Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Richard Branson says 2020 Miami sail for Virgin Cruises

Richard Branson says 2020 Miami sail for Virgin Cruises
Associated Press

Dressed in red shorts and a captain's hat, Richard Branson on Tuesday
announced that Virgin Cruises will sail its first ship out of PortMiami
in 2020.

The British magnate arrived for the press conference on a black
helicopter that took off from the port, flew over Biscayne Bay through a
cloud of red smoke and landed on the grounds in front of Perez Art
Museum Miami.

Once inside the museum, Branson, wearing his cruise-appropriate attire,
said the company would aim to provide customers an "intimate" and
"Virgin-like" experience.

Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Cruises, said the company had
signed a letter of intent with the Italian shipbuilding company
Fincantieri. He said Fincantieri will build three midsize vessels to be
delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2022, with 1,430 cabins to accommodate more
than 2,800 guests.

Virgin Cruises plans to offer a range of seven-day Caribbean cruises
sailing out on Sundays. The company hopes to attract a younger
demographic than those who typically cruise, as well as appealing to
passengers who have not cruised before.

When asked if Virgin Cruises would consider going to Cuba if it became
legal, Branson said he would.

"I think it's a fantastic country," he said. "I know some people in
Miami disagree and some people agree with the opening up of Cuba, but
I'd love our cruise ship go to Cuba."

The tie-hating Branson ended the event by taking a pair of scissors to
ties worn by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Fincantieri
chairman Vincenzo Petrone.

"I've spent my life trying to get people to get rid of suits and ties,"
he said.

The billionaire's ventures include Virgin Atlantic airline and the
spaceship tourism company Virgin Galactic.

Source: Richard Branson says 2020 Miami sail for Virgin Cruises | Miami
Herald Miami Herald -

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