First impressions of Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages previews new ship design

Image credit: Virgin Voyages - The Dock

Executives from Virgin Voyages‘ “Creative Collection” have provided a teaser of what the interior and exterior of the company’s fleet of three cruise ships will be like when they launch in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Revealed in New York City on Friday night during the NYCxDESIGN annual celebration of design, renderings of the 2700-passenger ship show off some bold new concepts and designs being introduced by Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages
The Test Kitchen will have a laboratory-like environment, accented by metallic furniture, sleek clean lines and finishing touches such as beakers, test tubes and volumetric flasks. The entryway features lighting fixture images that mimic the periodic table. Image © Virgin Voyages

“The collective has been carefully curated and features some of the world’s leading interior design firms, none of whom have ever designed for the cruise industry before,” Virgin said on its blog.

Designs from Tom Dixon of London, Roman and Williams of New York and Concrete Amsterdam were revealed in their first public outing. The Virgin Voyages’ architects were also on hand to detail the thought process behind their work – all of which feed into the brand’s design concept of the Modern Romance of Sailing.

Dixon, who is behind the ship’s upscale modern Mexican restaurant and Richard’s Rooftop area (an outdoor club reserved for suite guests and named after the Virgin empire’s founder, Sir Richard Branson), was keen to stress how this will be a cruise like no other.

Virgin Voyages Athletic Club
The Athletic Club will feature the largest daybed at sea, a white and red striped semi-circular lounger that is the perfect spot on board for sunbathing or star gazing. Image © Virgin Voyages.

“It seems risky to use designers who have never been on a cruise before, but it makes complete sense,” Dixon explained.

The glamour of going on a cruise seems to have vanished, I like the idea of bringing that back but in a modern way.

Tom Dixon of London, Roman and Williams

Rob Wagemans of Concrete Amsterdam is designing the Athletic Club – an outdoor lounge that celebrates traditional nautical elements, relaxation and adult play. Wagemans explained why he believed it was so important to have such a broad range of different architects and designers involved in the project.

“This ship should let you live the lifestyle that you want while you’re on it, not one which has been dictated to you by a brand,” noted Wagemans. “There are so many different areas to explore that offer real difference.”

Virgin Voyages
Image © Virgin Voyages

Other features on the yet-to-be-named ships include a signature nightclub called ‘The Manor‘ that’s inspired by Branson’s history in the music industry and the name of his first music studio; “an outdoor lifestyle space” at the aft of Deck 7 called ‘The Dock‘; and a Mexican eatery dubbed Pink Agave that has an elongated, curved lounger which centers the room and round tables for two offering an intimate dining experience. The upscale restaurant will feature a bar area in the foyer and a private dining room for larger groups.

Virgin Voyages SVP of Product Design, Dee Cooper, said “Ranging from gritty to glamorous, we’ve collaborated with a collection of brilliant interior designers and architects to create a variety of spaces that our sailors will love. With careful thought, humor and attention to detail the Creative Collective has designed a ship that’s styled for those thirsty for a wonderfully modern holiday at sea.”

“Giving the passengers diversity of choice has been key when deciding who to work with. Let’s take New York as an example; you can go Uptown for some sophistication or you can head over to the West Village for more of a relaxed night – people value that choice, so why shouldn’t you be able to have that option on a ship?” Cooper questioned.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin, was excited to see how all the design work was helping the business to achieve its central mission statement.

Virgin Voyages
Pink Agave designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, will be the ship’s upscale Mexican restaurant featuring a porthole entryway clad with void lighting. Image © Virgin Voyages.

“At the core of our Epic Sea Change For All is ensuring that the spaces on our ships are well-styled, distinct and reflective of the dynamic experience we want to bring to our sailors,” said McAlpin. “Our design partners, together with our internal design team, have dreamed up eye-catching, intimate and alluring spaces that we can’t wait to see come to life.”

The first of Virgin Voyages’ cruise ships will be ‘Adult by Design’, offering a yacht-like cruise experience for those 18 and older.

View a gallery of other images of Virgin Voyages on LATTE’s Facebook page here.

During her inaugural season, the ship will operate from PortMiami to the Caribbean.

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