Let us take a look at this very odd announcement.
Branson started things off by flying his helicopter into Museum Park through a plume of smoke in Virgin's trademark red.
Toni Tennille's ex-husband.
Virgin Cruises was officially announced in December, after Branson reached a financing partnership with Bain Capital. Today he announced that he's signed a letter of intent with Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri to build three new mid-sized ships. Those ships will be delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. PortMiami will serve as the main hub, with the first ship being stationed here. (However, the county commission still has to officially approve the deal.)
"This is a very exciting day for Virgin and travelers around the globe," said Branson in a statement. "We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good. The Virgin Cruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise."
Interestingly, Miami businessman Colin Veitch, the former CEO of Norwegian Cruise Lines, sued Branson earlier this year for allegedly ripping off his idea. Veitch claims he believed the only way to enter a the cruise market with a new brand was by building high-luxury "ultra ships," and he presented the idea to Branson. However, he claims that Branson eventually cut him out of the plan and moved forward without him. Interestingly, Virgin's first three ships announced today were characterized as merely "mid-sized."