Virgin Voyages will sail from a new terminal at PortMiami shortly after the new, adults-only cruise brand makes its debut. As part of the announcement by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa and other local government officials, the cruise line also committed to sailing its first ship, the Scarlet Lady, to the Caribbean from Miami throughout 2021. Virgin’s second ship will also sail from Miami during the fall and winter cruise season of 2021 and 2022.
Branson also announced that bookings for Virgin Voyages’ inaugural season will open for sale on February 14 for the general public and February 5 for those currently holding pre-sale deposits.
The new Virgin Voyages Terminal will be located on the northwest side of the port. Pending the Board of County Commission’s approval of the MOU for construction of a new cruise facility, along with the subsequent berthing agreement, this project will start next year and is slated for completion by November 2021, the beginning of the year’s cruise season. The Scarlet Lady will sail from the existing Terminal F following its 2020 debut, before switching over to the new terminal for the winter 2021 cruise season, a cruise line spokesperson tells Travel Agent.
The new, 100,000-square-foot terminal will have a palm grove-inspired design concept by Miami-based Arquitectonica. The terminal’s design will also build on Virgin Voyages’ Modern Romance of Sailing design philosophy, which aims to offer a new take on the formal grandeur and opulence of the heyday of ocean liners.
The palm grove design is inspired by Miami Beach’s palm trees and the island’s historical origins as an area intended for harvesting coconuts. The terminal’s rooftop is designed to resemble a palm tree grove with rooftop pockets that allow natural light to flow into the building by day, and up lighting by night that will light up the company’s Virgin Voyages red logo and allow the facility to shine bright, mirroring the city’s skyline. The two-story storm-proof glass facility will also have lush landscaping to give the terminal a plaza-like feel, with designated areas for drop-offs of VIP’s, ride-sharing and provisioning.
As a part of Virgin Voyages’ sustainability efforts, the new Virgin Voyages PortMiami Terminal is targeting a LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the cruise line said. Additionally, working with Ocean Unite and Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages is sponsoring Sir Richard Branson and Fabien Cousteau’s Aquatica submarine dive to Belize’s Blue Hole, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, on December 2. Virgin Voyages intends to support ocean research and conservation projects like the Blue Hole Expedition in an effort to raise awareness and gain insight into the issues facing the ocean today. The company aims for these efforts to help guide them in making better business decisions for its oceans and port communities.