Powerful investors in Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise firm believe it is set to become ‘the next big Virgin business’, a company executive claims
Powerful investors in Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise firm believe it is set to become ‘the next big Virgin business’, a company executive has claimed.
Virgin Voyages launches this week after the lifting of Covid restrictions allowed international cruises to restart.
Chief commercial officer Nirmal Saverimuttu reported ‘strong demand’ for cruises around the UK which start on Friday. Virgin will launch Caribbean cruises in October and then European sailings including Spain, Belgium and Portugal, from next March.
All aboard: Sir Richard Branson’s cruises around the UK have nearly sold out
The cruise operator is majority-owned by Branson’s Virgin Group and the US private equity firm Bain Capital. Saverimuttu said: ‘We believe this can be a big profitable business for Virgin and Bain Capital is fully behind us in that thinking. One of the reasons Richard is so keen on this company is because it has all the hallmarks of what has made Virgin so successful in the past.’
Virgin Voyages’ six UK cruises sailing from Portsmouth and starting at £499 will each carry about 1,750 passengers and are almost sold out.
Branson’s Virgin Group, Bain and a group of institutions and private individuals injected a multi-million-pound sum to prop up the cruise company during the pandemic.
‘We think we are on a strong rebound,’ Saverimuttu added.
Sir Richard plans to spend his 72nd birthday next July on a Virgin Voyages cruise with family and friends.