Virgin Cruises has been back in the news again recently. A number of renderings have appeared on the internet of the somewhat futuristic looking cruise ship supposedly launching in the near future. The images however were revealed as part of a lawsuit between Virgin and a former cruise line boss.
Virgin Cruises has officially been formed and its head office will be based in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area. After securing vital financial funding by Bain Capital, the new cruise line will construct two brand new cruise ships, with an estimated launch date of 2019.
Virgin's iconic Founder, Sir Richard Branson, 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 great quality, a real sense of fun, and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.
Now that Virgin Cruises has the 'green light' to start company operations, the group has appointed Tom McAlpin to be the cruise lines CEO, overseeing the management of the business. Tom was previously the president of Disney Cruise Line's and joined as part of the founding management team. His previous insights will prove vital for Virgin Cruises as the company develops its brand.
Tom 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. Opportunities like this do not come often, so I am very excited to lead this business and introduce the Virgin brand to the cruise industry, as it has always put customers at the heart of what it does.
Virgin Cruises, a new venture by Sir Richard Branson, has gained financial backing by a huge investor.
Cruise Capital reported on the new venture, back in February 2014. Now, Sky News has revealed that Bain Capital, the private equity group behind major companies, such as Toys R' Us, will work with Virgin.
Bain will not be the only external shareholder. At least one Middle East sovereign wealth fund and a number of family offices and high net worth individuals are also believed to be participating, according to private equity sources.
Virgin Cruises hopes to build 2 ships, with a launch date of 2019, based in Miami, competing against main industry players, such as Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Sir Richard Branson, best known for creating the Virgin brand which includes planes, trains, gyms, and even space travel, has drawn up plans for a new cruise line, likely to be called 'Virgin Cruises.'
The cruise line will aim to compete with other industry giants, such as Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
The project is still at an early stage, but Virgin executives and advisers have already held detailed talks about how to finance the project.
They are trying to raise an estimated $1bn to acquire the first fleet of vessels. They are also looking to raise a further $700m of equity by selling stakes in the cruise line to outside investors.
Sir Richard and Josh Bayliss, chief executive of Virgin Management, are understood to believe the global cruises sector possesses many of the same characteristics which have led Virgin to build a significant presence in sectors such as aviation, rail and mobile telecoms.
"Cruises is a classic Virgin market, dominated by two or three players and where the product needs to be refreshed," an insider told Sky News.
Virgin Cruises is expected to be headquartered in the US, which is the world's biggest cruise market.
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Jordan Bailey is 19 and loves to travel! He has been on over 20 cruises around the world, with many different cruise lines, making him a source of knowledge.
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