- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sir Richard Branson on Tuesday announced a new name for his forthcoming cruise ship line, Virgin Voyages .

The first sailing is planned out of Miami in 2020 to the Caribbean.

The vessels are being built by the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri with a capacity of at least 2,700 passengers, considered midsize by the cruise industry.

Speaking by phone following a Miami press conference about the cruises, Branson promised that Virgin Voyages would create boutique experiences for travelers that are as “magical” as those offered by his other enterprises, which include Virgin Atlantic airline, a Chicago hotel and a game reserve and lodge in South Africa. The company is also developing spaceship tourism through the Virgin Galactic venture.

Branson said Virgin Voyages will be the first major cruise line to adopt a new clean energy technology called Climeon Ocean that transforms waste heat from ship engines into electricity for onboard use.



Asked if the ships would sail to Cuba, Branson noted that Virgin has been flying to Cuba from London for years and that he “definitely” hoped to include the island on Virgin Voyages itineraries.

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