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Virgin to set up cruise line and tourist submarine venture

March 27, 2014 Cruise, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is going into cruising. It has raised most of the USD 1.7 billion it needs to build two new ships and launch Virgin Cruise from PortMiami.

That’s the word from Branson, flamboyant billionaire entrepreneur and stakeholder in Virgin Australia, according to the Miami Herald.

Virgin Cruise will target cruise newcomers. TravelManagers

“We’re trying to create the kind of cruise ship that would be attractive to the kind of people who would never consider a cruise at the moment,” Branson told Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper.

Branson said much investment money for the project had come from the Middle East. Virgin Cruise would sail the Caribbean and Mediterranean and should launch by 2019.

“We will start by building two large ships from scratch; we think the Virgin brand will work very well for cruises,” Branson told the The National. He pointed out Virgin already had airlines and holiday companies that sent a lot of people on cruises.

“We have a concept which is very sexy and hopefully it will be the kind of cruise ship I’d like to go on and the type my children will go on.”

Branson is also seeking investment for Virgin Oceanic, a sister company to Virgin Galactic. He wants to build submarines to explore the depths of the ocean.

While cruising is the fastest growing travel sector, the potential of submarine travel is considered enormous. Renowned American commercial and tourism submarine company Triton Submarines unveiled five new models at last year’s Monaco Yacht show.

The next generation of Tritons will include four, six and eight-passenger models as well as a two-passenger model rated for 5500 feet (1675 meters) and the Triton 36000/3 Full Ocean Depth (rated for 36,000 feet/11,000 meters). The subs have super-strong acrylic spheres, making travel in them rather like flying a helicopter underwater.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    I’d love to know what new ideas in cruising Mr Branson has. Basically its such a huge industry that there is now a ship for every type of passenger, and the few who won’t cruise do so because of outdated ideas of life onboard. And he plans to cruise out of Florida, the highest density cruise region in the world. There’s nowhere new he can possibly go in that region. Its notable that these days he raises most of the capital elsewhere and invests little of his own money in these projects. In fact if he doesn’t start getting a return from Virgin Galactica soon he may not have much money of his own left. He has been selling down his holdings in many other Virgin brands in order to raise cash. Well, good luck to the dude. The world needs more try anything entrepeneurs like him.

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