my favorite cruise line, Windstar of course!

  3. Kimo Dejon|

    We just came back from our Dreams of Tahiti voyage and were impressed with the entire crew, especially Karma, Toto and the entire F& B staff, Amanda, Chie and Puji our cabin steward. Once you sail on a small sailing yacht like Windspirit or even her bigger sister ship the Windsurf, all other cruise lines are just large towns on the water!

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