Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride, representing half the Windstar fleet, will each be dry-docked, cut in half, have a mid-section inserted and then be welded back together. Simultaneously, the interiors of each ship will be updated or redesigned altogether.
Little has been known about the changes to be made until now. At a press conference this week, the Seattle-based cruise line’s President John Delaney, revealed 360-degree “views” and renderings of what guests will experience on the renovated vessels.
He started off the event by stating that the Star Plus Initiative is the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement, and renovation project in cruising.
While the additional work of re-engining the three vessels certainly does add an extra element of complexity to the project, ship-lengthening projects have actually been around for centuries, and was most recently completed by MSC Cruises on all it’s Lirica-class ships.
“This is the biggest investment and expansion in Windstar Cruises’ history,” said Delaney. “The investment of a quarter of a billion dollars ensures to our [guests] that these ships will continue to sail for generations and deliver on their promise of visiting the smaller ports and waters of the world for which our brand is known.”
The three ships, delivered to Seabourn between 1988 and 1992, were showing their age by the time Seabourn sold them to Windstar in 2015, and underwent a thorough refurbishment at the time before being put into service for the small-ship, luxury line.
Now the ship’s will be good as new when they re-enter service once more between October 2019 and November 2020.
The guest capacity of each will 312, 100 more than the current double occupancy capacity, thanks to 50 new suites configured with the bed by the window or balcony.
Delaney also gave a first look at the planned new Grand Owner’s Suite, the mid-ship suite that has three adjoining individual suites to create a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath suite, separate dining room and living room areas, an entertainment bar, a spacious central balcony, and additional balcony in one of the bedroom suites.
An inviting new infinity pool was also revealed, along with a reimagined Veranda restaurant with all new layout and more seating.
More news and reveals will be announced in the coming months, including two highly anticipated new dining spaces and new dining concepts on board, a world-class spa and fitness centre, and enhanced “living room-esque” deck space.