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Virgin Voyages ready to grow beyond four ships in the near future

Australia’s newest cruise line has arrived with such a splash, with talk already turning to more ships beyond the current fleet of four.

Virgin Voyages CEO Nirmal Saverimuttu.

Virgin Voyages CEO Nirmal Saverimuttu says he believes the brand can expand beyond the current contingent of four ships, with market demand sufficient to sustain a larger fleet and more global destinations eager to see the Virgin style of cruising.

Saverimuttu was speaking alongside Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, at a media conference to mark the arrival of Resilient Lady into Sydney Harbour yesterday.

“At this point, we are very focused on making sure we launch our three ships successfully,” Saverimuttu said.

“I do believe though this brand can grow beyond four ships, but that will come in time.”

Virgin Voyages currently has three ships in operation – Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady – with a fourth ship, known as Brilliant Lady, originally due to enter service this year but currently delayed in final fitout, with its maiden voyage pushed back to the middle of 2024.

Sir Richard Branson and Nirmal speaking to media onboard Resilient Lady.

Branson himself added that when he launched Virgin Atlantic in 1984, he was committed at the time to having no more than four planes.

“We will never get bigger than that. We want to keep it small and boutique. And then, you know, 80 planes later so we’ll see what happens with cruises. Obviously if it goes well, it will grow.”

Saverimuttu said expanding into new markets was another key part of Virgin Voyages’ growth.

“We do think we can expand our source markets. Australians love to cruise domestically but they also love to cruise the Mediterranean – we have two ships in the Mediterranean.

“So as we develop our source markets, it’s very natural for us to want to add more ships against that demand base.

“One of the things we’re very focused on is making sure that we deliver an unbelievable product, because if you can start with delivering an unbelievable product, then naturally good things come from there,” Saverimuttu added.

“As Richard mentioned, at the heart of this business has been our people. Always start with making sure our crew are taken care of and that will lead to a great sales experience and great business outcomes at the end of that.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 5 December 2023

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