Virgin Voyages (“the Company”), the new lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations, today announced that it has closed a new $550 million capital increase to support its growth. The financing was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and includes new external financing and additional capital from existing investors, including Bain Capital Private Equity and Virgin Group. Virgin Voyages has also received additional and ongoing support from its existing lenders. The new financing will allow Virgin Voyages to continue to execute on its growth strategy and further strengthen its financial position as cruise demand continues to gain momentum.
Virgin Voyages officially launched in August 2021 and currently operates two ships, Scarlet Lady sailing from the US to the Caribbean and Valiant Lady currently sailing in the Mediterranean. In a short time, the brand has received strong third-party recognition for the unique cruise experiences it offers, including Cruise Critic’s “Best New Cruise Ship” award, recognition on Condé’s 2022 Cruise “Hot List” Nast Traveler and recently being named a Top Ocean Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. In addition to receiving coveted industry accolades, Virgin Voyages also has twice as many five-star reviews on TripAdvisor than any other cruise ship.
“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 expect exponential growth which, in turn, will help us achieve what we set out to achieve. said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.
“Virgin Voyages has successfully launched a new brand in the cruise industry and proven its appeal to both traditional and non-traditional cruise ships, allowing the brand to tap into new markets and reimagine this travel category.” said Ryan Cotton, Managing Director at Bain Capital. “The expansion and enthusiastic commitment of the investor group behind Virgin Voyages is a testament to the compelling fundamentals of this brand and what makes it so special.”
“Despite the unprecedented challenges the cruise sector has faced in recent years, the industry is showing 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,” said Brendan Galloway, Head of BlackRock Global Credit.
Virgin Voyages has seen exponential growth in bookings over the last six months and this year is expected to see a strong return across the industry as cruises return to pre-pandemic levels. After two years of restrictions, sailors are ready to return to the seas, and research from Virgin Voyages bears this out with 96% of consumers saying they’re looking forward to sailing this year. Additionally, the cruise industry recently received an update from the CDC, including the termination of the COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, demonstrating confidence in the industry and a return to pre-pandemic operations.