November 15, 2018.
Windstar Cruises today announces the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative. The multi-million dollar, multi-year undertaking will impact and enhance all aspects of the guest experience for the highly awarded small ship cruise line’s three Star Class vessels. All three ships were originally built for Seabourn Cruise Line and sold to Windstar over the past few years.
The initiative will expand guest accommodations on the all-suite vessels, increasing capacity from 212 to 312 guests per ship following the lengthening. The work will be done to Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride in succession between October 2019 and November 2020, and take place at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. The project represents an overall capacity increase of 24% for the small ship line.
The project is expected to be partially financed through an export credit facility guaranteed by SACE, Italy’s export credit agency.
Each Star Class ship will be cut in half to allow the installation of a new section of ship that will lengthen each vessel approximately 25.6 meters bringing the total length to just over 138 meters. The project adds 50 new suites, bringing the total number of suites per ship to 156, and represents an investment of more than $267,000 per passenger berth.
Also involved is the creation of new public spaces including two new dining locations; new shop and retail space; a much enlarged fitness center; and a new world-class spa.
The renovation includes a comprehensive re-engine project for each ship. This will involve the removal of the seven currently installed engines and replacing them with four more efficient and environmentally friendly engines.
Windstar has partnered with designer Ray Chung, Director of Design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, to create modern and inviting design aesthetics for the new public spaces and new suites.
Among new guest amenities and accommodations in the planning phase are:
- 50 new suites featuring new suite categories and open floor plan configurations.
- Creation of two brand new, larger Owner’s Suites, that combines existing suites to create up to a three-bedroom, two-balcony suite – the first of its kind in the cruise industry.
- Two brand new dining experiences including: an intimate, alternative dining restaurant, and a casual barbecue space adjacent to the top deck Star Bar, perfect for outdoor grilling during Windstar’s Signature Onboard Barbecue celebration or enjoying while spending time on deck.
- Expanded Veranda Restaurant to offer more seating and upgraded dining area.
- For existing suites, all-new bathrooms and installation of new sliding doors for the Balcony Suites.
- Larger pool and hot tub that will be reconfigured and elevated offering better views, along with more and enhanced outdoor deck area.
- A completely re-imagined and enlarged spa and fitness center.
- A new elevator mid-ship, making access to all decks easy from anywhere on board.
- A comfortable, new tender loading area located mid-ship and two new 90-passenger tenders that will ferry guests to port when ships are at anchor.
In addition, ship staff and crew areas and accommodations will be expanded and upgraded. Additional crew will be hired and the increase will maintain the line’s 1.5:1 guest to hotel staff ratio.
As planning on the project progresses, additional details will be revealed in press releases and on a dedicated microsite that will launch in 2019.