Above: Richard Branson at a ceremony in Miami this week
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Virgin Cruises is a go.
Sir Richard Branson’s cruise brand launch is now official, with plans to begin sailing out of PortMiami in 2020, he announced this week.
“Starting a cruise line has been a dream of mine since I was 27. At the time I wanted to operate a cruise line for under 30s,” he wrote on Virgin.com. “Once I turned 30, I decided that we’d have to add a clause that would still allow the owner aboard! While the under 30s cruise line didn’t come to fruition, we’re excited to be making waves in the industry by delivering an innovative and new cruising experience.”
Branson announced that Italian shipbuilding firm Fincantieri would be building three mid-size ships for Virgin, to be delivered in consecutive years beginning in 2020.
Each ship will have 1,430 guest cabins, meaning a capacity of more than 2,800 guests.
The cruises will offer seven-day Caribbean itineraries sailing on Sundays, according to Virgin Cruises.
“We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good. The Virgin Cruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise,” Branson said.