Windstar Cruises, a highly awarded small ship cruise line known for its Alaskan trips, just announced its $250 million Star Plus Initiative to expand the company in an effort to better accommodate guests and become more environmentally responsible. How? The initiative will expand guest accommodations on all-suite vessels Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride, therefore increasing guest capacity from 212 to 312 per ship.
The renovations will include 50 new suites, two larger owner suites, two new dining experiences including an intimate restaurant and a casual barbecue space next to the top deck Star Bar, and an expanded Veranda Restaurant for more ocean-view seating. All existing suites will feature new bathrooms and the balcony suites will receive new sliding doors. A larger pool and hot tub will be reconfigured and elevated, and the spa and fitness center will grow bigger. A new elevator will be found mid-ship and a comfortable new tender loading area will be added to each vessel as well as two new 90-passenger tenders.
Windstar President John Delaney touches on the enhancement project, “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.” Each ship’s re-engine project requires the removal of seven engines currently installed in each of the three vessels to be replaced with four new, more environmentally friendly engines that run on cleaner fuel and reduce emissions. Each of these cruise vessels will add an extra 84’ to their length overall for a new total length of about 453’. Fincantieri Services was chosen to execute the Star Plus Initiative.
Giorgio Rizzo, Fincantieri SVP, shares his thoughts on their new project. He states, “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 endeavor.” Rizzo continues, “We look forward to working with the Windstar team to totally transform these elegant small ships.”
The project is expected to commence in October 2019 and continue through November 2020 at Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy.