Richard Branson’s adults only cruising venture, Virgin Voyages, unveiled its new headquarters at Plantation, Fla in Broward County this week with a promise to create 300 jobs.
The company ordered three adults only cruise ships at Fincantieri a few years ago.
“We basically decided, ‘Let’s have a blank sheet of paper, let’s create the kind of voyage company that we would like to go on,’ and that’s what we’ve done,” Branson said in a statement.
Branson announced his cruise venture in Miami four years ago in co-operation with the company’s principal financial backer – Bain Capital.
Local media said that the choice of Broward County comes as a surprise, as the Miami-Dade County Commission had originally authorised funds for the berthing of Virgin Voyages ships at PortMiami.
Economic development leaders said the selection reflected the spirit of co-operation among Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, whose joint bid resulted in South Florida making a list of 20 metropolitan areas that want to become the next site for a new Amazon headquarters.
Virgin Voyages said it will invest $15.9 mill in its Plantation headquarters, with a jobs commitment emerging over a four-year period, as Virgin’s new cruise vessels are delivered from Genoa.
The company was said to have hired 30 people in 2016, and plans to add 60 this year and between 60 and 70 each in 2019 and 2020.
Virgin Voyager’s first ship is expected to arrive at PortMiami in 2020 and offer seven-day cruises around the Caribbean. The ship will be able host 2,700 passengers who will be served by 1,150 crew members.