Virgin Cruises to enter the industry

Virgin Cruises to enter the industry

Virgin, the company founded by Sir Richard Branson, is to form its own cruise line, Virgin Cruises, in a bid to “shake up the industry”.

The line, which hasn’t set a date for when it will start operating, plans to build two ships in partnership with private investment company Bain Capital.

Virgin Cruises will be based in Miami.

“We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love,” said Sir Richard. “They’ll be sailing on the latest ships offering a great quality, a real sense of fun and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.”

Tom McAlpin Virgin Cruises
Tom McAlpin

The company has hired Tom McAlpin, former president and CEO of The World residences at sea and a former Disney Cruise Line president to head the project.

“Cruise guests deserve something better and different to what is being offered today, and Virgin Cruises is committed to creating breathtaking experiences for them and a new generation of guests,” he said. “Opportunities like this do not come often, so I am very excited to lead this business and introduce the Virgin brand to the cruise industry, as it has always put customers at the heart of what it does.”

“From our earliest conversations with the Virgin team, we recognised there is a unique opportunity here to help build the next great cruise line serving travellers from around the world,” Stephen Pagliuca, a managing director with Bain Capital said.

“We know that thanks to the strategic vision laid out by our collective team – and now under the guidance of Tom McAlpin – Virgin Cruises will help reshape consumers’ expectations of what a cruise experience can be.  All of us at Bain Capital are thrilled to partner with the Virgin team on this compelling opportunity.”

“We are pleased to pursue this exciting opportunity with Virgin, one of the world’s most respected and iconic brands,” Ryan Cotton, a principal with Bain Capital added. “With a small number of global players, an experience in need of refreshing, and consumers ready for something new and exciting, the industry exhibits all the characteristics of one that is ripe for a new entrant.”

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