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All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most-loved boutique hotel brands. Design Research


some ships in North America later this year. Port schedules, previously announced deployments and the Norwegian Cruise Line’s website confirm cruises as soon as this month, while other vessels may not start service until 2021.


Te three largest cruise operators, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian have been fighting to stay afloat since the early days of the pandemic, with shares plummeting in the first few months of the year while expenses soared.


Each company has sought significant loans to shore-up their leaking finances. Norwegian secured a US$1.5bn triple-tranche capital raise, offering two ships and two islands (Norwegian owns Great Stirrup Cay, Little San Salvador in the Bahamas and Harvest Caye in Belize) as collateral to obtain the funds. Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise have had to secure similar funding arrangements with the former reportedly agreeing to a US$2.2bn loan facility and the latter having raised US$7bn between debt and equity.


Studio, Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam have been inspired by the modern romance of sailing and Virgin Voyages’ mission to redefine the experience of a vacation at sea.


BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES Against this backdrop, Richard Branson’s Virgin


Voyages is launching the first of four ships in Miami this month. Te Scarlet Lady features spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors to create an Adult-by- Design cruise, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. Putting a marketing spin on its luxury offer, the company refers to its style as Rebellious Luxe, in which Virgin Voyages will offer value for its sailors with all restaurants, group fitness classes, soft drinks, and much more included within the voyage fare.


All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most-loved boutique hotel brands. Te collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam, who have all been inspired by the brand’s design concept- the modern romance of sailing and Virgin Voyages’ mission to redefine the experience of a vacation at sea.


In a debut to the world’s media pre-Covid, the designers of the ship were complimented for the asthetics of the cabins and non-ship-like style that pervades the interior of the vessel. However, the practicality of the cabins that feature convertible sofa-beds, tiny washrooms, unstable furniture, a truly miniature pool and a tatoo- parlour that would prevent participants from being able to swim or spend time sun-bathing, were criticised for being too ‘non-cruise’ for their own good. Combine this with a target audience of affluent 20-somethings and a launch mid- second wave and the risks appear to be mounting,


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P45


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