Italian shipbuilder has won a major contract for extension and modernisation projects on three cruise ships operated by Seattle-based Windstar Cruises. The work will be done at Fincantieri’s Palermo yard. The work is expected to be partially financed through an export credit facility guaranteed by SACE, Italy’s export credit agency.
The project will involve the cruise ships Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride built in 1988, 1992 and 1989 respectively. The three sister ships were all built by Schichau Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven and currently have a length of 134m, with a 9,975 gross tonnage and a capacity of 212 passengers. On completion of these projects each ship will have a length of approximately 160m a gross tonnage of around 13,000 and will have a capacity to accommodate 312 passengers.
The program, 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 the for Bergen main engines, replacement of three Bergen gensets and automation systems and other equipment; and 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 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 Bergen engines will be replaced by four new IMO Tier III compliant engines with SCR; new gearboxes, engine auxiliaries and a new main switchboard. 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 common crew areas will also be upgraded.
The works will start in spring of 2019, with the construction of the first mid-body section, and are scheduled for completion by November 2020, with the delivery of the third and final unit. The work will require an average stop of about four months per ship at the shipyard.