Sir Richard Branson wants a cruise line and what Sir Richard Branson wants, he’s probably going to get.
The Virgin founder and eccentric billionaire is reportedly seeking investors to launch a new fleet of Virgin cruise ships with two new Miami-based ships.
According to a in the UAE website The National, Branson is looking to tap Arabian Gulf investors, including UAE entities, for a US$1.7 billion loan for the construction of two new ships for the launch of the cruise line.
“We are looking at a very different kind of cruise company. We’re trying to create the kind of cruise ship that would be attractive to the kind of people who would never consider a cruise at the moment,” Sir Richard told The National.
He is believed to have hired Allen & Co, a small New York-based investment bank that specialises in media and leisure projects, to assist him in his search for partners, the report said.
Branson will look to build the fleet from, starting with the construction of two new vessels to operate in the Caribbean and Mediterranean cruise markets, the report said.
The report added that the cruise line would be based in Miami and could start operating in 2019.
“Most of the money is now committed,” Branson said, according to statement obtained by Reuters. “We will start by building two big ships from scratch and feel the Virgin brand will work very well in cruises.”
The full report from The National can be found HERE.