Cruise Maven News: Virgin Voyages Steel Cutting Ceremony

Richard Branson plants Virgin Cruises flag in MiamiIt seems like yesterday that Sir Richard Branson helicoptered in to Miami to announce his new project, “Virgin Cruises” in June 2015.  A little over a year later, in October 2016, he changed the name to Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages Steel Cutting MachineToday at the Fincantieri Shipyards in Italy, a traditional steel cutting ceremony to signal the start of a new ship build was turned into a Facebook Live event.  Leave it to Sir Richard; he never does anything without high-energy fanfare and beautiful women at his side.


Virgin Voyages Steel Cutting LIVE. Sparks are bound to fly. #makeshiphappen

Posted by Virgin Voyages on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

“Sparks are bound to fly!” said a Virgin Voyages spokesperson.

Virgin Voyages President Tom McAlpin formerly president of Disney Cruises, was host for the ceremony.

The Facebook Live event began at 2:00pm ET – you can view the recorded event – just click the link above. While Sir Richard wasn’t there in person, he was televised live on a large screen to the side of the stage.

After a 5-second countdown (at 10:12 in the video) a “mysterious red button” as Tom McAlpin called it, was pressed.  And the Steel Cutting Machine whirred into motion.   Music blared and a waterfall of white fireworks cascaded into the steel-cooling water.

Virgin Voyages’ first ship will be delivered in 2020 and after a season in Europe will homeport in Miami, with planned winter itineraries to the Caribbean.  With a hashtag of #MakeShipHappen, Sir Richard is counting on building a cruise line to appeal to Millennials as well as anyone in search of a more boutique-style cruise ship and experience.

In total, Virgin Voyages is planning three new ships for the fledgling fleet, each carrying about 2,800 guests.


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