The keel of the first of three 110,000 gross ton cruise ships for virgin Voyages, which is part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in London, was laid in Genoa on 31 October.
To be known as “Lady Ships,” the trio will feature silver grey hulls and cater for adults only. The company will call its passengers sailors and cabins with balconies sea terraces.
Tom McAlpin, CEO, shared specifics on the Virgin Voyages design philosophy and experience. “The entire ship will be built with an attention to detail, reflecting the craftsmanship and materiality inspired by super yachts. Designed to feel more intimate and connected to the sea, 86 percent of all cabins will feature a sea terrace and 93 percent an ocean view. Virgin Voyages is creating a sophisticated ship and a transformational experience that offers our sailors a place where rejuvenating day-life meets exciting nightlife and everything in between.”
In a bold and unique move for the industry, McAlpin then gave details that the first ship’s experience will be “Adult By Design” – meaning that sailors must be at least 18 or older to sail. The decision was driven by feedback from future sailors and travel professionals, who are looking for a more elevated and premium experience, with a few Virgin style surprises.
The world also got its first glimpse of the ship’s distinct livery, which will feature a sleek silvery-grey hull, with smoked glass, and of course, distinctive touches of red. The livery was conceptualized by Ben Christie and David Azurdia from the multi-award-winning Magpie Studio in London. RWD from Beaulieu England, who are leaders in super yacht design, created the iconic red Virgin funnel of the vessel.
The ships are on order at the Sestri Ponente yard of Fincantieri.