Richard Branson News

21 Feb 2020

Branson: Virgin Cruise Line Will Overcome Coronavirus Fears

Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages

British entrepreneur Richard Branson heralded his first cruise ship "Scarlet Lady" on Friday as targeting a younger generation of holidaymakers with a range of attractions that he believes will outweigh any fears around coronavirus.Despite the unfortunate timing, with passengers on one ship quarantined in Japan after hundreds caught the virus and another turned away by five countries over fears someone on board may be ill, Branson sees cruises as a growth area.In an event at Dover…

13 Feb 2020

Fincantieri Delivers Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

Photo courtesy of Fincantieri

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri said it has presented Scarlet Lady, the first of four new cruise ships it is building for new cruise ship operator Virgin Voyages, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.The 110,00-gross-ton Scarlet Lady, constructed at the builder's shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente, is 278 meters long and 38 meters wide. Virgin Voyages second ship, Valiant Lady, currently under construction in the same yard, will be delivered in 2021, while the third and the fourth units…

30 Nov 2018

Virgin Voyages to Build a Massive Terminal at PortMiami

Image: Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages, formerly Virgin Cruises, has unveiled its plans for a new terminal at PortMiami.Sir Richard Branson's cruise line said in a press release that the new Virgin Voyages Terminal will be located on the northwest side of the port in Miami, giving it incredible views of the city’s skyline. Construction is due to start next year and will be completed by November 2021, the beginning of the year’s cruise season.“Miami is an incredible city and one of my favourite places to work and play,” Richard Branson said.

23 Oct 2018

Richard Branson Resigns as Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop

Richard Branson. Photo: Virgin

Sir Richard Branson has stepped down from his role as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, saying the company "needs a more hands-on chairman."DP World statement said Branson was stepping down due to the increased commitment of time the position requires.Following the resignation Branson DP World, the largest shareholder in Hyperloop, said it was looking for a new chairman to take the company to the next stage of growth.Commenting on the announcement, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sualyem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World…

23 Jul 2018

Wärtsilä Inks 10-year Maintenance Deal with Virgin Voyages

File photo - From left to right: Tom McAlpin, Virgin CEO and President; Sir Richard Branson, Founder Virgin; and Stuart Hawkins, Virgin SVP Marine and Technical at the rollout of the new name and logo for Virgin Voyages in 2017. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Cruise line Virgin Voyages has assigned Wärtsilä the responsibility of the maintenance of its three brand new cruise ships due to enter service in 2020, 2021 and 2022.The comprehensive 10-year Optimized Maintenance Agreement, signed on April 30, 2018, gives extensive responsibility of maintenance to Wärtsilä, who will ensure that vessels are powered and operated reliably, efficiently and sustainably.Wärtsilä’s Dynamic Maintenance Planning allows maintenance operations to be carried out based on remotely monitored and analyzed real-time performance data.

20 Jul 2018

Fincantieri Starts on Second Ship for Virgin Voyages

(Photo: Fincantieri)

A steel cutting ceremony held today at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente (Genoa) shipyard marked the official start of construction for the second of three cruise ships on order for Virgin Voyages (part of Virgin Group). During the event, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin, welcomed by Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono, Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, also revealed the name of the series’  first ship, which is currently under construction at the yard: Scarlet Lady…

13 Feb 2019

DP World Sets Its Sights on Hyperloop Cargo Shipping

Dubai-based port operator DP World has partnered with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One to create a new venture that aims to provide hyperloop-enabled cargo systems.DP World and the U.S.-based Virgin Hyperloop One introduced their vision for “the future of on-demand freight transportation” at an event on April 29 at the historic vessel Queen Elizabeth 2.The joint venture, called DP World Cargospeed, will set out to be the world’s first to ship cargo with hyperloop technology.

31 Oct 2017

Keel Laid for First Virgin Voyages Ship

(Photo: Fincantieri)

A keel laying ceremony was held at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, Italy for the first of three new cruise ships to be built for the Virgin Group’s new cruise line arm Virgin Voyages. The ceremony was attended by Richard Branson, founder of Virgin; Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages; Alberto Maestrini, Fincantieri General Manager; Giovanni Toti, President of the Liguria Region; Marco Bucci, the mayor of Genoa; and other authorities. Each of the new ships will weigh about 110…

09 Aug 2017

25th Anniversary of the Destriero’s Record Atlantic Crossing

On August 9, 1992 – 25 years ago today – the motor yacht Destriero set the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing, a record that remains unbeaten to this day. The monohull, built in 1991 in less than one year in the Fincantieri shipyard of Muggiano and Riva Trigoso, sailed 3,106 nautical miles without refueling, from Ambrose Light, N.Y. to Bishop Rock lightship on the Scilly Isles, England, in 58 hours at an average speed of 53 knots (reaching a maximum speed of 66 knots), claiming once more the Blue Riband, awarded in 1933 to the legendary transatlantic liner Rex. The yacht also set a record on its return journey, awarded the Virgin Atlantic Trophy by the English business magnate Richard Branson on September 5, 1992, as well as the New York Yacht Club Columbus Atlantic Trophy.

24 Jul 2017

Engineering Entrepreneur Buys Wren Industrial

(Photo: Wren Industrial & Marine Fabrications)

Merseyside maritime company Wren Industrial & Marine Fabrications has been bought by Merseyside entrepreneur and former member of the Armed Forces Jonathan Willoughby. Bootle-based Wren Industrial has been run for 27 years by husband and wife team David and Helen Wren. It specializes in manufacturing doors, windows and hatches for ships and boats as well as welding and fabrication services primarily in the maritime sector. Wren’s clients include the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and ferry operators Stena and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

18 Feb 2016

Diversification Protects Port Metro Vancouver from Economic Downturn

Port Metro Vancouver today released its 2015 year-end statistics. Overall volume remained steady at 138 million tonnes of cargo as sectors experiencing declines were offset by others that hit new records. This is the port’s third consecutive year of strong cargo volumes, with new records set in the container, potash, and grain and agri-product sectors. Cargo shipped in containers continued to show substantial growth due to increased trade with Asia, with a five per cent jump in units (known as twenty-foot-equivalent units or TEUs) for a new record of 3.1 million TEUs. Grain and agri-product exports increased by eight per cent over 2014 to 25.1 million metric tonnes, and potash exports were 8.7 million metric tonnes, up 15.6 per cent from the prior year.

23 Jun 2015

Virgin Cruises to Sail Out of Miami in 2020

Richard Branson. Photo: Virgin

Virgin Cruises will launch its first luxury liner in 2020 from Miami, British tycoon Richard Branson announced, placing his bets on medium-sized "boutique" ships. The Virgin Group founder said he had signed a binding letter of intent with Italy's Fincantieri to build three 110,000-ton ships, to debut in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Each ship would carry 2,860 passengers, based on double occupancy, and 1,150 crewmembers. With characteristic flair, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, sporting a skipper's hat, arrived in downtown Miami's Museum Park via helicopter and a cloud of Virgin-red smoke.

12 Mar 2015

Richard Branson's Virgin Group Accused of Pirating

Image: Richard Branson Facebook Page

Former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Colin Veitch has filed suit against Richard Branson for $300 million claiming that Virgin essentially stole his ideas and business plans to enter the lucrative luxury cruise industry by building a pair of state-of-the-art ships capable of carrying 4,200 passengers each. Veitch claims he planned the start-up operation, lined up financing to build the first ship and worked out a tentative commitment with a German shipyard, according to an article by Curt Anderson, legal affairs writer for the Associated Press. Veitch was CEO of Norwegian from 2000 to 2008.

11 Mar 2015

Former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO sues Virgin Group

The former chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd sued Richard Branson's Virgin Group in federal court in Miami for $300 million on Wednesday over plans by the British billionaire to launch his own luxury cruise line.   The lawsuit by Colin Veitch, who oversaw Norwegian from 2000 to 2008, claims that Virgin muscled him out of a joint venture to break into the industry with massive ships capable of carrying thousands of passengers and operating as floating resorts, according to court documents.     (Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Editing by David Adams and Eric Walsh)

25 Aug 2014

Self-Pilot Personal Submarine to Launch in Monaco

DeepFlight Dragon

DeepFlight announced it will introduce a new type of personal submarine at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show. The company said its new product, the DeepFlight Dragon, is the most compact, lightweight personal submarine on the market, and is so intuitive to use that clients self-pilot the craft with minimal instruction. The all-electric (zero emissions) DeepFlight Dragon was designed specifically for easy use from yacht or shore to explore the twilight zone down to 400 feet (120 meters).

21 May 2014

Cheeki Rafiki Update: No sign of Missing British Sailors

Planes and ships from the United States, Canada, and Britain have turned up no fresh signs of four British sailors missing in the Atlantic, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday, adding search efforts would continue. The crew members on board the yacht Cheeki Rafiki went missing on Friday as they were returning to Britain from a sailing event in Antigua in the Caribbean and reported that the vessel was taking on water, forcing them to change course for the Azores. "Unfortunately we have had no sightings of a life raft, persons in the water, a sailboat, or debris," U.S. Coast Guard Captain Anthony Popeil, who is leading the search, told reporters at a press conference in Boston. "No decisions have been made regarding suspension of this search.

20 May 2014

Cheeki Rafiki: Under Pressure, USCG Resumes Search

U.S. authorities resumed a hunt on Tuesday for four British yachtsmen missing in the Atlantic Ocean after a public appeal backed by UK politicians and British billionaire Richard Branson not to give up on finding them just yet. The sailors on board the yacht Cheeki Rafiki went missing on Friday as they were returning to Britain from a sailing event in Antigua in the Caribbean and reported that the vessel was taking on water, forcing them to change course to head to the Azores. The U.S. Coast Guard, supported by U.S. and Canadian air forces, mounted a search about 1,000 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but called it off on Sunday due to treacherous conditions, saying there was little chance of finding them. But relatives of the missing men set up a petition to urge U.S.

11 Apr 2013

Virgin Atlantic Challenger ll Readies for UK Return

Photo Wiki CCL 2

Plymouth boatyard looks to refit Richard Branson's iconic 'Virgin Atlantic Challenger II' after the boat's 20-year absence from UK shores. Dan Stevens, a merchant navy master who also runs the Mount Batten ferry and harbour cruise vessels in Plymouth, discovered the powerboat languishing in a boatyard in Majorca, where she has been laid up for more than seven years, reports 'Plymouth: The Herald'. Stevens is flying out a crew within days to carry out a basic refit to make her seaworthy…

04 Apr 2008

Biofuels and Effects on Shipping Industry

Biofuels are increasingly in the news – a biofuelled airline has been flown; fuel suppliers are to ensure that a percentage of their sales must include biofuels and there is a lively debate about ‘feeding or fuelling the nation’. In his lecture, entitled ‘Biofuels and their effects on the shipping industry’ on 23 April, Richard Sadler will cover the various types of biofuels and how they may affect marine transportation, the effect on new and existing trade patterns, the subsequent changes that this may have on suitable ship designs and sizes; together with the application of biofuels as marine fuels and lubricants. The Lecture will be delivered at the City Conference Centre, (the headquarters of IMarEST). Attendance is free of charge to IMarEST members and non-members alike.

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