At a press conference on Tuesday, April 9, the Seattle-based company’s President John Delaney, unveiled 360-degree “views” and renderings of what passengers will experience on the 3 renovated ships, Star Breeze, Star Pride, and Star Legend. Technical details and video on the project were also shared in the wake of the Steel Cutting Ceremony which started the creation of the first new section of the ship, proving the project is moving to reality at Fincantieri’s yards in Trieste and later in Palermo.
Windstar's Star Plus Initiative is cruising's most comprehensive and complex small ship lengthening, renovation, and engine replacement project. The work on the first of the 3 ships will begin on Star Breeze in October this year and shall end with the departure of Star Pride from the shipyard in November 2020. Windstar's ships will be cut in half in order to allow the installation of a brand new stepped mid-body section which will lengthen each ship by about 25 meters.
The total capacity of the expanded ships will be 312 passengers, and additional staff will be hired to maintain the line’s 1.5 to 1 guest to service staff ratio.
At the Seatrade conference, Delaney walked media and guests through the vision for the brand new spaces, especially the 50 brand new suites. He also gave a first look at the new Grand Owner’s Suite, the stylishly appointed mid-ship suite which boasts 3 adjoining individual suites in order to create a 3.5-bath, 3-bedroom suite, separate dining and living room areas, a spacious central balcony, an additional balcony in one of the bedroom suites, and an entertainment bar. Totaling 1374 ft2 (127,7 m2), the combined 3-bedroom suite can accommodate up to 7 guests. In addition to the new suites, all bathrooms in the existing suite accommodations will be renovated in the same design.
A new infinity pool was also introduced, along with a Veranda restaurant with a new layout and more seating.