You would assume that Sir Richard Branson had the Midas touch when it comes to launching new business ventures, but you would be wrong. Okay, so we know he has made a huge success with Virgin Atlantic, Holidays, along with his mobile business, and that’s without mentioning the record label that started it all.
However, he has not had a good time in the UK with Virgin Trains, and let’s not forget about some of his crazy attempts in a Balloon or on a speedboat. It’s for these reasons why we are filled with trepidation about his next business venture, Virgin Cruises.
You may already know that Richard Branson has a cruises service, and while the company offers cruises around the globe, they are only the middlemen because they don’t actually have their own ships.
All that will change in 2019 because Virgin Cruises will launch and will call Miami home. This isn’t the first time that a rich British businessman who owns an airline has started his own cruise line.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of EasyJet started EasyCruise with the same premise as Virgin Cruises, and that is to target young adults. He founded the company in 2005 and by 2009 had decided to sell up for £9 million because he was unable to replicate the success he had with his airline.
While it is clear that Virgin Cruises strategy will be similar to that of EasyCruise, targeting young adults, we’re sure that is where the similarity will end. The problem is EasyCruise followed its airline philosophy, and that was no-frills, but that is a recipe for disaster at sea because you are on a ship for long periods of time, and so that experience needs to be an enjoyable, comfortable one.
Richard Branson already knows how to make people feel comfortable on flights, and so this formula will be transferred to the cruise industry.
It’s not going to be easy for Branson’s new venture, but seeing as though he has great knowledge of the travel industry, we are certain it will prove a success in time. However, it’s hard to say just how Virgin Cruises will compare to the likes of Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line?