The Xanterra-owned premium travel brand Windstar Cruises took delivery of its superyacht Star Pride on Wednesday, October 13, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo (Sicily Italy).
Star Pride is the 3rd and final of the company’s Star Plus Class ships being stretched over a multi-year, USD 250 million project considered to be the most comprehensive renovation project undertaken in small ship cruising.
The boat will remain in Italy until she restarts passenger operations in April 2022 in the Mediterranean. Sistership Star Breeze begins sailings in Tahiti next week, and Star Legend is completing her short season in the Mediterranean prior to heading to the Caribbean in November 2021.
The Star Plus project increased Windstar's fleet capacity by 24%. Star Plus Initiative was partially financed via the Export Credit facility guaranteed by SACE Italy (financial and insurance products and services).
The drydock lengthening included cutting each ship in two and installing a new (prefabricated) midship section with a length of 25,6 m (84 ft). The vessel's LOA length was increased from 135 m (443 ft) to 161 m (528 ft). The midship section has an additional elevator.
Following the drydock, each ship has two new dining venues, new shop, new retail space; enlarged fitness, new Spa, larger swimming pool, new tender loading area (midship), two new tender boats (90-seat each), expanded and upgraded staff-crew areas and cabins. The two new dining venues are an alternative Spanish specialty restaurant ("Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso") and a casual BBQ space (adjacent to Star Bar).
The ship's diesel engines (7 per ship) were replaced with 4 new engines running on cleaner (ultra-low sulfur) diesel fuel, thus reducing SO emissions. Each ship received 50 new cabins (to a total of 156), which (based on the total investment) means shipbuilding cost per berth USD 267,000. Among the new cabins are two larger Owner Suites. All existing staterooms were completely refurbished, including their bathrooms, balconies, sliding doors. The new public spaces and cabins were designed by the NYC-based "The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry".
In addition, due to the COVID crisis, Star Pride and all of Windstar yachts received renovations in order to update HVAC systems, adding new HEPA (hospital grade high-efficiency particulate) filters along with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UV-C air zapping process) to clean the air onboard.