Virgin Voyages reveals its first cruise ship, opens pre-bookings

Andrew Munro 6 November 2017 NEWS

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The designs promise "a unique level of sophistication."

Italy's Fincantieri shipyard has laid the keel of Virgin Voyages' first vessel, with Richard Branson ceremonially welding a coin into the hull per tradition. This is the first of three new Virgin Voyages cruise liners, expected to arrive in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The ceremony also came with the announcement of early pre-bookings, in the form of a fully refundable $500 deposit that lets you reserve a spot on the pre-sale booking list for a 2020 Miami-Caribbean debut.

"The entire ship will be built with an attention to detail, reflecting the craftsmanship and materiality inspired by super yachts," announced Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin. "Designed to feel more intimate and connected to the sea, 86 percent of all cabins will feature a sea terrace and 93 percent an ocean view."

All three midsized ships will carry 1,150 crewmembers to pilot the ship and attend to its 2,800 passengers, of whom all will be age 18+ so you "don’t have to worry about the unpredictability of kids," said McAlpin.

And in a nod to tradition and its British heritage, Virgin Voyages has chosen a mermaid for its livery, reminiscent of the traditional bow you might once have found on a tall ship.

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"Inspired by the traditional bows from ships of yore, she is our ship’s muse. The soul of the voyage. Our elegant leader. The feminine spirit of the ship," waxes the Virgin Voyages website.

"Designed with the glitter and glam of a yacht, the ship’s livery stands out on the high seas. She glides with a unique level of sophistication paired with an unapologetic aire [sic] of mystery. A design meant to excite and inspire sailors to want to explore every corner," it continues.

The relatively low passenger complement compared to other upcoming megaliners, and the intriguing designs, suggest that the yet-to-be-named vessel might well live up to the lyrical hype.

The name Virgin Voyages was chosen by the public, and the first ship will be dubbed in a similar public competition. In another nod to Virgin's British Heritage it's reasonable to assume that several thousand entrants will suggest "Boaty McBoatface" and that those suggestions will subsequently be ignored.


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Pictures: Virgin Voyages

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