The cruise industry is buzzing with the exciting news of Virgin Voyages’ brand new cruise ship which is being built at the world famous Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. Currently the ship is unnamed, but is one of three on order by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The cruise line’s logo is a mermaid designed designed by the same artist who created the Virgin Galactic lady.
Artist renderings of the ship are very impressive- featuring a gunmetal gray hull and dark windows. Reportedly, 93% of its cabins will feature ocean views- promising that these ships easily recognizable in ports crowded with mega ships from the three largest cruise lines: Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.
In fact, I think the ships will look more like an elegant giant mega yacht than a cruise ship which may be due in part to the talented design team Sir Richard assembled who have collectively designed some of the world’s sexiest boutique hotels including Ace Hotels, The Standard High Line and Mondrian Hotels.
Virgin Voyages ships are scheduled to set sail in 2020; from their homeport based in Miami. Cruises or as Virgin refers to them as, “Voyages” will be marketed to an upscale- adults only crowd. Which will be a welcome relief to anyone who has tried to relax by the pool on a packed cruise ship full of families and screaming kids. Virgin Voyages CEO is Tom McAplin who promises that his ships will not have any of the over the top Vegas style entertainment found on his competitors’ vessels. Mr. McAplin previously served as president and CEO of The World, a privately owned residential cruise ship and has worked at both Royal Caribbean and Disney’s cruise lines.
Virgin Voyages website is live and is already offering pre-booking cruises with a $500.00 refundable deposit. I cannot wait, sign me up.