It's Official: Virgin Is Launching a Cruise Line

Virgin Group has officially announced plans for the rumored Virgin Cruises, the company's new cruise line business, with lead investment partner Bain Capital.

Tom McAlpin will join Virgin Cruises as CEO and will head the management team. Most recently, Tom has been president and CEO of The World, Residences at Sea. Tom also served as president of Disney Cruise Line having joined as part of the founding management team. 

Virgin Cruises will be headquartered in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area and plans to design and construct two new cruise ships. At this time, the company has not disclosed when it will start operating for competitive reasons. 

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Rumors of the new cruise line first started to circulate back in March. At the time, Abu Dhabi newspaper The National quoted Virgin Group founder Richard Branson as saying that he was interested in building a kind of cruise ship that would appeal to a segment of the travel market that currently does not consider cruising.  

In the statement announcing the new line Branson said, "We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love."