Branson: ‘Cruise lines will copy Virgin Voyages’

Branson: ‘Cruise lines will copy Virgin Voyages’

Sir Richard Branson predicted other cruise lines will copy Virgin Voyages in “five to six years” time.

Asked how he thought Virgin would be viewed by competitors, he referenced BA’s “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin Atlantic in the 1990s when competition between the two airlines was at its most heated.

“Competition is always good in any industry” he said. “It takes years to build new ships. So I think we will have five to six years then people will start copying us but by then we will have reinvented what we have.”

The first of three adult-only Virgin Voyages ships is due in 2020.

More details about what will be on board were unveiled in Genoa today at the Fincantieri shipyard where it is being built and include outdoor yoga, a wellness pool and sea-facing cabanas.

The ship, to be named Scarlet Lady, will also aim to convert all waste on board into clean re-usable energy.

Chief executive and president Tom McAlpin said: “As the (cruise sector) got bigger it had to appeal to a lot of segments but we have an opportunity to create something different and very special. The power of the Virgin brand is very important and we think we can attract people who have never cruised before.”

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