Virgin Voyages is recruiting for an international sales director to build “deep bonds with key travel partners” as it revealed its first ship would be adult-only.
Virgin Voyages has three ships on order between 2020 and 2022 and the 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 Italy on Tuesday, will feature a silvery-grey hull, smoked glass, splashes of red and a mermaid design on the bow.
In its job advert, the company says it wants to recruit someone who will ideally bring “a minimum 10 years in travel or hospitality sales – cruise industry preferred; an in-depth knowledge of the cruise market and its sales strategies across a variety of segments; and deep bonds with key travel partners.”
The new recruit will be also be expected to “identify and nurture relationships with like-minded partners whose customers are sure to love the Virgin Voyages experience”, and “establish warm and loving relations with those partners”.
A team and full distribution strategy is expected to be in place by January. Controversially, Virgin Holidays went direct-sell in 2015.
The cruise line is breaking with tradition and calling balconies ‘sea terraces’ and passengers will be referred to as ‘sailors’.
The decision to be “adult by design” was driven by feedback from potential customers and travel professionals, who are looking for a “more elevated and premium experience”.
Group founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages president and chief executive Tom McAlpin were lowered 200ft in to the keel-ceremony via a crane.
McAlpin said: “Virgin Voyages is creating a sophisticated ship and a transformational experience.”
Customers and travel partners can place a $500 refundable deposit for access to a pre-sale before Virgin Voyages goes on general sale.
The first 2,860-passenger ship will sail in the Caribbean. It is due to be delivered in 2020.
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