Windstar Cruises will stretch its three Star-class ships as
part of a $250 million fleet upgrade that will increase capacity by 24%.
"This will be a true game changer for Windstar and our
small-ship cruise experience," Windstar president John Delaney said in a
The Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride will be
lengthened in succession between October 2019 and November 2020, increasing
capacity for each ship from 212 to 312 passengers. Italian shipyard Fincantieri
will do the work.
Windstar will add 50 cabins to each ship, bringing the total
to 156, at an investment of more than $267,000 per passenger berth. Each ship
will combine existing suites to create two three-bedroom, two-balcony Owner's
The additional space will also enable the addition of new
public spaces, including two dining locations; shop and retail space; an
enlarged fitness center; and a spa. Two new dining experiences include an "intimate,
alternative dining restaurant" and a casual barbecue space adjacent to the
top-deck Star Bar. The ships' Veranda restaurant will be expanded. The swimming
pools will be enlarged, reconfigured and elevated to offer better views.
Each of the three ships will be cut to allow the
installation of a new 84-foot section, bringing the ships' total length to just
453 feet. Windstar said the ships will still be small enough to access the
smaller ports and harbors that Windstar favors.
Delaney said the initiative would go beyond adding new
suites and public spaces to updating the vessels with more fuel-efficient engines
that generate fewer emissions. Seven engines will be removed and four new ones
installed that run on cleaner fuel.
The project makes Windstar the latest cruise line to increase
capacity via extensive ship renovations.
"This major investment is an efficient way to build on
a winning brand that shows strong momentum and growth potential," said
Andrew Todd, CEO of Xanterra Travel Collection, Windstar's parent company.