A former cruise ship waiter has been named as president of Windstar Cruises.

Christopher Prelog began his cruise industry career at Seabourn, working first as a waiter, then in onboard hotel operations and finally as head of all ship operations before joining Windstar almost four years ago.

Former operations chief Prelog will now report to Andrew Todd, chief executive of the small ship line and Colorado-based parent group Xanterra Travel Collection.

He takes the new role with all Windstar sailings cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with plans to resume sailing in January including a ‘Sailings and Beyond Ordinary’ care programme.

Seattle-based Windstar operates a fleet of six vessels carrying 148 to 342 passengers on voyages around the world.

Star Breeze will be the first of three ships to emerge from a $250 million lengthening and refit this autumn featuring two new restaurants, a larger spa and fitness centre, expanded pool, new bathrooms and 50 additional suites.

Star Legend and Star Pride follow in 2021 while sailing yacht, 342-passenger Wind Surf, underwent a major refurbishment a year ago.

Todd said: “Chris is the perfect person for this role. As Windstar’s chief operating officer, he has led the $250 million dollar investment in expanding and renovating our three all-suite yachts in addition to managing our operations through this pandemic.

“His in-depth knowledge and expertise of the small ship cruise business combined with his collaborative leadership style have won the hearts, minds and respect of the Windstar crew and corporate team alike.”

Prelog added: “I know this has been the most challenging year for the cruise industry and our teams at Windstar and Xanterra have worked together across all disciplines to implement Our Beyond Ordinary care programme and numerous plans in response to the pandemic.

“I am so proud of the work that we have delivered as a team and honoured to be chosen for this important role.”