Although with every new Virgin company Richard Branson is named the main culprit, contrary to general belief with Virgin Voyages that is not exactly the case. The first idea of a cruiseline under the Virgin brandname was thought out by another Virgin Group executive, mister Nirmal Saverimuttu. Together with the then CEO of The World he undertook the marketing research for such a company, targeting the normal Virgin demographic of young adults looking for a fun and not standardized way of living and travelling. They contacted the Boston-based private investingcompany Bain Capital who invested some 700 million USD into the idea. Then, they also secured another funding from other investors worth around 1,5 billion USD and now finances were secured, Virgin Group officially announced the formation of a cruisecompany under the Virgin brand. Virgin Group was not new to travelcompanies and leisure, as they of course had established a very successfull airline earlier beginning in 1984, Virgin Holidays in 1985, a railwaycompany starting in 1997, Virgin Galactic for space-travels in 2004, Virgin Hotels in 2010 and Virgin Hyperloop in 2014 to name but a few. Clear is that, although this list is far from complete, Virgin was already a major player in the leisure industry when Virgin Cruises was formed in december of 2014.
The company would be based out of Miami, Florida as that was the most traditional cruiseport in the world and it was announced that the fleet would consist out of two ships for the time being. With the huge name of Virgin behind it and also the finances already in place, the company did not want to buy ships first for the start-up, everything had to be finetuned to their own liking so newbuilds it would be. When approval was granted for the new company to sail out of Miami, the company ordered their first three ships, why just two if you can have three, at the 18th of october in 2016. This day, the company also rebranded already losing the Virgin Cruises name in favour of the new Virgin Voyages name. Also, to go in with a bang, they announced the building of their very own terminal building, the 100.000 square foot Terminal V. Also, a private destination named The Beach Club was established on the island of Bimini at the Bahamas, together with the Genting Group.
The three ships would be built in Italy at the Fincantieri Yards at Sestri Ponente and the ships would measure some 110.000-tons. Everything seemed right for a great start and the first cruise for the companies first ship, Scarlet Lady, was announced to be sailing from Miami on april 1st, 2020. But then the world slided down into the COVID-19 pandemic, grinding every kind of international traffic and holidays to a halt. The first cruise of Scarlet Lady thus departed Miami at the 16th of october of 2020. The two sisterships followed under the names of Valiant Lady in 2021 and the soon-to-be Resiliant Lady in 2023. A fourth sistership also had been ordered in the meantime and she will also enter service in 2023 under the name of Brilliant Lady.
A better look of the company can be done by clicking here for the website of Virgin Voyages