Although construction has been ongoing for some time now on Terminal V, the new Virgin Voyages Cruise Terminal at PortMiami, marked the official groundbreaking ceremony.
During a ceremony attended to by CEO Tom McAlpin, Port Director & CEO Juan Kuryla, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, all wearing red virgin hard hats and brandishing ‘Make Ship Happen’ shovels, the building of the terminal was officially started.
Designed for Virgin Voyages
The new terminal has been designed to reflect its iconic surroundings. While during the day the palm trees are the main focus, during the evening, the company’s famous logo will mirror the city’s skyline.
While many cruise ships have general terminals where guests embarkation procedures and provisioning of the ships take place, the Miami based V Terminal has been built focusing on the four vessels the company has planned.
This will allow Virgin to seamlessly integrate embarkation procedures for the new normal, transportation requirements, and provisioning of the vessels, making the entire ship to shore experience a lot less painful.
The terminal is located at the northwest side of the port, just off the side of the main terminal row that caters to all the major cruise lines. Once completed, the Virgin facility will be 100,000 square feet and its Miami-inspired design is thanks to designers from Arquitectonica.
Both Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady will be sailing from Terminal V. Scarlet Lady will be here permanently. Valiant Lady will be here seasonally once the terminal is opened, which will be in November 2021.
A Troublesome First Year
Starting a new cruise line was never going to be easy, starting a new cruise line just before a worldwide pandemic breaks out was something no-one at Virgin had planned for.
Scarlet Lady, the company’s first new vessel, was delivered already on Valentine’s Day 2020 and due to make her maiden voyage on April 1 of last year. Due to the pandemic, the company has been forced to postpone the maiden season of Scarlet Lady to May 9, 2021.
The 277.2 meters, 110,000 gross ton vessel will be sailing on a 5-day voyage for her maiden trip. Departing from Miami, she will call in Playa Del Carmen and Bimini before returning to Miami.
The company has planned three more vessels. Besides Scarlet Lady, this year will see the arrival of Valiant Lady. She was supposed to start sailing this summer; however, this has also been postponed by the cruise line. Both 2022 and 2023 will see the arrival of one more, currently unnamed, vessel each.
Also Read: Why Are Cruises Still Being Canceled?
Just Another Cruise Line?
If one thing has been made quite clear by Virgin Voyages, they do not intend to be another cruise line that does the same as every other cruise line.
One area that certainly has raised some eyebrows in the industry: there will be no buffets, main dining room, enforced formal wear, assigned seating, and no assigned dining times. All food and most beverages will be included though.
The cruise line will also be adults only, with a minimum age of 18 years old. That age limit might have something to do with one of the more outrageous offerings onboard: A tattoo parlor. Certainly, there is much to look forward to once the line finally sets sail for the first time.