Virgin Voyages, the cruise line arm of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, gave the world its first look at the first of the company’s three ships. The company held a keel laying ceremony for the ship at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa, Italy on Tuesday.
The 399 sections of the Virgin cruise ship will be assembled by Fincantieri at the facility.
The ships remain unnamed as of yet, but Virgin’s first fleet will be known as the “Lady Ships,” a reference to the brand’s English heritage and a play on the term “your ladyship.”
The ships will feature a sleek gray hull and smoked glass. 93% of its cabins will have an ocean view. In addition, all ships will be adorned with a mermaid guide that the company says embodies “the feminine spirit of the ship.”
“This is a very big day for Virgin Voyages, as an exciting new holiday option for travelers starts to get ship shape,” Branson said in a statement. “She will be the most recognizable ship sailing the seven seas, delivering an irresistible sailor experience. We’re also committed to making sure our crew are the happiest at sea and will be proud to sail with us.”
Unlike many of its future competitors, Virgin Voyages will be targeted exclusively at adults when it sets sail in 2020. According to Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin, this was done on purpose or as the company calls it “adult by design.”
“The decision was driven by feedback from future sailors and travel professionals, who are looking for a more elevated and premium experience, with a few Virgin style surprises,” the cruise line said in a statement.
As a result, you must be at least 18 years of age to sail.
The 110,000-ton mid-size cruise ship will have a crew of more than 1,150 people and be able to host more than 2,700 passengers. Based in Miami, the Virgin cruise ships will offer services to the destinations in the Caribbean.