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Windstar to stretch ships to add more suites, new restaurants and a spa

Windstar to stretch ships to add more suites, new restaurants and a spa
Windstar Cruises plans to lengthen three ships by 25 feet, creating more suites, and upgrade public areas. (Steve Schimmelman for Windstar Cruises)

Windstar Cruises prides itself on offering a personalized approach on its three small ships, built in the 1980s and early '90s. The line doesn't plan to change that, but it does plan to modernize its ships, spending an estimated $250-million on renovations that include stretching its vessels.

After the upgrades, passengers will find an increase in the number of cabins, new public spaces, two new dining locations, increased shop and retail space, an enlarged fitness center and a new spa.

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The Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride all will be bound for the shipyard between October and November 2020 to be cut in half and lengthened about 25 feet. Each vessel will emerge with capacity for 312 passengers, up from 212.

The project adds 50 new suites, bringing the total number of suites per ship to 156.

Each Star Class ship will be cut to allow the installation of a new section of ship that will bring the total length to just over 452 feet, which Windstar says will still allow the vessels to access the smaller ports and harbors that the line favors.

New engines will be added, increasing fuel efficiency, and the ships will be fitted out with roomy new suites.

Other changes include:

--creation of two larger Owner’s Suites, which can be configured to offer up to a three-bedroom, two-balcony suite.

--expanded Veranda Restaurant, which will have more ocean-view seating and upgraded dining area.

--new bathrooms in existing suites.

--a larger pool and hot tub that will be reconfigured and elevated, offering better views and enlarged outdoor deck area.

--a new elevator mid-ship.

--a new tender loading area mid-ship; two new 90-passenger tenders will ferry guests to port when ships are at anchor.

Info: Windstar Cruises, (855) 895-0467, or contact a travel agent

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