Windstar Share Details on Complex Stretching of Three Ships

Windstar Cruises shared more details about its $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, in which three ships will be cut in half and stretched, at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Miami Beach.

Windstar President John Delaney revealed 360-degree views and renderings of what guests will experience on the line’s three renovated vessels, Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride. The project began last week with a steel-cutting ceremony at Fincantieri’s Shipyards in Trieste and later in Palermo, Italy.

“This is the biggest investment and expansion in Windstar Cruises’ history,” Delaney said. “The investment of a quarter of a billion dollars ensures to our loyal and future guests, and industry partners, that these ships will continue to sail for generations and deliver on their promise of visiting the smaller ports and waters of the world that our brand is known for. We are all proud to be part of this historic event in the small ship cruise industry.”

Windstar will take half of its fleet and renovate each ship in succession. Work begins in October 2019. The Star Breeze will be completed in February 2020, the Star Legend in June 2020 and the Star Pride in November 2020.

The total capacity of the expanded ships will be 312 guests, an increase of 24 percent, with additional staff hired to maintain the line’s 1.5-to-1 guest-to-staff ratio.

Delaney said the ships will still be able to nose into small ports and sail through narrow channels like the Kiel and Corinth Canals.

“The Star Plus initiative is not about getting bigger, it’s about offering our guests more of what they love about Windstar,” Delaney said.

The ships’ new engines will meet and exceed new global International Maritime Organization (IMO) limits – one of the requirements being the engines produce no more than .5 percent sulfur content. In addition, the new engines are designed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, supporting the company’s goals of traveling with a softer environmental footprint.

Ray Chung, director of design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry in New York, and his team have been tasked with creating new public spaces and 50 new suites. “They just don’t build ships like this anymore,” Chung said. “We are keeping the best elements and designs from these iconic vessels and re-envisioning them for the modern guest. The design of the public and private spaces provides a rich backdrop for guests as they create their own storytelling moments of their time on board. The design is very conscious of how people ‘flow’ effortlessly through the ship and leverages drama and scale for a larger visual impact.”

The 50 new suites will be configured so the bed is next to the window or balcony. Delaney also gave a first look at the planned new Grand Owner’s Suite, the mid-ship suite that connects three adjoining individual suites to create a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath suite with separate dining room and living room areas, an entertainment bar, a spacious central balcony, and additional balcony in one of the bedroom suites. Totaling 1,374 square feet, the combined three-bedroom suite can accommodate up to seven guests. In addition to the new guest suites, all bathrooms in existing suites will be renovated in the same design.

A new infinity pool with a small waterfall and large hot tub also is planned, along with a reimagined Veranda restaurant with all new layout and more seating. More news will be announced in the coming months, including two new dining spaces and new dining concepts on board, a world-class spa and fitness center, and enhanced “living room-esque” deck space.

The just-released renderings and 360-degree views are available to the public and travel advisors at https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/.

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