At Seatrade Cruise Global, Windstar Cruises, revealed details of its $250 MillionStar Plus initiative
Windstar’s President, John Delaney, revealed 360-deg ‘views’ and renderings of what guests will experience on the line’s three renovated vessels, ‘Star Breeze’, ‘Star Legend’, and ‘Star Pride’.
Delaney was joined at the event by Giorgio Rizzo and Lawrence Zammit, respectively Fincantieri Services Executive Vice President and Vice President Merchant Market Strategies and Sales who will undertake the conversion work.
Tghe work will be carried out at Fincantieri’s Shipyards in Trieste and later in Palermo, Italy. The Star Plus initiative was claimed to be the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement, and renovation project in cruising.
“This is the biggest investment and expansion in Windstar Cruises’ history,” said Delaney. “The investment of a quarter of a billion dollars ensures to our loyal and future guests, and industry partners, that these ships will continue to sail for generations and deliver on their promise of visiting the smaller ports and waters of the world that our brand is known for. We are all proud to be part of this historic event in the small ship cruise industry.”
Windstar will renovate each ship in succession. Work on the three ships is due to begi in October, 2019 and end in November, 2020.
The total capacity of the expanded ships will be 312 guests each, with additional staff hired to maintain the line’s 1.5 to 1 guest-to-staff ratio. The ships’ new engines will meet and exceed new global IMO limits – one of the requirements being the engines produce no more than 0.5% sulfur content.
Rizzo said, “Star PlusInitiative is an extraordinary and very comprehensive programme, which is why we are honoured to partner with Windstar for its execution. Ship conversions are much more than simple upgrades, they’re about enhancing the main technical and commercial qualities of the ship, while enriching the brand attributes that have earned Windstar the reputation of being an innovative leader in small ship cruising.
“In the last few years, our company has made a long-term strategic choice to specialise in these kinds of operations, particularly in the cruise segment, which has allowed us to quickly gain an acknowledged leadership position in this sector,” he said.
Ray Chung, Director of Design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, and his team have been tasked with creating modern and inviting new public spaces and 50 new suites.
He said, “They just don’t build ships like this anymore. We are keeping the best elements and designs from these iconic vessels and re-envisioning them for the modern guest.
“The design of the public and private spaces provides a rich backdrop for guests as they create their own storytelling moments of their time on board. The design is very conscious of how people ‘flow’ effortlessly through the ship and leverages drama and scale for a larger visual impact,” he added.