FINCANTIERI S.p.A., world leader in cruise ship construction, and Virgin Cruises, brand of Virgin Group and new cruise operator, have signed a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) for the construction of three cruise ships. The agreement, subject to the satisfaction of the usual customary conditions, is expected to be finalized in Q4 of 2015.
The new units will weigh 110,000 gross tons each and will feature 1430 guest cabins to host more than 2800 passengers on board, assisted by 1150 crew members. The delivery is scheduled respectively in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“This is a very exciting day for Virgin and travelers around the globe”, said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “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”.
Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Cruises added: “Virgin is a customer built brand that listens carefully to what customers want, sharing their ideas on what the new cruise line can do to deliver an incredible experience at sea. We are committed to making waves in the cruise industry, and partnering with Fincantieri sets Virgin Cruises up to do just that. Today’s announcement and Fincantieri’s expertise in prototyping, their creativity and understanding of our vision bring together important ingredients in our future success”.
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “I am honoured that our company is the selected partner for Virgin Cruises for such an important programme, which states the entry of a prestigious brand in the cruise industry. I am convinced that this choice will contribute to expand the audience of cruise passengers, considering that the market segment still has wide growth margins. I am sure that both our teams together will create a cutting edge project, in order to set up a memorable guest experience. This agreement increases the number of our partners and strengthens our world leadership. The backlog which we can count on allows us to give an important contribution to the economic growth our country and, thanks to it, our workers and suppliers can rely and trust on continuous employment for a long period”.