The steel cutting ceremony was held at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente yard in Italy on 23 March 2017 (Image: Virgin Voyages)
Virgin Voyages cut the steel for the first of its three ocean cruise ships during a ceremony at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente yard in Italy on 23 March 2017.
The ceremony was attended by Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages; Luigi Matarazzo, Fincantieri’s senior vice president of New Building Merchant Ships; and Paolo Capobianco, director of the Sestri shipyard. Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson led the countdown via video.
“Today is the moment when our intrepid, romantic and irresistible vision for Virgin Voyages starts to become tangible,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages. “I’ve been inspired by the passion from all those involved, it’s so exciting as we continue to work together to bring true sea change to the cruise industry.”
Virgin Voyages’ first 110,000gt ship will accommodate more than 2,700 guests in around 1,400 cabins and 1,150 crew members. She is due to homeport at PortMiami in Miami, US from 2020, where she will sail two different Caribbean itineraries with Sunday departures.
The newbuild’s public areas and the crew’s private spaces will be developed by 10 international design companies. These firms include Roman and Williams, Concrete Amsterdam, Design Research Studio, Softroom, WORKac, Knibb, HL Studios, HKS and Pearson Lloyd. The project will be coordinated by Giacomo Mortola, architect/founder of Gem SRL.
“The design collective includes some of the world’s most stylish firms who are creators of design trends, not followers,” said McAlpin. “Together, they are imagining a vessel unlike anything sailors have experienced before that will be a complete departure from the ordinary. With this group, we have a depth in creativity that brings a different perspective to space design at sea, that will change cruising for good.”
Two more cruise ships will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.