Virgin Group, the Branson owned investement group, has announced the launch of Virgin Cruises, a new cruise line buisness that will be headquartered in Miami.
Plans are in place to construct two new world class cruise ships, though the company has not confirmed when it will start operating for competitive reasons. It has however set out plans to offer guests an outstanding experience and service aimed at broadening consumer targets for the cruise market.
Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson said, "We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love. They'll be sailing on the latest ships offering great quality, a real sense of fun, and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service."
Branson also confirmed that leading cruise industry figure Tom McAlpin will join Virgin Cruises as CEO, while Bain Capital, its lead investement partner, will also be involved.
Stephen Pagliuca, a Managing Director with Bain Capital, said, "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 travelers from around the world. 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."
Tom McAlpin said, "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. 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."