Virgin Group has entered the cruise ship business. The company teamed with Bain Capital to create Virgin Voyages, an adults-only cruise line set to launch its first ship in 2020 from PortMiami in Florida.
Two more ships will launch, in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The ships are all as yet unnamed, but each is expected to accommodate 2860 guests in luxury. The company announced 86 percent of cabins will feature balconies overlooking the sea.
Renditions of the finished vessel show a sleek silver ship with a plumb bow adorned with a mermaid logo. The Miami Herald noted that, at 110,000 tons apiece, the new line would be considered mid-sized compared to some of the leviathan ships used by established competitors: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean.
While most cruise lines cater to families, Virgin is going its own way. The new line is strictly for adults-only. No one under 18 is welcome.
Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson noted that the new cruise line signed an agreement with wastewater management company Scanship to develop technology that could turn waste into energy.
Virgin earlier partnered with Swedish company Climeon to help reduces carbon dioxide emissions, the Miami Herald reported. Virgin Voyages is committing to “creating the cleanest fleet on the sea,” he said in a statement.
Branson held the launch celebration at a shipyard in Genoa, Italy, where boat builder Fincantieri has begun assembling the hulls. He joined Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin in welding coins into the keel, a measure meant to bring good luck.