Windstar Hosts Virtual Sail Away for Star Breeze
When the first few notes of “Conquest of Paradise” from Greek composer Vangelis began playing, it was almost (almost!) like being on board the newly renovated Star Breeze from Windstar Cruises. The cruise line hosted a virtual sail away for the first of their Star Plus Class ships yesterday via Zoom with some of the biggest names in cruise media in attendance.
Hosted by Windstar Cruises’ Director of Public Relations Sarah Scoltock, the virtual sail away featured images from the newly lengthened ship along with a preview of the new restaurants on board. Director of Hotel Operations Peter Tobler introduced chefs Anthony Sasso and Steven Raichlen as well, who lent their skills to the menus at the new Spanish restaurant Cuadro 44 and Star Grill, an al fresco barbecue eatery.
The virtual sail away was also an opportunity for new President Chris Prelog to speak about the ship and the process of improving the Windstar Cruises fleet. With all new suites, bathrooms, restaurants and an improved hull offering faster speeds and fewer vibrations, it’s clear the team at Windstar is thrilled with how the renovations went.
“We’re delighted to take delivery of Star Breeze, the first ship completed as part of the Star Plus Initiative at Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo,” said Prelog in a press release about the event. “These three Star Plus Class yachts offer more amenities we know our guests want, while still being small enough to travel the narrow waterways and visit the small ports we’re known for.”
What is a Star Plus Class Ship?
The Star Plus Class initiative from Windstar Cruises involved taking three of their ships and adding a new middle section to increase capacity by 100 guests and add amenities on board. The ship has 50 new suites, a larger swimming pool, a larger spa and fitness center and even new tenders and a loading area to make exploring ashore easier for guests.
Cutting a ship in half is no easy feat and Prelog explained that you start from the inside and work your way out. When asked if the COVID-19 pandemic was a problem during the renovations, Prelog said they always plan with “bad weather” in mind so the project wasn’t significantly delayed or over budget. With COVID-19 in mind, the cruise line did update some plans after the fact to add more outside dining. The ship was also outfitted with new HEPA filters and UV-C light technology, something Windstar plans to do with the rest of the fleet before cruising returns in 2021. Over the summer, Windstar Cruises introduced their Beyond Ordinary Care program to help make cruising safer for all their guests.
Where is Star Breeze Sailing?
Unfortunately, Prelog explained that they weren’t quite sure yet where Star Breeze would be sailing as the CDC’s new conditional sail order presents obstacles. The plan was originally to sail 10 and 11 night voyages in Alaska beginning in the Spring/Summer of 2021, but with cruises limited to seven nights or fewer per the CDC, Windstar is still discussing an alternative season for the ship. Prelog called adhering to the CDC’s conditional sail order “a big task” and said his team was in the process of reviewing the requirements.
What do you think about the renovated ship? Let us know in the comments!