Steel cutting for first Virgin Voyages ship

A steel cutting ceremony has been held for the first of a trio of ships ordered by start-up Virgin Voyages.

The event took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy to mark the start of construction of the line’s first vessel.

Virgin Voyages is due to start sailing from Miami to the Caribbean in 2020 with the first of three ships being built as part of a multi-billion dollar contract.

The other two ships are planned to enter service in 2021 and 2022, although little detail has been given about the vessels other than the ten companies employed as designers.

Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin said during a Facebook Live broadcast of the steel cutting ceremony: “Today is the moment when our intrepid, romantic and irresistible vision for Virgin Voyages starts to become tangible.

“I’ve been inspired by the passion from all those involved, it’s so exciting as we continue to work together to bring true sea change to the cruise industry.”

The ships of around 110,000 gross tons are expected to carry more than 2,700 passengers.

But details are being kept under wraps with designers and naval architects “sworn to secrecy”.

McAlpin said: “The design collective includes some of the world’s most stylish firms who are creators of design trends not followers.

“Together they are imagining a vessel unlike anything sailors have experienced before that will be a complete departure from the ordinary.

“With this group, we have a depth in creativity that brings a different perspective to space design at sea that will change cruising for good.”

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