Virgin Cruises has agreed a deal to have three ships built to start sailing from 2020 and “redefine” the cruise experience.

The 2,800-passenger vessels are due to be delivered between 2020 and 2022. Each will be 110,000 tons and also carry 1,150 crew.

The first vessel will be based in Miami offering seven-day Caribbean itineraries.

Virgin Cruises revealed today that it has signed a binding letter of intent with Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri for the trio of new mid-size ships.

Potential customers are being invited to visit the Virgin Cruises website to share their ideas on what the new cruise line can do to deliver an “incredible experience at sea”.

Virgin Cruises’ binding letter of intent with Fincantieri is the first part of a two-step process with both companies committed to signing a contract at the end of 2015.

Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, said: This is a very exciting day for Virgin and travellers around the globe.

“We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good.

“The Virgin Cruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise.”

The line’s chief executive, Tom McAlpine, said: “We are committed to making waves in the cruise industry, and partnering with Fincantieri and PortMiami sets Virgin Cruises up to do just that.

“Today’s announcement brings together important ingredients in our future success – Miami’s vibrant culture paired with the excellent port infrastructure and port team; and Fincantieri’s expertise in prototyping, their creativity and understanding of our vision.”