Virgin Voyages has announced that it has closed on $550 million in new capital to support its growth as a cruise brand.
The funding was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and includes new external financing and additional capital from investors, including Bain Capital Private Equity and Virgin Group. The cruise line has also received additional support from its existing lenders.
In a press release, Virgin Voyages said that the new funding will enable it to “continue the execution of its growth strategy and further strengthen its financial position as cruise demand continues to gain momentum.”
“We have created an incredible product that both our investors and consumers truly believe in, and this additional capital comes at a time when we’re looking forward to exponential growth that will, in turn, help us achieve what we set out to accomplish,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.
After its initial planned launch in 2020 was delayed due to the global pandemic, Virgin Voyages officially launched in August 2021 and currently operates two ships — Scarlet Lady out of Miami to the Caribbean, and Valiant Lady in the Mediterranean.
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“Virgin Voyages has successfully launched a new brand in the cruise industry and proven its appeal to both the traditional and non-traditional cruiser, allowing the brand to tap into new markets and re-imagine this travel category,” said Ryan Cotton, a Managing Director at Bain Capital. “The expansion and enthusiastic commitment of the investor group supporting Virgin Voyages is a testament to the attractive fundamentals of this brand and what makes it so special.”
In the last six months, Virgin Voyages has seen exponential growth in bookings, and is set to see a strong remainder of the year as cruising returns to pre-pandemic levels. Research by the cruise line confirms this, as 96 percent of consumers said they’re ready to cruise this year.
In addition, a weight has been lifted off the cruise industry as the CDC recently discontinued its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, saying that it would provide guidance but cruise ships would no longer be under any type of classifying system in regards to COVID-19.
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