Tag Archives: Fincantieri

Virgin Voyages Brings Rock and Roll to the High Seas

The new cruise line set to disrupt the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages, has revealed details of its mega yacht inspired suites.

Scarlet Lady is the first of four Virgin Voyages ships being built by leading cruise ship design and construction company Fincantieri.  The adult only vessel, being dubbed by Virgin Voyages as Rebellious Luxe, will be floated out in Genoa, Italy on 9th February. Setting sail in 2020, sailors will be able to book one of these incredible suites from 14th February 2019.

British Interior Designer, Tom Dixon led the team working on the design. The idea of the RockStar Suites was to combine yachting glamour with Virgin’s rock and roll heritage.

Key Features of RockStar Suites

The Best View Money Can Buy

All suites will be situated on the upper decks of the Scarlet Lady and configured to maximise views of the ocean.

Ships and champagne go hand in hand, and every suite has a specially-designed champagne table on its sea terrace.  An ice bucket fits perfectly in the centre of the table and will be complemented by stargazing loungers, and sustainably sourced Yellow Leaf terrace hammocks.

In true Rebellious Luxe style, Virgin Voyages suites will have a full bar and cocktail kit . The first round is on the house.

All suites are fitted with blackout curtains and mood lighting that automatically adjusts to the time of day. In-room tablets are provided to enable Sailors to adjust the lighting to exactly how they like it.

Every suite will enjoy luxurious comforts with a plush European king bed, premium linens and upgraded bath amenities.

You can play that funky music with your very own gold-plated vinyl record player accompanied by an en-suite collection of classic records.

Many suites will feature a Peek-A-View shower, an all marble shower with a dichroic glass window carved in the centre, allowing sailors to stay connected to the sea. The top suites will also have an outdoor Peek-a-View shower.

RockStar Lifestyle

A dedicated RockStar Services Crew are on hand for Sailors from the moment they book their cruise.

Once onboard, suite guests will have their very own “Rockstar Coordinator,” to ensure they enjoy backstage access at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service.

Shore Things

Suite guests will enjoy a private transfer to and from the ship in Miami, an exclusive express VIP pathway to the ship during embarkation.

Access to Richard’s Rooftop

All RockStar Suites Sailors will have access to Richard’s Rooftop. A secluded private members club at the top of the ship.

Branson Brings Rock and Roll to the High Seas

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our Sailors like the rockstars they are.”

Sweets for my Suite

Among the 78 RockStar Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, there are 15 Mega RockStar Suites primely located on deck 15. These are named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites.

Sailors staying in one of the Mega RockStar Suites will receive a personalised bar filled with their favourites. The RockStar Services Crew will tend to their rider list, to make their voyage perfect; all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond.

Massive Suite

The two Massive Suites are the largest of the RockStar Suites at 2,147 sq. ft. including an expansive sea terrace. Located above the ship’s bridge, the suite can accommodate up to six guests.  Each has its very own music room stocked with guitars and an amplifier.

A circular oversized couch is the centrepiece of the room. This is the perfect place to host parties with its adjacent in-room bar.

The suite includes a glamorous bath and dressing room area complete with a hot tub, vanity area, two full-sized wardrobes and a marble-clad bathroom with a Peek-a-Boo shower area that overlooks the bedroom and out to the ocean.

The sea terrace has a private hot tub and a Peek-a-View outdoor shower. Other features include a circular conversation pit, a lookout point, two full length hammocks and a catamaran net for stargazing, circular sea bar loungers and a meditation area overlooking the ocean. Just in case you feel like treating your guests to a private performance, a staircase leads you gracefully to the table top.

Fab Suite

At 950 sq. ft., an open wall separates the space into distinct bedroom and living areas, featuring an extra-long sea terrace with an outdoor shower, stargazing loungers, a hammock and a champagne table.

Posh Suite

The Posh Suite features an all marble bathroom with dichroic glass to stay connected to the sea.

This 833 sq. ft. suite features a fully stocked bar a record player and a spacious lounge. A peek-a-boo shower offers views of the ocean.  The sea terrace comes complete with lounge chairs, outdoor shower and champagne table.

Gorgeous Suite

The Gorgeous Suite features an outdoor shower, loungers and a hammock.

The 570 sq. ft. Gorgeous suite features an open plan lounge and bedroom. The luxurious bathroom has a window for inspiring sea views. The expansive sea terrace features an outdoor shower, lounge chairs and a hammock.

Brilliant Suite

The 482 sq. ft. brilliantly designed suite has an open plan featuring a stocked bar with record player and sea terrace complete with a hammock swing chair.

Cheeky Corner Suite

Between 607 and 847.8 sq. ft, the Cheeky Corner Suites’ have wrapping panoramic views from the corner of the ship. This provides the perfect views of the sea with direct views of the sea, larger balconies with sofa loungers. Interconnecting doors enable guests to connect with adjacent sea terrace cabins and more.

Sweet Aft Suite

The best wake views can be enjoyed in these suits. Between 416 and 661 sq. ft., the suites are located at the aft of the ship. Enjoy sea views from the bed or even from inside the shower, with more views from the suite’s sea terrace.

Seriously Suite

Between 352 and 357 sq. ft, the Seriously Suite is the most popular RockStar Suite. Featuring an open plan lounge and bedroom, sea terrace with chairs, plus a luxurious bathroom with seaviews.

Competition

Until 31st January, enter for the chance to win the opportunity to Party Like a rockstar.  Virgin Voyages are holding their next #ShipTease event in New York City on Valentine’s Day and you could be there. Those interested in the sweepstakes should visit www.virginvoyages.com to enter.

Open to legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec) and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Entrants must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age or older at the time of entry.

Future sailors and travel partners can find more information by visiting www.virginvoyages.com or following @virginvoyages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Princess Cruises to Build Two LNG Cruise Ships

Princess Cruises to Build Two Next-Generation LNG Cruise Ships

Princess Cruises have announced today it’s plans to build two next-generation LNG cruise ships with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. The two ships will be 175,000 gross tonnes and accommodate approximately 4,300 guests (lower berths), the largest by capacity in the fleet. Delivery is expected in late 2023 and spring 2025 and will be built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said: “This revolutionary platform for next-generation, LNG-powered cruise ships will introduce innovative design and leisure experiences driven by the future holiday and lifestyle trends of our guests – further evolving the already best-in-class Princess Cruises experience we deliver today. We look forward to collaborating with Fincantieri to bring our vision for this next-generation premium cruise ship into service.”

Photo Credit: Fincantieri – Princess Cruises to build two LNG cruise ships

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “We are proud to extend our long-established partnership with Princess Cruises, a brand we have been tied to since our return to the cruise ship building industry in 1990. After so many years, we are ready to enter, together, a new era of this industry, increasingly aimed at reducing even more of our environmental impact. We proudly do this with an all-time record project, both in terms of size and technology. We believe that there are no more significant milestones than these to reaffirm our market-leading position. This builds upon the solid partnership between our country and Carnival Corporation – the largest foreign investor in Italy – while at the same time building upon our technological strength and increasing employment.”

Princess Cruises currently has three new Royal-class ships on order with Fincantieri.  Sky Princess is currently under construction and scheduled for delivery in October 2019, with two more Royal-class ships planned for delivery in 2020 and 2022.

Photo Credit: Princess Cruises – Sky Princess

Recommended Reading: Cruise People – Tony Roberts Vice President Princess Cruises UK


First Virgin Voyages Ship Named Scarlet Lady

This week at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Genoa, Italy, Sir Richard Branson revealed his first Lady Ship has been named Scarlet Lady. This is a tribute to sister company Virgin Atlantic as the name appeared on one of the first of its fleet.

Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin and American private equity investor and co-chairman of Bain Capital Stephen Pagliuca arrived by speedboat to an excited crowd of international cruise industry professionals.

Photo by Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images for VIRGIN VOYAGES – Sir Richard Branson, Tom McAlpin and Stephen Pagliuca.

Ban on Single Use Plastics

The company announced they will eliminate the use of single-use plastics for sailors as part of its commitment to be one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

This plan includes banning onboard items such as straws, bottled water, other beverage bottles, condiment packets, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers, and take-away coffee and tea cups.

“Nothing makes me prouder than seeing companies like Virgin Voyages striving to make a positive impact on the world we live in,” said Branson. “Business is a force for good and can and must be the catalyst for global change.”

Sir Richard Branson takes a sledgehammer to a plastic bottle to demonstrate Virgin Voyages commitment to creating one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

“We believe that in order to fulfill our purpose of creating an ‘Epic Sea Change for All,’ we must make a commitment that is bigger than just eliminating straws,” said McAlpin. “We must make a commitment to building ships and experiences that do everything possible to look after the well-being of our precious oceans. We are delighted with what we’ve achieved so far and will continue to push ourselves to look for innovative ways to do things that will make a difference.”

Vitamin Sea

Another exciting reveal of the day were new renderings and animations of nine new public spaces and innovative well-being programming for sailors, referred to by the cruise line as ‘Vitamin Sea.’

Virgin Voyages has committed to delivering an “Epic Sea Change for All” which will include transformational and rejuvenating experiences for its sailors. The ‘Vitamin Sea’ ideology is inspired by the oceans and their important role they play in the health and well-being for our planet and our daily lives. The approach also places healthy travel at the forefront of the delivery of its ‘Adult by Design’ experience for the 18+ sailor.

“We are all so busy with life, work and family that vacations are critical for us to be able to rebuild our energy, so that we can live our best lives,” said McAlpin. “With well-being at the heart of everything we do at Virgin Voyages, sailors will come back feeling rejuvenated, not like they need a holiday from their holiday.”

Equal Opportunity

Virgin Voyages also revealed their plans to launch the ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management, that statistically show low numbers of female leadership. Virgin Voyages will release more details on the program in the company’s sustainability and social impact report later this year.

“Across the maritime industry, we can do better in onboard recruiting and leadership representation for women,” said McAlpin. “I want all future crew to know that Virgin Voyages will create an onboard environment that is fair, inclusive and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The event celebrated several construction milestones including the flooding of the ship’s drydock, and a ceremony to cut the first pieces of steel for Virgin Voyages’ second ship, which is due for delivery in 2021.

Recommended Reading Getting Laid In Genoa

MSC Seaview – The Biggest Ship Ever Built In Italy

MSC CRUISES TAKES DELIVERY OF MSC SEAVIEW THE BIGGEST SHIP EVER BUILT IN ITALY

Monfalcone, Italy, 4 June 2018 – Today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of another mega ship to add to their growing fleet.

The flag ceremony in which delivery took place for MSC Seaview was held in the presence of the shipowner as well as Founder and Executive Chairman of MSC Group, Gianluigi Aponte.

Also present were Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, other members of the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families, Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, and other authorities and dignitaries.

During the ceremony, an important maritime tradition, Roberto Olivari, Fincantieri’s shipyard director, handed an ampoule over to Pier Paolo Scala, Master of MSC Seaview. It contains the first water that touched the hull when MSC Seaview was floated out last year.

Image Credit: MSC Cruises – Fincantieri Shipyard Director Roberto Olivari presents an ampoule of water from MSC Seaview’s float out to Captain Pier Paolo Scala

MSC Seaview has an iconic design, with generous outdoor spaces and will be a game changer for guests who want to make the most of the sun and outdoors. Her inaugural summer season will be spent sailing the Mediterranean from her homeport of Genoa, Italy, repositioning to South America for the winter season. MSC are already the leading cruise line in both destinations, and the addition of MSC Seaview will only strengthen that.

MSC Cruises Seaside Class ships are pushing the boundaries of pioneering ship building and design when it comes to the environmental technology. MSC Seaview will not only comply with the highest international standards, but she will also receive RINA’s Green Star 3 which specifically recognises that MSC Seaview reaches the greatest levels of eco-compatibility due to various innovative measures put in place which help reduce the environmental footprint during operations. These include, the exhaust gas cleaning system, the advanced waste water treatment, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, the ballast water treatment system, and the ship’s Environmental Management Plan.

Image Credit: MSC Cruises

MSC Seaview will be officially christened in Genoa on Saturday 9th June in a glittering ceremony which will feature ship’s Godmother Sophia Loren.

I am flying out to Genoa on Thursday ahead of the event, reporting for the Daily Mirror, so please follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for live updates.

Image Credit: MSC Cruises

 

Scarlet Lady Keel Laying Ceremony

After a month long countdown to the #ShipTease, I still can’t believe the day I had at the keel laying ceremony with Virgin Voyages. Thank goodness I invested my time and money in going to the event. Now I feel I have a much clearer picture of the vision intended for the new cruise line.

Somehow I ended up in a VIP group hosted by Stacy Shaw, Vice President of Sales and Business Development. We were taken to a conference room at the Fincantieri offices. CEO and President of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin greeted us and asked us if we wanted a glass of champagne. Silly question. With that the sliding doors rolled apart. There stood Sir Richard donning an officers jacket, wheeling a trolley loaded with champagne on ice. What a wonderful surprise!

Sir Richard Branson serves champagne to Travel Partners at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, to celebrate the keel getting laid in Genoa.

Working With Travel Agents

There has been much speculation as to whether Virgin Voyages will be working with Travel Partners on this, and although nothing has been announced, Sir Richard did say that he had been told by Tom that the group in the room (apart from me) were very important and that he had to make a good impression. With that, he got down on his knees and pretended to kiss the feet of one of the guests. Take from that what you will, but why spend all that money on flying people from the US over to Genoa, putting them up in a five star hotel and plying them with champagne, if you have no intention of working with them?

Over 18’s Only

So the next big thing that has everyone talking, is the over 18 policy. Although it has been reported as adult only, Virgin Voyages is keen to use the term Adult By Design. Why? Because the term “adult only” conjures up the image of a strip club, and that could not be further from the vision of a holistic, sophisticated, sanctuary at sea that offers a place for rejuvenation, relaxation and exploration.

It’s understandable that some people may feel a bit disappointed that they can’t take their kids onboard. I felt the same at first. When I travel for pleasure I take my 4 year old son with me. An over 18 policy makes it challenging for me to go on one. But then when I started to imagine the reality of a cruise with no kids onboard, it made me think that actually I would LOVE the option to go on a cruise without kids. If I can’t do it now, then it will be something to look forward to, but think of all those people who CAN go.

In fact this morning I saw comments in a Facebook fan group for one of the major cruise lines, where people were saying they thought it was a great idea, and wished the cruise line they were “loyal” to, would do the same. Virgin said they had taken the decision based on customer feedback, so clearly there is a demand for it. Whether those people are existing cruisers or existing Virgin Holidays customers, I don’t know, but either way they are definitely onto something.

Does It Look Like A Ship?

Well did the first car look like a horse and cart? This is NOT a cruise ship. Forget everything you/we know of cruising as it is today. Virgin Voyages’ First Ladyship is more of a mega super yacht with it’s smoked glass and silvery-grey hull. The cruise line are also declaring their commitment to the happiness of their crew, with better accommodation than any other cruise ship. I wonder if they will include gratuities in their fares (ooh don’t mention gratuities!)

Clime Onboard A Cleaner Ship

I want to talk about how these ships are going to be so much more energy efficient than ships out there at the moment. I want to tell you how the Swedish company Climeon have found a way to make these ships save masses of CO2. All I know is that they have discovered a way to turn waste hot water into energy and that it may be a good time to buy shares in Climeon. This video will give you a better idea of what they have designed.

What A Night!

To those of you that follow my blog you will know that this event was my first official press gig. That could be a problem because I don’t think there is likely to be anything like this again, well at least for another year, and I will probably be banned from that one after they see my video.

All I want to say is, what a way to start! I hope you have enjoyed reading about it and that you will take a look at the video I have put together in an attempt to capture the vibe.

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Richard Branson Finally Gets His Ship Together

“I have never been on a cruise, and never wanted to – they sound stuffy and dull. “But I would love to go on a Voyage – they sound adventurous, exciting and glamorous.” Richard Branson

We are just days away from the Virgin Voyages Keel Laying Ceremony. Taking place at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Genoa, Richard Branson has promised to reveal more about the new cruise line.

The daily countdown to the event, branded #ShipTease has reminded the social media world how the Virgin Group do things differently. Richard Branson is the peoples’ person and rather than sit behind a desk giving corporate interviews about the direction of the brand, he chooses to re-enact the famous scene from Rocky, by running up the the 72 stone steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Not bad for a man of 67, but then again that’s nothing considering an example of a Richard Branson family holiday is an eight day mountain hike starting at the Matterhorn in Switzerland, then cycling 100 miles a day through the mountains from the northern most point of Italy to the southern most point. From there, swimming to Sicily, followed by another bike ride, and a marathon which would take them to the top of Mount Etna. This family are certainly not afraid of taking on a challenge!

The World’s Most Gorgeous Ship

Richard Branson has dreamt of starting a cruise line since he was 27 years old, and now he’s making it a reality. Virgin Voyages have placed an order for three mid sized cruise ships, which ties in nicely with the brands’ vision about being the best rather than the biggest.

Although Virgin Voyages have remained tight lipped on ship renderings, let’s see what we can imagine based on the experiences the cruise line have promised to deliver so far;

  • To build a bold new cruise line
  • The World’s most gorgeous ships with irresistible style
  • It’s all about you, the sailor
  • Far from ordinary
  • Mission to bring “true sea change” to cruising
  • Ports offering “unique and very sociable experiences”
  • Commitment to launch one of the cleanest fleets at sea
  • Celebrate curiosity not force you to follow one itinerary
  • Sailing beyond the World thats known on the ship of things to come
  • The Creative Collective, a unique team of Designers and Architects known for creating trends not following them

Don’t Miss The #ShipTease

There was such high demand for people to attend the Keel Laying Ceremony in Genoa, that Virgin Voyages were unable to cover travelling expenses. That has prevented a lot of people from going, but I will be there. I have scraped everything together to fund this trip as I believe that it will be a truly memorable occasion. I live and breathe the cruise industry, but my own personal values match that of the Virgin brand, free spirited, customer focused, honest, fun and to be the best. So for these two to come together, makes me really excited for the future of cruising.

For those not going in person, it will be live streamed from 1900 GMT on their Facebook page 

You can also follow any of my social media channels for photos and news from the evening.

Don’t know what a Keel Laying Ceremony Is? Click here to find out.

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