Richard Branson has started the ball rolling on Virgin Groups latest venture with the steel cutting of their first cruise ship. On the 22nd March 2018, Virgin Voyages as the new cruise line has been named began the construction of the first of three ships they have commissioned in a multi-billion dollar contract.
Construction of the vessel will take place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, with the first ship set to start sailing around the Caribbean from its home port of Miami in 2020. The other two ships are planned to enter service in 2021 and 2022.
Very few details have been released about the ships other than the names of the companies that have been employed as designers, and that they will weigh in at around 110,000 gross tons and carry more than 2,700 passengers.
Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages said during the steel cutting ceremony “Today is the moment when our intrepid, romantic and irresistible vision for Virgin Voyages starts to become tangible. I’ve been inspired by the passion from all those involved, it’s so exciting as we continue to work together to bring true sea change to the cruise industry.”
“The design collective includes some of the world’s most stylish firms who are creators of design trends not followers. Together they are imagining a vessel unlike anything sailors have experienced before that will be a complete departure from the ordinary. With this group, we have a depth in creativity that brings a different perspective to space design at sea that will change cruising for good.”