The Virgin Group, the brainchild of multi-billionaire businessman Richard Branson, recently expressed interest in venturing into the cruise industry, one of the untouched markets by The Virgin Group.
While the reality of a Virgin brand cruise line is only a vision at the moment, recent reports claim The Virgin Group is seeking approximately $1.7 billion to finance the start up cruise line. The almost $2 billion of investment would be used to build the line’s first two ships, tailored with typical Virgin style. The new cruise line and its two ships would mostly likely be focused at a younger demographic, keeping in line with several other Virgin brands.
Originally reported by the UAE’s The National, the newspaper published an exclusive interview with Richard Branson on the upstart cruise line. According to the paper, the first two ships would sail various itineraries throughout the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, while the cruise line would headquarter in Miami, Florida. If The Virgin Group is successful in securing the initial $1.7 billion of investment, the cruise line would most likely be operational by 2019.
At the current moment, Richard Branson states The Virgin Group has approached a number of investors throughout the Middle East and a few investors outside of the region.
Currently, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, and MSC Cruises dominate the cruise market in terms of passengers carried. Virgin’s foray into the cruise market against major competitors follows other successful Virgin upstarts, including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, and other Virgin travel brands.