The technology group Wärtsilä has successfully completed a major project to renovate three Windstar cruise ships. The conversions were led by the Fincantieri yard starting in 2019 with the first of the three sister vessels, the ‘Star Breeze’, being completed in 2020.
This was followed by the ‘Star Legend’ in mid- 2020, and finally the ‘Star Pride’ in October 2021. The renovation included the ships being extended in length from 135 metres (443 feet) to 160.6 metres (527 feet). The project was part of Windstar’s USD 250 million Star Plus initiative.
The ships were each cut in half at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy and a new 25.6 metre (84 feet) section added in the middle, thus providing an extra 50 staterooms accommodating 100 more passengers.
At the same time, the ships’ engines were removed and replaced to provide greater efficiency, better environmental performance, and extended range for the vessels. The new Wärtsilä engines will run on distillate fuels for compliance with the 2020 sulphur cap regulations.
“This successful technical cooperation with Wärtsilä has enabled our two companies to achieve a successful renovation and the smooth functioning of the joint project,” says Andrew Toso, Deputy Director, Services, Fincantieri.
“As the technical partner for this very large conversion project, it is extremely satisfying to have it concluded in a way that meets all the objectives. The renovations represented the largest portfolio of products and systems that we have ever assembled for a single service project. We have worked closely with Fincantieri for a number of years, and this project will certainly strengthen our relationship,” says Ivan Catalfamo General Manager Project Sales, Wärtsilä.
“Our thanks to both Wärtsilä and Fincantieri for their completion of a complex remodel that turned out beautifully. The stretching and renovation of these three all-suite yachts not only expands our guest capacity from 212 to 312, it also upgrades our environmental sustainability and operating efficiency, all of which are important to us,” added Chris Prelog, President, Windstar Cruises.
Wärtsilä’s scope of supply for each of the three vessels included two Wärtsilä 26 main engines, two Wärtsilä 26 auxiliary engines, four Wärtsilä customised selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems for emissions control, gear boxes, power take-off solutions, and controllable pitch propeller control upgrading. Wärtsilä also re-engineered the alarm, monitoring and automation system, and the power management system, as well as retrofitting the existing onboard systems. Extensive renovation work was also carried out to the entire electrical and automation network.