Star Breeze, the ship marking the beginning of the extension and modernisation Star Plus Initiative project of Windstar Cruises, one of the main operators in the field of high-end small ship cruises, was delivered at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo this week.
The programme, worth $250m and involving the cruise ships Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride, envisaged three main complex activity areas: installation of a new 25.6 meters mid-body section; the total renewal of the propulsion engines and diesel generators for a more environmentally responsible navigation; and extensive modernization of public areas, passenger cabins and open decks.
Before the start of extension works, Star Breeze had a length of 134m, with a gross tonnage of approximately 10,000 and a capacity of 212 passengers. Now, after its completion, the ship has a length of approximately 160m, a 12,995 gross tonnage and a capacity to accommodate 312 passengers on board.
Star Breeze entered service in 1989 as Seabourn Spirit and was sold in 2015 to Windstar. During the current lengthening and refit, the ship’s four Bergen main engines and three Bergen auxiliary engines were replaced by two V12 Wärtsilä 26 engines and a pair of eight-cylinder inline versions of the Wärtsilä 26 giving an extra 4kt speed and extending the range of the ship. while consuming less fuel. The new engines run on distillate fuels to meet the 2020 sulphur cap requirements.
Work on the conversion began in October 2019 and was originally intended to be completed earlier this year in time for the 2020 cruise season.