The Star Plus initiative for Windstar cruises
In 2017 Gelen Marine was appointed as technical advisor to Windstar Cruises as they began investigating the feasibility of lengthening and re-engining their three motor ships, Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride. The three ships were aging, having been built in the late 1980´s and with the international regulations tightening year on year they were quickly becoming obsolete. This combined with a surge in the cruise industry requiring more berth capacity, pointed towards two options, new building replacement tonnage or converting the existing ships. Given the surge in the cruise industry at that time, availability of new build slots was at a premium and for the three ships required was nigh on impossible. The decision was therefore made to progress with the lengthening and the Star Plus Initiative was born.
The initiative involved the addition of a 25.6m lengthening section providing new cabins and a new main restaurant, equating to a 20% increase in length and a 50% increase in berth capacity. In addition, it involved the parallel projects to completely re-engine the ship and renew the engine room, plus provide a new BBQ restaurant area on the upper deck, a new specialty restaurant, a new shop, a new modern wellness centre and expand the existing Veranda restaurant to provide higher capacity. On top of all this, an extensive refurbishment was carried out of the old ship sections involving rebuild of the crew mess and bar areas, refurb of old cabins and toilets, refurb of all public toilets, upgrade of many old systems including the HVAC and completely blasting and repainting all external areas.