Belfast Telegraph

Branson announces new name for cruise ship line

Sir Richard Branson has announced the new name for his forthcoming cruise ship line - Virgin Voyages.

The first sailing is planned out of Miami in 2020 to the Caribbean.

The vessels are being built by Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri with a capacity of at least 2,700 passengers, considered mid-size by the cruise industry.

Sir Richard promised that Virgin Voyages would create boutique experiences for travellers that are as "magical" as those offered by his other enterprises, which include the Virgin Atlantic airline, a Chicago hotel and a game reserve and lodge in South Africa.

The company is also developing spaceship tourism through the Virgin Galactic venture.

Sir Richard said Virgin Voyages will be the first major cruise line to adopt a new clean energy technology called Climeon Ocean that transforms waste heat from ship engines into electricity for onboard use.

Asked if the ships would sail to Cuba, Sir Richard noted that Virgin has been flying to Cuba from London for years and that he "definitely" hoped to include the island on Virgin Voyages itineraries.