Virgin Voyages has named the design team for its new cruise ship, which just cut steel in a ceremony broadcast live from Fincantieri’s shipyard in Italy.
Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin and the team from Fincantieri hosted the ceremony to kick off construction of the new ship, which is slated for a 2020 debut. While design details of the new ship are still under wraps, McAlpin did reiterate the brand’s promise to draw more Millennial and “young at heart” travelers to cruising with a fresh style.
“When we first conceived of Virgin Voyages we felt the need for what we call a sea change in the industry,” McAlpin said. “We are not just building a ship here, we are building a whole new brand…and a whole new way to sail in the future.”
Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson also chimed in with a video message, promising the “world’s most gorgeous ship,” and that the architects’ vision “will change cruising for good.”
The new cruise line did announce, however, the 10 design teams that will comprise the “creative collective” that will design the new ship’s public and private spaces. They are:
- Roman and Williams - Stephen Alesch, Co-Founder; Robin Standefer, Co-Founder
- Concrete Amsterdam - Rob Wagemans, Architect / Creative Director / Founder; Kasia Hiejerman, Architect
- Design Research Studio - Tom Dixon, Creative Director; Gareth Payne, Head of Interior Design; Helen Arvanitakis, Managing Director
- Gem SRL - Giacomo Mortola, Architect / Founder
- Softroom - Chris Bagot, Director & Co-Founder; Oliver Salway, Co-Founder
- WORKac - Dan Wood, Co-Founder
- Knibb - Sean Knibb, Founder
- HL Studio - Patrick Hegarty, Owner; Emil Leon, Creative Director
- HKS inc. - Olga Acosta, Associate Principal, Interior; Adele Cuartelon, Designer
- Pearson Lloyd - Luke Pearson, Co-Founder
The new ship will homeport in PortMiami in 2020, offering a series of Caribbean itineraries. It will have a capacity of 2,700 guests.