Italian yard Fincantieri said it has signed a contract worth over 200 million euros with U.S. cruise line Windstar Cruises for the extension and modernisation of three cruise ships.
The project will involve the cruise ships Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride and will be carried out entirely by the Fincantieri yard in Palermo. The three 10,000gt ships involved in this programme currently have a length of 134m and have capacity for 212 passengers. On completion of work, each ship will have a length of approximately 160m, will be about 13,000gt, and will have capacity for 312 passengers. The contract is expected to be partially financed through an export credit facility guaranteed by SACE, Italy’s export credit agency. The programme, called the Star Plus Initiative, will involve three main activity areas: lengthening of the mid-body by approximately 26m; the total renewal of nearly all the propulsion machinery including main engines, replacement of electrical generators and automation systems and other equipment; plus extensive modernisation of public areas, passenger cabins and open decks. For the lengthening, a new mid-body section will be inserted in each of the ships which will comprise of some 50 additional passenger suites, which represent 47% more suites than the current capacity, 19 additional cabins for staff and crew, two new restaurants and additional space to be used as sun deck/pool area. The existing propulsion engines, gearboxes and diesel generators will
be replaced with the latest generation of new IMO Tier III compliant engines; new gearboxes, engine auxiliaries and a new main switchboard will also be fitted. The modernisation will also involve multiple internal and external areas, in particular the pool deck, the spa which will also be completely rebuilt and extended, and the owner suites. Some crew areas will also be upgraded. Work will start in spring of 2019 with the construction of the first mid-body section. The vessels are scheduled for completion by November 2020, with the delivery of the third and final ship. The work will require an average stop of about four months per vessel at the shipyard. Windstar Cruises is part of the group Xanterra Travel Collection.