Fincantieri has started on Windstar’s jumboisation project by cutting the ‘Star Breeze’ in two in the Palermo drydock ready for the insertion of a new mid-body.
‘Star Breeze’ is the first of three cruise ships to be stretched by adding a new 25.6 m section.
Once rebuilt, she will sail from Barcelona to Lisbon on 20th February, 2020.
While many ship have been stretched, the complexity and significant undertaking with ‘Star Breeze’ and sisterships ‘Star Legend’ and ‘Star Pride’ next year is not just cosmetic or experience-based, as the work also involves removing and replacing the engines to ensure a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly operation, Fincantieri explained.
“The $250 mill ‘Star Plus’ initiative is the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement, and renovation project undertaken in cruising, and we are very proud to be working with Fincantieri, the leader in major cruise ship renovations,” said Windstar Cruises President, John Delaney. “The slightly larger ships and new enhancements will significantly build upon the signature on board environment Windstar is famous for. The social and friendly public spaces on the ships create a welcome chemistry with guests and the crew.”
In addition to the propulsion system and ‘back-of-house’ investment, what guests will welcome most are the two new restaurants, including the eclectic, Spanish-styled Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso and a modern, alfresco Star Grill by Steven Raichlen capitalising on the ships’ increase in deck space.
The additional space will also include a new pool and whirlpool on the upper deck, a re-built spa and fitness centre, a new retail shop, and more.
In addition, every bathroom on the ship with be re-built and fitted to modern luxury standards. The new mid-section will also house most of the 50 new suites.
With the new section, ‘Star Breeze’ will be able to accommodate 312 passengers, compared to the previous 212 guests. The expanded ship will also allow for more crew and maintain the 1.5-to-1 guest-to-service staff ratio.
Windstar’s Vice President of Fleet Operations, Christopher Prelog, said, “This is a momentous undertaking for Windstar and a major milestone. Thanks to our partners at Fincantieri, we are literally witnessing the evolution of a cruise line. ‘Star Breeze’ and her sisterships have always been coveted for their beauty, pleasing lines, and cozy yet seemingly spacious environments.
“The significant investment and the transformation of these ships will be stunning, and we are all eager for our guests to experience the renaissance of Windstar Cruises,” he added.
Vice President Ship Repair and Conversion at the Fincantieri Services Division, Andrew Toso, stated, “Cutting ‘Star Breeze’ in two, inserting a new section, replacing the main engines and diesel generators, is evidence of our ability in these kinds of highly sophisticated and complex operations, which require engineering and design skills, as well as project management competence that represent the state-of-the-art in the industry.”
The second ship to undergo the transformation, ‘Star Legend’, will arrive in Barcelona on 2nd July, 2020, while the third and final ship, ‘Star Pride’, will sail from Barcelona on 20th November, 2020.