Is this amazing and revolutionary design Sir Richard Branson’s secret weapon in his multi-billion dollar bit to conquer the cruise industry?
Sir Richard announced last week he is in the final stages of ordering two mega cruise ships.
But now he is now being sued by former CEO of Norwegian Cruise Lines, Colin Veitch, and court documents have produced this astonishing graphic of what a Virgin Ultra-Ship could look like.
There are no further details and the design was probably a long way from production. But what it does show is that Sir Richard is coming at cruise with his customary outside-the-box way of thinking.
Virgin Group has long been rumoured to be wanting to enter into the cruise market – and after connecting with investors in 2011, Mr Veitch and Sir Richard struck up a tentative deal.
Mr Veitch claimed in court documents that he initiated plans for an ultra ship called Epic.
Now, Mr Veitch claims Virgin Group ended up cutting him out of the agreement and stole his business plan. He is now suing the British billionaire for US$300 million.
In an interview with The Telegraph UK, Sir Richard announced this week that that the two new ships, which will take four to five years to complete with a total cost of around US$1.7 billion, will be built in Germany of Italy.
According to FOX News, Virgin cruises plans on delivering the two 4,200 passenger cruise ships to sail around the Caribbean.
Sir Richard has appointed Tom McAlpine, the former chief executive of The World Residences at Sea and former president of Disney Cruise Line, to head Virgin Cruises.
Sir Richard’s plan for Virgin Cruises was to offer a cruise experience, which is more connected to the ocean and feature a more informal environment that is hip and cool.
“We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love,” he said in an interview last year.
“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.”
Part of the ships’ interior would appeal to clientele more at home in “downtown Manhattan, SoHo and the West Village”.