Last week, Richard Branson formally announced his intention to join the cruise industry. Virgin Cruises it shall be called. A unique name no doubt, but it’s Richard Branson, so it’s okay.
Let me begin off by saying, I welcome Richard Branson and Virgin Cruises to our industry. It’s going to be interesting and exciting to see how this new line develops and eventually finds its place in this ever growing industry. To recap, Richard Branson announced the formation of Virgin Cruises earlier last week. After securing funding for his new venture, Branson announced the new cruise line would be based in South Florida, launch with two new ships, and would seek to shake up the current cruise industry offerings. According to a partner at Virgin Management Limited, the new line would be “more informal, fun, sexy, hip and cool” than Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Additional statements from Virgin share a similar message and tone, explaining that Virgin Cruises will “shake things up”, “fill a void”, and “appeal to those who haven’t cruised before.” Well, in my opinion, Virgin and Richard Branson may be facing up an uphill battle. Or rather, a battle against the tide.
Over the past few years, the cruise industry has taken a unique path. Gone are the days of new ships debuting with neon lights, tacky furniture, a waterslide, and a main dining room. I mean look around, the newer ships sailing today have taken on a completely new identity. In recent years, the trend has beco