Virgin Voyages doesn’t hold back on design partners

Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin announced several key design partners for Virgin Group’s first cruise venture, including the team behind hipster hotel chain Ace Hotels.

At a steel-cutting ceremony in Genoa, Italy, for the first of three 110,000-gross-ton ships that Virgin Voyages has on order from Fincantieri, McAlpin on Wednesday listed off the numerous designers and architects who are helping Virgin’s vision of cruising come to life.

“Thanks to them, our ships will be a complete departure from the ordinary,” said McAlpin against the backdrop of a “Make ship happen” banner. “That style that we see in some of the coolest places on land, soon we will see on the seven seas.”

The creative team includes Roman and Williams, the design team behind numerous Ace hotels and the Standard High Line hotel in New York; Concrete, an edgy Amsterdam design company; cruise ship design firm GEM, which has designed vessels for Silversea, Cunard and Princess Cruises; HOSTUDIO, a London-based brand development agency; New York-based architecture firm WORKac; creative agency Chandelier; and global design company HKS.

The first Virgin Voyages ship is slated to enter service in 2020, with two additional ships to follow in 2021 and 2022.

Wednesday’s steel-cutting ceremony is expected to be followed by a keel-laying event toward the end of 2017.

The 2,700-passenger vessels will carry 1,150 crew members.

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