Virgin Voyages has revealed its first cruise ship will be adult-only.
The decision to not allow children on board was taken after consulting travel professionals and “future sailors” – Virgin’s term for passengers.
Virgin Voyages three-ship fleet will be known as the “Lady Ships”, a play on the term “your ladyship”, which the line said was a nod to British heritage.
The ship’s design, which was unveiled at a keel-laying ceremony at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa, Italy, today (Tuesday), will feature a silvery-grey hull, with smoked glass and splashes of red, while a mermaid design will feature on the bow of the ship.
The first vessel is due to be delivered in 2020.
Group founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages president and chief executive, Tom McAlpin, arrived at the ceremony via a 200-foot crane drop.
Staying true to its promise of breaking with tradition, the line is calling cabins with balconies “sea terraces” and passengers will be referred to as “sailors”.
McAlpin said: “Virgin Voyages is creating a sophisticated ship and a transformational experience that offers our sailors a place where rejuvenating day-life meets exciting nightlife and everything in between.”
Customers and travel partners can place a $500 refundable deposit for access to a pre-sale before Virgin Voyages goes on general sale.
Cunard has announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet – its first new ship in 12 years.
The new 3,000 passenger ship, which will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard, was announced as Cunard marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the legendary QE2.
The new ship will join the fleet in 2022, joining Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
It will be the first time since 1998 that the brand has had four ships in service at the same time. The new build will be the 249th ship to fly the Cunard flag, according to the line.
Simon Palethorpe, senior vice president of Cunard, said: “We have only recently marked the 50th anniversary of one of Cunard’s much-loved ocean liners, the legendary QE2.
“What better way to celebrate her important role in Cunard’s past than by announcing our commitment to Cunard’s future with the commissioning of a new ship. Cunard offers unrivalled luxury ocean experiences and the new ship firmly underpins our plans to continue our growth across international markets.”
The news of Cunard’s expansion comes just a week after Silversea announced a new ship order.
Silversea said the move signalled buoyancy in the market. These two announcements are the latest sign of the strength of the luxury cruise sector, with Ritz-Carlton recently announcing its plans to enter the cruise sector with three yachts. Meanwhile, Celebrity Cruises has three ships on order, Ponant has four, and Crystal Cruises, Scenic, Seabourn and Star Clippers also have new vessels set to launch.
MSC Cruises latest new generation ship MSC Seaview was floated out at the Fincanteri shipyard in Trieste, Italy today.
The 5,179-passenger vessel is the second ship in the Seaview class of ships and is part of a €9 billion, ten year investment plan.
Sister ship MSC Seaside is due to enter service in November following MSC Meraviglia in June.
MSC Seaview is set to join the fleet in June 2018 with an inaugural season in the Mediterranean before transferring to Brazil for winter 2018-19.
Chief executive, Gianni Onorato, said: “We are truly leading the way with our ship designs, as each new class of ships that we bring into service is rooted in meeting the needs of holidaymakers of different ages, demographics and holiday desires.
“With MSC Seaview, in particular, our vision has been inspired by our passion for the sea and we are appealing to guests who are seeking the classic elements of a holiday – sun and sea – taken to the next level with a one-of-a-kind fully immersive and interactive seaside experience even whilst cruising at sea.”
Executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “The float out of MSC Seaview is another significant milestone in the expansion of our fleet.
“She is part of a ten year investment plan that will have already seen the delivery of six new ships by 2020.
“We are already the market leading cruise brand in the Mediterranean and Europe and the deployment of MSC Seaview in this key region will help us further push boundaries by bringing one of the most innovative cruise ships to an area that we are deeply committed to and is a cornerstone of our business.”