Virgin: press release
VIRGIN CRUISES SETS SAIL UNDER NEW MONIKER “VIRGIN VOYAGES” Sir Richard Branson’s Cruise Line Reveals New Name & Icon, A Signed Ship Building Contract and A World First Clean Energy Partnership MIAMI – October 18, 2016 – Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson today revealed Virgin Voyages as the inspiring new identity for the company’s cruise line. Joined by the company’s President and CEO Tom McAlpin, they announced the name and shared that Virgin Voyages has officially signed a ship building contract for three vessels, with Italian master shipbuilder Fincantieri and that the company will be the first cruise line to adopt the clean energy system, Climeon Ocean. The revealing event held at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach featured a stunning theatrical performance where Sir Richard appeared with two performers who danced on deck chairs in front of an audience of international news media, Miami politicos and business leaders. Richard expressed that Virgin Voyages is committed to changing cruising for good. “Thousands of future sailors and travel professionals let us know they want us to deliver the most irresistible vacation at sea and that even our name should leave them dizzy with anticipation and challenge our crew to deliver something exhilarating.” said Richard. “I’m excited to reveal we are now Virgin Voyages and while we have lots of exciting work ahead to build our vessels, we can’t wait to welcome you aboard the ship of things to come”. Virgin Voyages, backed by lead investors Bain Capital Private Equity and Virgin Group, expect the financing valued at over $2 billion to be finalized shortly. The lead lending partners will be Cassa depositi e prestiti (Cdp) and UniCredit, and the loan will benefit from support from Italian export credit agency SACE and interest make up provided through SIMEST, both subsidiaries of Cdp. McAlpin outlined a ship building schedule including steel cutting in early 2017, followed by the keel laying in Genoa in the fourth quarter of 2017. McAlpin said “Our world class partners like Bain Capital Private Equity, Virgin Group and Fincantieri as well as financial powerhouses like Cdp, UniCredit, SACE and SIMEST, showcase Virgin Voyages strong backing and commitment to developing an incredible product. This is anything but just another cruise or holiday, it will be a transformational experience delivering a very Virgin style of adventure.” 2 Virgin Voyages is the first major cruise line to partner with Climeon, a world-renowned clean energy innovator. Virgin will install Climeon Ocean, a system that will transform low-grade energy into clean electricity, on all three of its ships. The resulting environmental impact will be an estimated 5,400 tons of CO2 savings annually per ship, an amount that would take 180,000 trees 30 years to absorb. “The Climeon heat power system is an environmental break through and working with Virgin is of major importance for us. We are excited that Sir Richard Branson and Virgin, with their focus on sustainability, have decided to become a pioneer of this technology. Transforming hot water to electricity will be a major source of energy production going forward,” says founder and CEO of Climeon, Thomas Öström. Virgin Voyages’ first ship will arrive at PortMiami in 2020, hosting more than 2,700 sailors and 1,150 amazing crew. For the first ship, Virgin Voyages will offer a range of Caribbean itineraries to ports that deliver unique and very social experiences. Virgin Voyages plans to woo first-timers and convert more experienced cruisers, who are looking for something a little different, into Virgin sailors.