Windstar Cruises in in the midst of a unique fleet upgrade project — it’s “stretching” three cruise ships.
The $250 million “Star Plus” Initiative will literally cut three of its ships in half and add new 84-foot midsections, effectively “stretching” them into longer, upgraded ships.
And now Windstar has officially begun stretching its first ship, Star Breeze.
While the stretching process is not unique to Windstar, the company says the complexity and work it is undertaking is immense.
That includes removing and replacing its engines in order to make them cleaner and more environmentally friendly.
“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. “The slightly larger ships and new enhancements will significantly build upon the signature onboard environment Windstar is famous for. The social and friendly public spaces on the ships create a welcome chemistry with guests and the crew.”
The stretching will include the addition of a new propulsion system and two new eateries: the Spanish-style Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso and the modern Star Grill by Steven Raichlen.
Windstar will also be adding a new pool and whirlpool; a reimagined spa and fitness center; a new retail boutique and, perhaps most importantly, the addition of 50 new suites.
The larger Star Breeze will be able to hold 312 passengers, an increase of 100 passengers, along with more crew.
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,” said Christopher Prelog, Vice President of Fleet Operations for Windstar. “Star Breeze and her sister ships 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.”
Star Breeze will begin its voyages in Europe in February 2020 before heading to Miami and the Caribbean in March 2020.