The adults-only operator will launch two new ships next year
Virgin Voyages has seen “exponential growth” in sales over the last six months and raised US$550 million in capital to support its growth plans as the cruise sector continues to bounce back from the pandemic.
Launched in August 2021, the cruise line currently operates two ships: Scarlet Lady (pictured), sailing between the US and the Caribbean, and Valiant Lady, sailing in the Mediterranean.
The announcement about the funding said the adults-only operator has seen “exponential growth” in sales over the last six months, with July being its record bookings month.
The new funds will support the launch of two more vessels next year: Resilient Lady and Brilliant Lady. Expansion into new markets in Australia and the Caribbean is also planned.
Virgin Voyages said the capital injection was led by funds and accounts managed by investment management firm BlackRock. It includes new external financing and additional capital from existing investors, including Bain Capital Private Equity and Virgin Group. The cruise line has also received additional, continued support from its existing lenders.
In a statement, Virgin Voyages said: “The new funding will enable Virgin Voyages to continue the execution of its growth strategy and further strengthen its financial position as cruise demand continues to gain momentum.”
Tom McAlpin, chief executive of Virgin Voyages, said: “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.”
Ryan Cotton, a managing director at Bain Capital, added: “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.
“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.”
Brendan Galloway, director in BlackRock Global Credit, commented: “Despite the unprecedented challenges the cruise sector has faced in the past few years, the industry is exhibiting a powerful rebound.
“We are excited to invest in Virgin Voyages on behalf of our investors as we see a positive outlook and impressive growth on the horizon for the company.”
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