Archive for the ‘Virgin Voyages’ Category

Wärtsilä To Supply Engines For Virgin Newbuilds

July 6, 2017

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Wärtsilä solutions have been selected by Virgin Voyages to power its three cruise ships under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard, Italy.

Wärtsilä is a Finnish corporation with its’ headquarters in Helsinki. They manufactures and service power sources and other equipment in the marine and energy markets. The core products of Wärtsilä include large combustion engines used in cruise ships and ferries.

Each Virgin ships will be powered by two eight-cylinder and two 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 46F engines. The Wärtsilä Hybrid Scrubber System has the ability  to use seawater to remove sulphur oxides from the exhaust.

Significant reductions in the emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates will be made possible by the Wärtsilä system. Wärtsilä will also handle the commissioning of the engines and scrubber systems in cooperation with the shipyard.

Navigation and automation controls for the vessels will be handled by Wärtsilä’s Nacos Platinum solution.

Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin (left), Sir Richard Branson and SVP Marine & Technical, Stuart Hawkins (Courtesy Virgin)

Florida-based Virgin Voyages’ cruises will commence in 2020 from Miami with the first ship. The other two vessels will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.

(Virgin)

Malcolm says: If you are wondering why I have posted such a geeky story, Virgin are still not giving too much information away. We still do not really know what the ships will actually look like, for example. I don’t believe the renderings above are in any way accurate.

Virgin Voyages Cuts Steel

March 23, 2017

Image Courtesy: Fincantieri

Virgin Voyages cut the steel on Wednesday 22/03/17 for its unnamed first ship at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy.

The ceremony, which marks the first milestone in the ship’s construction, included a steel cutter bearing a humorous banner that read, “Hi. I’m the steel cutting machine.”

Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin said “Up until now, Virgin Voyages has been just an idea …But tonight, that all changes. … We’re not just building a ship here. We are building a whole new brand..the world’s most irresistible and talked-about travel brand”.

The line’s first 110,000 ton, 2,860-passenger vessel is due for delivery in 2020. Virgin Voyages has two additional unnamed ships on order, for delivery in 2021 and 2022

Virgin Voyages also announced a multimillion-dollar partnership with Swedish clean-energy company Climeon last year. Virgin will install Climeon Ocean, a system that will to turn waste into clean electricity, thereby reducing carbon footprint, on all three ships.

According to Virgin, the system will eliminate about 5,400 tons of carbon dioxide per ship per year.

Malcolm Says: Virgin have been very secretive about  their cruise product. Even the available rendering are very sketchy. 

Externally the ship looks unique – rather like an Art Deco railway train , which I fully approve of.  However these are all just concepts/renderings. There are no guarantees that the ships will look much like any of the renderings, when they are finally constructed. The offices of marine architects must be full of drawings of unfulfilled concepts. I guess that the final design of the ships will probably be less Art deco and more conventional.

It is very unlikely Virgin have designed a ship from scratch. Therefore I wonder if the Virgin ships will be scaled down version of MSC’s ‘Seaside’, also designed by Fincantieri? NCL have purchased a similar design for their ‘Project Leonardo’.

So three mid-sized ships and a reported 7 night itinerary from Miami to the Caribbean – it is hardly ground-breaking, is it? However this will allow ‘Virgin Voyages’ to have synergies with ‘Virgin Atlantic’, Branson’s airline.

Branson is a great entrepreneur, but I wonder what the Virgin brand can bring to cruising that is genuinely new? I don’t doubt that the product will be well marketed and probably aimed at a younger clientele. We can also expect the entertainment and technology on-board to be impressive, after all Virgin started as a record label and diversified into communication and travel.

The problem is that the competition: Royal Caribbean, the Norwegian Cruise Line, Genting, Carnival, and MSC already offer some very modern Hi-Tech ships aimed at the multigenerational family market.

It will be a tough market to crack, but Virgin has a very well established travel infrastructure.

Travelweekly Tom McAlpin Interview HERE

Wärtsilä To Supply Engines For Virgin Newbuilds: Here