For the last 40 years, Sir Richard Branson has been itching to start his own cruise line to cater to a new breed of tourists who would not otherwise entertain the thought of going on a cruise. Now, the founder of the famous Virgin brand is finally ready to realize his dream. He recently announced plans to launch his own cruise company that will compete with the big boys like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise lines.
Branson is looking for as much as $1.7 billion in financing to develop a fleet of cruise ships that would concentrate heavily on the “entertainment and leisure opportunities” not currently being offered by the other major cruise companies. Branson’s flair for reaching a younger and more hip audience seems to suggest his cruise ships would focus more on what interests 20 and 30 something’s, rather than the destination themed model focusing on older travelers. However, this is all speculation.
The Miami-based cruise line will not be up and running anytime soon. It will take a few years for Branson to raise the funding and get the ships built. Nevertheless, when he is ready to go, expect the Virgin cruise line to be big.