Virgin is still on track to launch its first cruise ship from Miami in 2020. Whether Richard Branson can convince people who don't normally cruise to try one of his ships is still an open question.
At the time it was first announced, Branson had said his goal was to create a cruise line more likely to appeal to millennials and other people who don’t normally take cruise vacations.
The line is still set to launch in 2020, with a ship homeported in Miami that will sail Caribbean itineraries.
“Thousands of future sailors and travel professionals let us know they want us to deliver the most irresistible vacation at sea and that even our name should leave them dizzy with anticipation.” said Branson. “I’m excited to reveal we are now Virgin Voyages and while we have lots of work ahead to build our three ships, we can’t wait to welcome you aboard the ship of things to come.”
The company has also signed a contract to order three new ships, more than a year after Branson originally announced his plans, from Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which is expected to begin work on the first Virgin Voyages ship in 2017. Virgin Voyages is still waiting for its financing agreements to be finalized.
Earlier this year, Virgin Cruises settled a $300 million lawsuit filed by former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Colin Veitch, who claimed Virgin had stolen his ideas and moved on with the cruise line concept without him.
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Photo credit: Virgin Cruises has rebranded, and work on its first vessel should begin next year. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, center, Virgin Cruises CEO Tom McAlpin, left, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, right, pose for photos in June 2015 at Perez Art Museum in Miami. Alan Diaz / Associated Press