Windstar reaches milestone in Star Plus Initiative

Windstar reaches milestone in Star Plus Initiative
Star Breeze will have a new 84-feet midsection inserted at Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard (Image: Percepture PR)

Windstar Cruises has made the final cut to the hull of Star Breeze, beginning the process of inserting a new 84-foot midsection to ‘stretch’ the ship.

Star Breeze is the first of three vessels to be extended as part of the line’s Star Plus Initiative. The stretching of the ship also involves removing and replacing the engines to ensure a cleaner, more environmentally friendly operation.

Once the lengthening process is completed by Fincantieri, Star Breeze will sail from Barcelona, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal on 20 February 2020. The ship will then be re-inaugurated at PortMiami in Florida, US on 19 March 2020.

 “The US$250 million Star Plus Initiative is the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement and renovation project undertaken in cruising,” said John Delaney, president of Windstar Cruises. “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.”

In addition to the new propulsion system, two new restaurants, Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso and Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, will be featured on Star Breeze and the other two expanded ships. The additional space will also be used to accommodate a new pool and whirlpool, a spa and fitness centre and a new retail shop. Every bathroom will be rebuilt and refitted, and 50 new suites will be added to bring the ships’ total capacity to 312 passengers.

“Today is a big day. A proud day. A day of amazing accomplishment by Windstar, Fincantieri and our shipyard in Palermo,” said Andrew Toso, vice president ship repair and conversion at Fincantieri services division. “Cutting Star Breeze in two, inserting a new section and 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.”

Windstar is transforming three of its Star-class ships – Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride – and renovating each in succession at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy. Star Legend will debut in Barcelona, Spain on 2 July 2020, while Star Pride will depart the shipyard in the autumn of 2020.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
22 October 2019

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