Sir Richard Branson recently announced that Virgin Cruises will be rebranded Virgin Voyages, promising “to change cruising for good.” The cruise line promises to provide “the most irresistible vacation at sea” and a “transformational experience.” Virgin Voyages, backed by the Bain Capital Private Equity group, has signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the building of its three vessels.
The Telegraph announced that the first ship, the construction of which will begin next year, is expected to arrive in PortMiami by 2020, while the second and third ships will be delivered by 2021 and 2022, respectively. Its first vessel, hosting 2,700 passengers, will set sail on a range of Caribbean itineraries to ports offering “unique and very social experiences”, the company said.
The Miami Herald writes that Virgin Voyages’ mission is to attract travelers who may never have considered cruising — like Branson himself. “The only reason we ever go into a new industry is if we feel it’s lacking in something and I think the cruise industry, there is a lot of people who just would never go on a cruise ship,” Branson told the Miami Herald in an interview Tuesday. “We basically decided, ‘Let’s have a blank sheet of paper, let’s create the kind of voyage company that we would like to go on,’ and that’s what we’ve done.”