Windstar Cruises is to lengthen and refurbish its three Star class cruise ships as part of a $250 mill Star Plus initiative.
This will involve increasing the guest accommodation on the boutique line’s three all-suite vessels from 212 passengers to 312 guests per ship, following the lengthening.
The work will be undertaken on ‘Star Breeze’, ‘Star Legend’, and ‘Star Pride’ in succession between October, 2019 and November, 2020, at Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard in Sicily. The project represents an overall capacity increase of 24% for the small ship line.
“We are thrilled to announce the $250 mill Star Plus initiative, a significant investment in the future of Windstar Cruises. This exciting initiative is our 180 deg from ordinary solution to add new capacity and major enhancements to the guest experience in a very time efficient manner,” said Windstar President, John Delaney. “The initiative not only creates beautiful new suites and public spaces, but we will also take the opportunity to re-engine the ships with a more fuel efficient and environmentally responsible propulsion system. This will be a true game changer for Windstar and our small ship cruise experience.”
The project is expected to be partially financed through an export credit facility guaranteed by SACE,
Italy’s export credit agency.
Each Star class ship will receive a new mid-ship section that will lengthen each vessel by about 25.6 m bringing the total length to just over 159 m. This will add 50 new suites, bringing the total number of suites per ship to 156, and represents an investment of more than $267,000 per passenger berth.
Also involved in the initiative is the creation of state-of-the-art public spaces, including two new dining locations, a new shop and retail space, a much enlarged fitness centre and a spa.
In addition, the renovation includes a comprehensive re-engine project for each ship. This complex undertaking will involve the removal of seven engines and installation of four new, more environmentally friendly engines that will run on cleaner fuel and reduce emissions.
“Given our expertise as a leader in major cruise ship renovations and lengthening projects, we are gratified to be chosen by Windstar to undertake this complex and extensive endeavour. We look forward to working with the Windstar team to totally transform these elegant small ships,” said Giorgio Rizzo, Executive Senior Vice President, Fincantieri Services.
Windstar has partnered with designer Ray Chung, Director of Design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, to create modern and inviting design aesthetics for the new public spaces and new suites, the company said.
In addition, ship staff and crew areas and accommodations will be expanded and upgraded. Additional crew will be hired to maintain the line’s 1.5:1 guest to hotel staff ratio.