In the past, several cruise lines opted to increase capacity by stretching their current ships. Known as lengthening, the process of enlarging a cruise ship usually includes cutting the ship in half and adding a new midsection, with more cabins and public areas.
Below are some of the ships that went through the operation in the past:
Enchantment of the Seas– Royal Caribbean
In 2005, the 75,000-ton Enchantment of the Seas became the biggest ship ever to get lengthened. In a shipyard in Rotterdam, the 1997-built vessel received a new 22-meter long mid-body section.
Built at the same shipyard where the Enchantment was built, the new section was installed in less than two months. With the refit, the Vision-class vessel received 150 additional cabins, a new water park with an interactive water fountain, and more.
Lirica Class – MSC
From 2014 to 2015, MSC Crociere completed the lengthening of four of its ships. In 15 months, the Italian cruise line invested over €200 million to enlarge the Lirica Class. At the Fincantieri shipyard, each vessel received a new 24-meter long section, which contained 194 extra cabins, a new lounge, and a water park. In addition, MSC said other parts of the ships were refitted and renewed, upgrading the level of comfort, entertainment, and services available onboard.
Balmoral – Fred. Olsen
Before joining Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet in 2008, the 1988-built Balmoral was stretched. At the German Blohm + Voss shipyard, the vessel received a new 30-meter mid-body section. With the additional area, Fred. Olsen was able to add 186 passenger cabins and 53 crew cabins to the ship. While the lengthening was carried out, other onboard areas were rebuilt too, preparing the vessel for its new role in the British market.
Silver Spirit – Silversea
Fincantieri stretched the 36,000-ton Silver Spirit in 2017. The refit, which also included a modernization, added the features that Silversea’s then most recent vessel, the Silver Muse, had to the 2009-built ship.
The Silver Spirit received a new 15-meter section with 34 new suites and increased the size of several areas of the ship, including the pool deck.
The addition of new dining venues also elevated the ship’s culinary offering, which now has an eight restaurant offering.
Star Class – Windstar
Windstar Cruises is currently stretching its three Star-Class vessels.
Called the Star Plus Initiative, the $250-million project started with the Star Breeze in 2019.
The vessel was cut in half in October 2019 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo.
The Star Pride and the Star Legend are scheduled to go through the same procedure in 2021.
Once the refits are over, all three vessels will be 25 meters longer, offering 50 new suites, two new restaurants, and 100% new bathrooms. The ships will also get four new engines, besides two new tenders and refurbished public areas.