Virgin Voyages is not yet taking bookings. Keep an eye on this page and subscribe to our travel newsletter - as soon as bookings are open for South Africans this is where we'll let you know.
Whilst there are regularly new cruise ships being built, It's not often that a whole new cruise line launches; but yes, here's one you can say happened in your lifetime! Richard Branson has done it again - entered a new industry with plans make "waves" and change it for good - this time the cruise industry. And like all of Branson's creations, it will come with a unique style.
In 2020 Virgin Voyages is launching its first ship, and what we know so far is that it'll be adults only (at least 18 years old) - Virgin refers to their passengers as 'sailors', and that cruises will initially be in the Caribbean, mostly 7 night long cruises departing on Sundays from Miami. So, if you're tired of snotty nosed screaming kids crowding your space on the ship, Virgin Voyages is for you. There will be an additional 2 ships launched; one in 2021 and the third in 2022 - the 3 ships will be exactly the same, carrying a maximum of 2800 passengers in 1430 cabins (in addition to its 1150 crew). The ship will weigh some 110,000 tons. A full 86% of the cabins will have balconies and 93% will have ocean views. The fleet of 3 ships is known as the "Lady Ships". If you want to be first in the queue to book your cruise you can secure it by making a deposit of $500 at the Virgin Voyages website - it's a bit of a blind bet, as exact details of the itinerary and costs are not known yet.
If you're looking for the cheapest prices then Virgin Voyages wont be for you - they don't plan on offering bottom of the barrel prices; rather going for a bit of extra value.
Virgin Voyages have said that the travel trade is key to their success. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a connection and start working with Virgin Voyages. Here's what they emailed back to us when we got in touch:
They immediately emailed backL "Ahoy Mate! We're so happy to hear from you! For us, Travel Professionals are alot like a ship captain's first mate. Carefully chosen, trusted partners, we love to have by our sides. We're eager to get this friendship going. Someone from our sales team will reach out to you soon! Let's make waves together. Cheers! VIRGIN VOYAGES SALES CREW; Virgin Voyages, email@example.com, 900 South Pine Island Road, Suite 200, Plantation, FL 33324-4413"
Then the next day: "Ahoy Rob! Thank you for reaching out to start our friendship and for your excitement about Virgin Voyages! As our first gorgeous new Lady Ship doesn't arrive until 2020, we still have some time before we're ready to start the fun of selling with our partners (we like to call you our First Mates). ;) We're in the process of creating all the things you'll need to learn about our irresistible ships and defining our policies. You can expect to hear more about our brand in 2018 and we should be ready to start registering our First Mates around mid year. We don't plan to have a proactive sales effort outside of North America and the UK initially but travel partners from around the world should be able to sell our voyages from Day 1. In the meantime, you can connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and and you can sign up to receive general Virgin Voyages emails and updates on our website at www.virginvoyages.com. Also, make sure to check out our pre-sale deposit offer on the website which will allow you to grab a place in line for our pre-sale window if you like. You can deposit for yourself or your clients (we call them Sailors). You do not need to be registered with us to make a deposit for Pre-Sale Access on behalf of your clients. ❤ We can't wait to get to know you better and we hope this helps for now ... Cheers!"
Virgin Voyages have set up a search engine where you can look for available jobs - click here to see it. At the time of writing there didn't appear to be any jobs listed yet.
Virgin Voyages has a Twitter page, Facebook page, Youtube channel and Instagram page:
2022. Third ship is delivered.
2021. Second ship is delivered.
2020. First ship is delivered.
15 Jan 2018. Harding Retail is appointed as the sole provider of onboard retail services on Virgin Voyages ships.
Nov 2017. Here's a little teaser they release:
18 Oct 2017. The name of the company is changed from Virgin Cruises to Virgin Voyages.
22 Jun 2015. It's announced that Virgin Cruises have placed an order for 3 ships to be built by the Fincantieri shipyard.
Jan 2015. Tom McAlpin who had previously been President of the Disney Cruise Line, is appointed CEO of Virgin Cruises.
4 Dec 2014. The Virgin Group announces that it will be launching Virgin Cruises, and Bain Capital (a private equity firm) will be the lead investor.
1 Mar 2014. The National, a UAE newspaper, announces that Richard Branson is looking to raise $1.7bn to build ships and cover the other costs of starting a cruise line: “We are looking at a very different kind of cruise company. We’re trying to create the kind of cruise ship that would be attractive to the kind of people who would never consider a cruise at the moment.”
Virgin Voyages is working together with Climeon, a Swedish company whose technology turns heat into power; and the heat of the cooling water for the ship's engines will be used to produce electricity for the ship.
Whilst all cruise lines are to an extent a competitor, it's in particular Viking Ocean Cruises which also has an 18 and over policy. Their ships each have a maximum capacity of 930. There are no casinos, wifi is free, their spas are free and there's a free excursion at each stop.
P&O have 2 adults-only ships: the Oriana and the Arcadia.
Saga Holidays have 2 ships which are only for those over 50 years old.