Cementing his place in the cruise industry, Richard Branson has finally signed a letter of intent with Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri, giving them the opportunity to build three new mid-size ships for Virgin Cruises.

The theatrical announcement – complete with a helicopter arrival, Virgin-red smoke, Richard’s Angels and customary tie-cutting – was made in Florida’s party city Miami, where the first ship will homeport.

“This is a very exciting day for Virgin and travellers around the globe,” said Branson. “We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good.”

Each ship will feature 1430 cabins to host more than 2800 passengers travelling on a range of seven-day Caribbean itineraries.

The vessels – to be delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2022 – are said to have a ‘futuristic design’, and with flamboyant Branson at the helm, we wouldn’t expect anything less. In fact, he’s taking suggestions from the public as to what cruisegoers want onboard.

What would you like to see on Virgin Cruises’ ships?