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It’s been a long time waiting for this day, since Sir Richard Branson first announced his intention to enter the cruise industry.
Last week in Genoa, Italy, Virgin Voyages keel laying ceremony for their first ship took place, as the massive first block was lowered into position at the shipyard. After that, Richard Branson welded newly minted gold coins into the keel – a tradition for good luck.
Read about Virgin Voyages first major milestone
This milestone event marked the beginning of construction for Virgin Voyages’ first ship. Scheduled to debut in 2020, and as yet unnamed, the traditional maritime ceremony had all the pomp and circumstance that you’d expect from Sir Richard. Boy George was on hand as DJ for the festivities.
Take a look at their “Shiptease” video:
When the first ship is launched in 2020, it will be for adults only, with the minimum age to sail on the 2,860-passenger vessel set at 18 yrs. This decision was influenced by feedback from the public and travel sellers.
Even the stateroom balconies will get a new name; they’re called “sea terraces” and 86% of the staterooms will have them. Following Virgin’s first vessel in 2020, two more are ordered for delivery in 2021 and 2022.
Here’s a closer look at the mermaid image, the Virgin logo that will adorn the bow of Virgin Voyages’ ships.
(Photo: Virgin Voyages)
The three Virgin vessels will be known as the “Lady Ships”, a humorous reference to ‘your ladyship’ and a tip of the hat to Virgin’s British heritage, the company added.
Virgin announced on Tuesday that it was accepting $500 refundable deposits for access to an exclusive pre-sale booking period that applies to their first ship. Where it will cruise is anyone’s guess. All we do know so far is that the ship will homeport in Miami.