New details have been revealed around the new Virgin Voyages cruise brand – the cruise line for non-cruisers.
Revealed at the Seatrade cruise conference in Fort Lauderdale, CEO and President of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin said the brand is “an epic sea change” from what’s currently available to cruisers.
Virgin Voyages, the brain child of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, will be an adults-only cruise line and Mr McAlpin said the cruises will begin sailing out of Miami to the Caribbean by 2020.
“We are not trying to be a disrupter for the travel experience,” said McAlpin. “We think about it more broadly; we want to be a new travel experience.”
He also said the line is relying on what people know about Virgin the brand – it has a hip, witty and cheeky personality which Mr McAlpin believes will attract the non-cruiser to try cruising.
So while he didn’t reveal full details about the Virgin Voyages, we at least know a little bit more.
- The cruise line will have a casino but no Broadway shows. “If they want to see a Broadway show, they’ll go to Broadway,” said Mr McAlpin.
- Unlike other cruise lines, Virgin Voyages is looking at making port arrivals later. The standard arrival time for most cruises lines is around 7 or 8 a.m. “Our guests are young at heart. Maybe they don’t want to go out at 7 in the morning, so it might come in later and then leave later.”
- Shore excursions will be more bespoke and off-the-beaten track.
- Majority of the cabins will have balconies (86 per cent) while 93 per cent will have oceanviews.
- The cruise line will be for adults-only.”A chemical reaction occurs when you put children in water,” said Mr McAlpin. “They scream.” The minimum age for the ships will be 18. “Moms and dads, they need a break too,” he said. “We’re not for all people.”
- The ship will accommodate 2,750 passengers but will be designed to look like a super yacht with silvery grey colours and smoked glass.
- There will be an opportunity for guests to bundle their cruise with Virgin Atlantic flights as well as Virgin hotels.
Virgin Voyages have also indicated it would be launching its next two ships in 2021 and 2022.