TWO “giant” cruise ships are set to be ordered in coming weeks by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Cruises, his latest venture in the travel industry (CW 04 Mar 2014).
According to an interview with The Telegraph in the UK, Branson is set to spend around £1.7 billion on the new vessels, which will likely be built in Germany or Italy. No details on proposed names for the ships have been divulged.
In the interview, Branson said he was in the final stages of negotiations for the new ships.
The introduction of Virgin Cruises will be a relatively slow process by industry standards, with the ships expected to take four to five years to build. Financial support has already been secured from investment
partner Bain Capital, with former Disney Cruise Line president Tom McAlpin joining as chief executive. It is expected the new line will take to the waves in 2019, based in Miami & sailing the Caribbean. Virgin Cruises has said it plans to “shake up the cruise industry” with exciting onboard features.