If I were a betting man, I’d bet on Branson.
The man, not Missouri! Without a doubt, Sir Richard Branson is a disruptor. From record stores, to hotels. From wines to banks. From airlines to cruise lines. What? Yes it’s true, Fincantieri is in the process of building the first ship for Virgin Voyages! Of course “cruises” was too boring for Branson.
Just check out the rendering. Instantly recognizable. Tremendously sexy. Not your grandmother’s cruise ship!
I suspect that this will be anything but boring for sure. Let’s face it, while cruising is an awesome vacation and very few people don’t have a good time. Sometimes it is a hard sell to the younger crowd because…well, their grandmother likes cruising. I remember when Holland America Line and Cunard were struggling with their “old folks” reputation. And while it has become a bit easier; cruises are a hard sell for young, unattached adults. Enter Sir Richard the Disruptor.
According to his blog, the new Virgin Voyages are an 18+ product and “adult by design” and are planning to ply the oceans in 2020. So do not expect too many families on board Virgin Voyages.
Another major attraction to the 18-34 set will be the eco-friendly stance of all the Virgin companies. Virgin Voyages will be no different. From Branson’s blog:
Virgin Voyages is also committing to creating the cleanest fleet on the sea as ocean preservation is paramount. Our goal is to be a ship that leaves nothing behind except great memories. Virgin Voyages have signed an agreement with Scanship and, together, we will explore the development of potentially game-changing technology that could one day turn waste into energy.
No word on the price point; but I would expect it to be on the high side. But I also expect it to be very easy to demonstrate the value as well. If you have ever flown in Virgin Atlantic’s Premium or Upper class you understand.
But Branson is all about fun as well. The ship looks different and fun. I would expect a nearly all-inclusive experience and a party that will run 24-7 for the duration of the voyage. I suppose we will need to wait and see. But I might start culling your databases for the right client. A $500 refundable deposit will save you a space on one of the first sailings.
I’m psyched. It is about time for the cruise industry to be shaken up a bit!