Published On: Tue, Mar 11th, 2014

Richard Branson’s Virgin raising funds for Cruise Line

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This could be exciting news for the Yucatan Peninsula ports including Cancun and Cozumel, which are popular stops for many cruise ships currently in operation.

Surprising news came last week when word leaked out that Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group was searching for investors for a proposed Virgin cruise line.

The announcement didn’t come in the form of large press event, “a la Steve Jobs”, but was reported by Sky News Network which reports that Branson has appointed U.S. based advisory firm Allen & Co. to oversee the development of the cruise line.

I had the opportunity to speak with Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief of Cruise Critic.com, one of the top travel sites for all things cruise related. Spencer Brown told me that, while the news came as a surprise, “it’s really good for the industry.”

As Virgin Cruises is very early in its development information is scarce and changing. Still, Spencer Brown says, “What we’ve heard, he’s going to be using second hand ships” with itineraries planned for the Mediterranean and Caribbean. This could be exciting news for the Yucatan Peninsula ports including Cancun and Cozumel are popular stops for many cruise ships currently in operation.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson

With existing cruise lines coming out with so many new ships, I asked if there is room for an entirely new cruise line. As Branson told Abu Dhabi’s The National, he is targeting a whole different demographic than the others. Spencer Brown thinks there’s room saying, “What really intrigues us is he’s talking about creating a cruise line for twenty and thirty-somethings” who would not traditionally have cruised before. Branson is considering itineraries which allow for his ships to be in port late into the evening so passengers can take advantage of the local nightlife.

With Royal Caribbean bringing adventure activities onboard and Carnival Cruise’s, Carnival Live Concert Series, Spencer Brown makes a point of saying that, while the cruise industry wasn’t in urgent need of freshening up, there’s always room for new ideas, which are what Branson’s companies are known for.

And while she thinks it sounds much like the now defunct EasyCruise, launched by EasyJet, which lasted less than five years, she is excited about what Branson could bring to the cruise industry. “The guy has a vision and he’s successfully delivered in most cases.”

While insiders are excited about what Richard Branson could bring to the cruise industry, with a tentatively scheduled launch of 2019, much can, and most likely will change for Virgin’s plans, as well as current cruise lines prior to this.

By Carole Rosenblat

Carole Rosenblat is a writer living in Arizona. She writes and speaks on travel and travel policy. Carole has been published in Yuma News Now, Imperial Valley News, Sunday Newscape, Examiner and Meeting News, and has been quoted on TodayShow.com, The Miami Herald, Washington Post, ABCNews.com, NBC News, AZCentral.com and Huffington Post. She currently writes the blogswww.DropMeAnywhere.comand www.Rebel-With-A-Cause.org. She can be reached by email atcrosen7646@yahoo.com

 

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