Discovery of asbestos in refit of Star Breeze, Pride and Legend forces cruise cancellations

Due to the discovery of asbestos aboard Star Breeze, Star Pride and Star Legend, Windstar Cruises has announced that 20 cruises in total will be cancelled from the ships’ upcoming schedules.

All three cruise ships are undergoing a major refit and refurbishment at Fincantieri’s Palermo, Italy, shipyard that will see them cut in half and lengthened and re-engined for greater efficiency.

The $250 million renovations will add 50 suites, two new restaurants, a new pool with an expanded, enhanced deck area, a spa and fitness center, and new bathrooms in all suites.

Star Breeze in the shipyard during her refurbishment

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Windstar says the asbestos was found in the engine room and mechanical spaces on the ships, in gaskets used in a limited number of valves and pumps and related insulation.

Air samples were taken in all crew and passenger areas and no further traces were found. However, removal of the material will delay Star Breeze’s completion from February 14 to May 4, 2020, when it will begin sailing in Latin America and the West Coast.

Star Grill by Steven Raichlin will be introduced aboard the stretched ships

It will also affect the schedules for Star Legend and Star Pride, which will now complete their renovations on August 30, and November 29, 2020, respectively. The canceled itineraries include Latin America, Alaska, Europe and transatlantic sailings.

“We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause our guests and travel partners,” said Windstar Cruises president John Delaney. “However, we look forward to ushering in a new era of small ship cruising following these major renovations.”

The refurbishment of the ships will see all three modernised and refreshed with new staterooms and public areas (Owner’s Suite pictured)

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The cruise line has given passenger affected by the cancellation options to either rebook or cancel their cruises entirely.

If passengers rebook for a voyage in 2020 or 2021 they’ll be able to get the same rate for a voyage in the same region and of the same duration.

If the cruise is not the same, the cruise will be priced at the prevailing rate, but passengers will receive a US $100 shipboard credit and a 20 percent future cruise credit, valid for two years. Windstar will also fully reimburse non-refundable travel expenses.

If passengers cancel, they will receive a full refund, and a 10 percent future cruise credit, valid for two years. Windstar will also reimburse non-refundable travel expenses up to US $350 per person.

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