The ships will be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and be delivered in 2020, 2021, and 2022. The 1,430 cabin cruise ships will carry 2,800 passengers at double occupancy and cost under $2 billion. According to VirginCruises.com. the ships will “make your travels irresistible” and they will “not be your average cruise ships”.
The current plan is for the first ship to sail week long cruises (leaving on Sundays) to the Caribbean from PortMiami. The homeport for the other two ships has not yet been determined.
Virgin Cruises is breaking the pattern of the mainstream cruise lines by opting to build mid-sized ships in the area of 110,000 gross tons, much smaller than the rumors that were floating around the internet the past few week. The ships promise to redefine the cruising experience and appeal to cruisers and non cruisers.
Richard Branson gave the following statement:
“This is a very exciting day for Virgin and travelers around the globe.
We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good. The Virgin Cruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise.”
The order for these three new cruise ships is a binding letter of intent with the actual contract signing scheduled for the end of 2015.
There have been few details released about the features that will set the ships apart from other cruise lines. Virgin Cruises is asking future passengers on their home page what they will like to be able to see and do while on a Virgin Cruises ship.