Windstar Cruises Unveils $250 Million Cruise-Lengthening Initiative

Star Legend
Photo by Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises announced a major investment and expansion for the cruise line: the $250 million Star Plus Initiative, which is a multimillion-dollar, multi-year undertaking that will impact all aspects of the guest experience for the small ship cruise line’s three Star Class vessels.

The initiative will expand guest accommodations on the boutique line’s three all-suite vessels increasing capacity from 212 passengers 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, Italy. The project represents an overall capacity increase of 24 percent 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. 

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Each Star Class ship will be cut 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, still the right size to access the smaller ports and harbors that Windstar favors on the line’s itineraries. 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.

Each Star Class ship will be cut 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, still the right size to access the smaller ports and harbors that Windstar favors on the line’s itineraries. 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.

Windstar Cruises

The modern design configuration and expansion will include 50 new suites, and new dining and spa venues.

Also involved in the $250 million Star Plus Initiative is the creation of public spaces, including two new dining locations, new shop and retail space, a much-enlarged fitness center, and a new spa.

The renovation includes a comprehensive re-engine project for each ship. This complex undertaking is an uncommon occurrence in the cruise industry and involves the removal of seven current engines and installation of four new, more environmentally friendly engines that will run on cleaner fuel and reduce emissions impact to sailing regions.

NEW: 50 New Suites, New Dining Venues, New Spa & Fitness Areas Take Center Stage

Windstar has partnered with designer Ray Chung, director of design at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carryin New York, to create modern 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
  • Two brand new dining experiences including: an alternative dining restaurant, and a casual barbecue space adjacent to the top deck Star Bar
  • Expanded Veranda Restaurant to offer significantly more ocean-view 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, along with more and enhanced outdoor deck area for relaxing and sun-bathing
  • An enlarged spa and fitness center
  • A new elevator mid-ship
  • 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 $250 million Star Plus Initiative progresses, additional details about the extensive work to be done, new onboard experiences, and new partnerships will be revealed and highlighted in news announcements and on a dedicated microsite that will launch in 2019.

This article originally appeared on travelagentcentral.com.

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