Windstar Cuts the First Steel on New Sections for Stretched Ships

Windstar Star Plus Steel Cutting
Left to right: Fincantieri’s Vice President of Ship Repair and Conversions Andrew Toso, Shipyard Director Gianni Salvagno and Windstar Cruises’ Vice President of Expansion Projects John Gunner. // Photo by Windstar Cruises

At Fincantieri’s shipyard “Arsenale Triestino San Marco,” located in Trieste, Italy, John Gunner, vice president of expansion projects for Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, pressed the button triggering the torch to cut the new steel that will become the first of three new ship sections as part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative

The $250 Million Star Plus Initiative by Windstar will take half of the company’s fleet—Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride—and renovate each ship in succession. The work on the first of the three ships, Star Breeze, starts this October, and the project ends with the departure of the Star Pride from the yard in November 2020.

Cutting the steel indicates the official beginning of construction for the project. Cutting the ships in half will allow the installation of a new stepped mid-body section that will lengthen each vessel by approximately 82 feet. The total capacity of the newly expanded ships will be 312 guests, and additional staff will be hired to maintain the line’s one-and-a-half to one guest-to-service staff ratio.

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The new sections will be built in Trieste and then will be transported south by barge to the Fincantieri yard in Palermo, Sicily, to be inserted into the Windstar ships, along with new engines. The new sections must be fabricated from April through September, shipped in October, and then put into Star Breeze so that it can be finished in time for its arrival for re-inaugural activities at the port of Miami on March 19, 2020.

Reservations can be made now for cruises aboard the post-Star Plus Initiative Star Breeze and Star Legend, including Star Breeze’s Colors of Key West & Central America 10-day voyage from Miami to Colón, Panama, on March 20, 2020. Good to know: sailing from Miami will be a first for the Seattle-based company.

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