It’s only appropriate that the culture that gave birth to the Renaissance is where Windstar Cruises ushers in a new era in cruising by making the final cut to the hull of Star Breeze to “stretch” the first of its three ships and begin the process of inserting a new 25.6-metre mid-section that will help evolve and transform the Windstar experience.
The first Windstar ship to emerge from this transformation, Star Breeze, will sail from Barcelona to Lisbon on Feb. 20, 2020, and celebrate re-inaugural activities in North America at the Port of Miami on March 19, 2020.
While many a ship has been “stretched,” as it is referred to in the cruise industry, the complexity and significant undertaking with Star Breeze (and sister ships Star Legend and Star Pride in 2020) is not just cosmetic or experience-based. It also involves removing and replacing the engines to ensure a cleaner, more environmentally friendly operation as the ships.
“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 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.”
This is the first of three new mid-ship sections to be constructed and inserted as part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, which is committed to the expansion and transformation of the cruise line’s three Star-class vessels.
In addition to the all-important propulsion system and “back-of-house” investment, what guests will welcome most are the two new restaurants including the eclectic, Spanish-styled Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso and a modern, alfresco Star Grill by Steven Raichlen capitalizing on the ships’ increase in deck space.
The additional space also translates into a new pool and whirlpool on the upper deck, a re-imagined, world-class spa and fitness centre, a new retail shop, and more. In addition, every bathroom on the ship with be re-built and fitted to modern luxury standards.
The new 25.6-metre mid-section will also welcome most of the 50 new suites. With the new section, Star Breeze will now be able to accommodate 312 passengers (previously the ship accommodated 212 guests). The expanded ship will also allow for more crew and maintain the enviable 1.5-to-1 guest-to-service staff ratio.