Windstar Cruises has begun work to ‘stretch’ its Star Breeze vessel by inserting a new 26-metre section at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

Sister ships Star Legend and Star Pride will also be stretched in 2020 as part of a $250 million project called the Star Plus Initiative.

The revamped Star Breeze will sail from Barcelona to Lisbon on February 20, 2020, and celebrate re-inaugural activities at the Port of Miami on March 19, 2020.

The ship will be able to accommodate 312 passengers – up from 212 – and new engines are being fitted to enable cruises to be more environmentally friendly.

As well as new suites, the works will add two new restaurants; a new pool and whirlpool on the upper deck; a revamped spa and fitness centre; and a new shop.

John Delaney, Windstar Cruises president, said: “The $250 million Star Plus Initiative is the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement, and renovation project undertaken in cruising.

“The slightly larger ships and new enhancements will significantly build upon the signature onboard environment Windstar is famous for.”

The second ship to be stretch, Star Legend, will debut in Barcelona on July 2, 2020. The third ship, Star Pride, will be completed in autumn 2020.

MoreWindstar extends ships in $250m conversion