All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2015 unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
In a pierside ceremony at Nice this afternoon, Windstar Cruises christened its newest acquisition, the 9,975-gt, yacht-like, 212-guest STAR BREEZE.
Travel journalist Wendy Perrin served as godmother, doing the honors by naming the ship and cutting a black ribbon that sent a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne into the ship’s bow. After the first attempt did not succeed, dexterous crew members on the bow of the ship grabbed the ribbon, slamming the bottle into the hull directly above the word BREEZE, finally breaking it on their second try.
Built in 1989, the handsome vessel is the former SEABOURN SPIRIT, the second of three former Seabourn ships to join Windstar’s fleet, following the SEABOURN PRIDE (now STAR PRIDE) in 2014 and soon-to-be-joined by the SEABOURN LEGEND, which will become the STAR LEGEND next month.
Delivered to Windstar on April 15, the STAR BREEZE has spent the past three weeks undergoing an $8.5 million refit at Genoa’s San Giorgio del Porto shipyard.
Improvements to the ship include: the widening of Star Deck by four feet on each side to provide more deck space; the transformation of the observation lounge into a coffee bar called the Yacht Club; new furnishings and soft fittings in most public spaces and all accommodation; the conversion of a card room into the Star Screening Room and the complete restyling of the restaurant into the AmphorA Restaurant.
Immediately after the christening, the STAR BREEZE departed Nice for Monaco, beginning a four night inaugural cruise that will also call at Portofino and Portoferraio before ending at Civitavecchia on Sunday, May 10.
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."