Executives from Fincantieri and Windstar attended the steel-cutting of the sections to extend three ships (Image: Windstar Cruises)
Windstar Cruises celebrated the steel-cutting for a renovation project of three of its existing ships on 2 April at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Trieste, Italy. The task comes as part of the line’s US$250 Million Star Plus Initiative to extend Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride by around 25 metres each.
Star Breeze will be the first to undergo the renovation in October 2019 and all three are expected to be complete by November 2020. Each ship will be cut in half to allow the installation of a new mid-body section. The enhanced ships will be able to accommodate 100 more passengers and Windstar will hire additional staff to maintain its generous guest-to-staff ratio.
“The considerable experience gained with major naval projects undertaken over recent years, and the Windstar programme that we are officially starting today, consolidates Fincantieri’s position as the reference point worldwide for this kind of highly sophisticated and complex operations,” said Andrew Toso, vice president of Ship Repair and Conversion at Fincantieri. “We are very proud that Windstar, a prestigious new client for our company, has chosen us for these strategic works which will require an extremely high level of engineering competence and project management.”
The new sections will be built in Trieste and transported to Palermo, Sicily, where they will be inserted into the ships along with the new engines. Once intact, Ray Chung, director of Design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, will design the vessels’ public spaces and 50 new suites. The ships will also feature new pool areas, restaurants, a spa and wellness centre, and enhanced living room deck spaces.
“This is not about just cutting a ship in half and making it bigger,” said John Gunner, vice president of Expansion Projects at Windstar Cruises. “We are replacing the engines and ‘back of house’ too, so that these ships deliver on their promise of visiting smaller ports and special waterways of the world with a softer environmental footprint for generations to come.”
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