Work on the first of three Windstar Cruises‘ Star Class ships to have a 25.6-metre insertion added is underway in Palermo, Italy. Star Breeze had the final cut to its hull last week ahead of its ‘stretching’ exercise which will see it transformed into a larger and more versatile ship with additional deck space and new restaurants.
The stretching process involves replacing the engines to ensure a cleaner, more environmentally friendly operation, and the installation of the Spanish-styled Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso and the modern, alfresco Star Grill by Steven Raichlen.
“The $250 Million 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.
Star Legend and Star Pride are scheduled to go through the same extension process in 2020.
The project will also include a new pool and whirlpool on the upper deck, a re-imagined 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 25.6-metre mid-section will also welcome most of the 50 new suites.
With the new section, Star Breeze will now be able to accommodate 312 passengers (previously the ship accommodated 212 guests). The expanded ship will also allow for more crew and maintain a 1.5:1 guest-to-service-staff ratio. Star Breeze will resume service with a Barcelona to Lisbon sailing on 20 February, 2020.
The second ship to undergo the transformation, Star Legend, will re-debut in Barcelona on 2 July, 2020 and the third and final ship, Star Pride, is planned to sail her first cruise from Barcelona on 20 November, 2020.