Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has raised most of the $1.7 billion it needs to build two ships and launch Virgin Cruise from PortMiami, the billionaire British entrepreneur told The National newspaper in Dubai on Monday.
Much of the investment money has come from the Middle East, Branson said, adding that the Virgin fleet will cruise through the Caribbean and Mediterranean regions. The ships are projected to be sailing by 2019.
Virgin Cruise will be tailored toward cruise newcomers, an especially coveted group of travelers among industry operators.
“We’re trying to create the kind of cruise ship that would be attractive to the kind of people who would never consider a cruise at the moment,” Branson said to the National earlier this month.
Virgin Group currently has offices in Coconut Grove for its mobile and hotel operations.