The new lifestyle travel brand, Virgin Voyages, announced it has closed on $550 million in new capital led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, along with external financing and added capital from existing investors.
Virgin Voyages’ new funding will further strengthen its financial position in response to the recent increase in cruise demand.
Virgin Voyages’ New Funding
Virgin Voyages announced that it has closed on $550 million in new capital to continue the execution of its growth strategy and strengthen the line’s return across the industry as cruising shifts back toward pre-pandemic levels.
The new funds were received from accounts managed by BlackRock, including external financing and additional capital from existing investors, such as Bain Capital Private Equity and Virgin Group.
The CEO of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin stated, “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.”
Research by Virgin Voyages confirms that 96% of consumers are saying they will be keen to cruise this year, and the new funds, partially received by continued support from its existing lenders, will propel the new cruise line towards growth and increased excellence.
A Managing Director at Bain Capital, Ryan Cotton said, “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,” he added.
Since December 2014, Bain Capital Private Equity has been Virgin Voyages’ largest investor. As a lead shareholder, Bain Capital stands for growing and building global companies and partnering with management teams around the world to accelerate growth through a value-added investment approach.
It is one of the world’s foremost privately-held alternative investment firms, managing approximately $160 billion in assets.
The Director of BlackRock Global Credit, a continued investing partner for Virgin Voyages, Brendan Galloway, stated, “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.”
Virgin Voyages Back to Sail
The cruise line has seen exponential growth in bookings over the last six months and is set to see a strong industry comeback this year.
Recently launched in 2021, it has already been named as one of the top ocean cruise lines and has received additional recognition for its unique cruising experiences.
Since 2021, the adult-only Virgin Voyages has operated sister Lady ships, Scarlet Lady sailing from the U.S. to the Caribbean and its second ship to the fleet, Valiant Lady, currently sailing in the Mediterranean.
On October 6, 2021, and after almost 20 months of delay, Scarlet Lady sailed its maiden voyage from Miami, Florida as Virgin Voyages’ first ship in its fleet. The 110,000 gross-ton cruise ship has space for 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew members.
Scarlet Lady has two sister ships, the currently sailing Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady, with a delayed inaugural sail now set for May 2023. Guests who booked on the original Resilient Lady maiden sail date of August 14, 2022, have been promised refunds of up to 200% refund for a future cruise.
Updated August 2, 2022, a majority (90%) of guests will need to be vaccinated, but ten percent of guests may be unvaccinated. Those unvaccinated will be required to bring a negative test result taken within 24 hours of embarkation. As of July 24, 2022, for Valiant Lady and July 27, 2022, for Scarlet Lady, testing to board for vaccinated guests was removed.