The Howard Hughes of the new millennium, Richard Branson, has Hughes’s swagger. In addition to all his fun ventures, Branson has told the press more about the coming Virgin Cruise line.
The plan at this point is to base three ships at Miami, Florida. From there he will enter the highly competitive Caribbean market. There are so many islands that 7-day voyages will be the standard.
The three are under construction in Italy. Word is that they will be kinda normal in size. Holding under 3,000 pax served by 1100 crew. The cost? A mere three Billion, with a “B,” for the trio of vessels.
The size is a surprise. Most thought he would go head-to-head with the giant ships rolling out form Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and NCL. I’m glad to see that – Branson shows class and his ships will not be cattle cars. I expect upscale amenities. He will have to have good stuff to charge more than the competition in the Caribbvean. Most cruises are cheaper than a week at Motel 6.
Former Disney Cruises honcho, Tom McAlpin, has been onboard a while and will drive the show. Branson has firm financing (does he really need that?) the first ship will not get wet for 5 years, so hang tight.
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