Virgin Cruises to set sail

December 5, 2014

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has announced the formation of the world’s newest cruise line, Virgin Cruises.

In March of this year, Sir Richard created speculation around the globe after he was quoted in an Abu Dhabi newspaper as saying he was particularly interested in creating a cruise line that would appeal to a broad range of the travel market – including travellers and holidaymakers who have never previously considered cruising.

This week, the rumours were put to rest as plans for the new launch were confirmed.

Virgin Cruises headquarters will be based in the south Florida area and two new cruise ships are set to be designed and constructed.

Tom McAlpin, former president and chief executive of Disney Cruise Line and The World, Residences at Sea, has been appointed chief executive of Virgin Cruises and will oversee the initiative.

Mr McAlpin commented: “Cruise guests deserve something better and different to what is being offered today, and Virgin Cruises is committed to creating breathtaking experiences for them and a new generation of guests.”

Although the date has not yet been confirmed for when the Virgin cruise liners will officially set sail, speaking back in March, Sir Richard said it could be by 2019.

In his latest statement, he said: “We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love.

“They’ll be sailing on the latest ships offering a great quality, a real sense of fun and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.”

To move forward with the venture, Virgin has collaborated with one of the world’s leading private investment firms, Bain Capital.

Speaking about the decision to partner up with Virgin, Stephen Pagliuca – managing director at Bain Capital – said that they spotted a niche in the market that would cater to travellers across the globe.

It is hoped that by working together, consumers’ expectations of a cruise experience will be exceeded.

Investment figures for the new initiative were not disclosed for “competitive reasons”.

The Virgin Group has already made its mark on land and air – and will now conquer the sea.

What do you think of this decision? Will you be boarding Virgin’s new cruise ships?