Virgin Cruises, the new cruise line formed by entrepreneur Richard Branson, is close to a contract for two 170,000 gross ton cruise ships according to a report by The Medi Telegraph.
The report stated that the cruise ships would be build at the Fincantieri shipyard if the contract closes. Fincantieri and Meyer Werft were both in negotiations with Virgin Cruises, with many analysts referring to the German shipyard as the favorite. The deal is worth just under $2 billion USD.
While an exact launch date for Virgin Cruises has yet to be announced, it is not expected to take place until 2018 at the earliest. Branson said that his cruise line will shake up the cruise industry and that he will gear his ships towards younger, non-traditional cruisers. The plan is for one ship to sail to the Caribbean and will likely be based in Florida. The second ship will cruise to the Mediterranean. The ships are promised to be “more informal, fun, sexy, hip, and cool”.