Windstar Cruises has unveiled a plan to improve all the aspects of its three existing all-suite Star Class vessels with a total investment of $250m.

The new $250m Star Plus Initiative will involve the lengthening of the vessels to increase their passenger carrying capacity from the current 212 to 312 guests each.

Each ship will be cut to allow installation of a new section, which is set to increase the length by around 25.6m.

As part of the initiative, 50 new suites will be added to increase the total number of suites per ship to 156.

Scheduled to be completed by November next year, the initiative will be carried out for around a year and will cover the Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride vessels.

Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, will implement the work, which is expected to increase Windstar Cruises’ overall capacity by 24%.

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“We will also take the opportunity to re-engine the ships with a more fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible propulsion system.”

Windstar Cruises president John Delaney said: “The initiative not only creates beautiful new suites and public spaces, but we will also take the opportunity to re-engine the ships with a more fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible propulsion system.

“This will be a true game-changer for Windstar and our small ship cruise experience.”

Windstar is expected to receive a portion of the funding for the $250m Star Plus Initiative through an export credit facility guaranteed by Italy’s export credit agency, SACE.

Under the initiative, new public spaces, including two new dining locations, shop and retail space, a fitness centre, and a spa, will be added to the three Star Class vessels.

Seven engines powering the vessels will be replaced with four new and more environmentally friendly engines to operate on cleaner fuel and reduce emissions.