“We are excited that Sir Richard Branson and Virgin, with their focus on sustainability, have decided to become a pioneer of this technology.”
Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson is again making travel-industry waves, so to speak, by rebranding the company’s cruise line as Virgin Voyages. In true Virgin style, the Oct. 18 announcement made in front of international news media and business leaders in Miami featured Sir Richard in a theatrical performance with two performers who danced on deck chairs. Most importantly, the announcement revealed that Virgin Voyages would be the first cruise line to adopt the Climeon Ocean clean energy system.
The former Virgin Cruises was officially established in late 2014, but had yet to launch any ships under the Virgin name. In this latest unveiling, however, Virgin announced it signed a shipbuilding contract for three vessels with Italian master shipbuilder Fincantieri. Once the multibillion-dollar financing purchase for the three ships is finalized shortly, construction on the vessels could begin in early 2017, with the first ship to arrive in PortMiami in 2020.
That first Virgin Voyages ship will host more than 2,700 passengers and 1,150 crew members on a range of Caribbean itineraries. Not only will it (along with the other two ships) feature Virgin’s trademark, contemporary style, but the ship will use Climeon Ocean, a system that will transform low-grade energy into clean electricity. This would result in an estimated 5,400 tons of carbon dioxide savings annually per ship.
“We are excited that Sir Richard Branson and Virgin, with their focus on sustainability, have decided to become a pioneer of this technology,” says Climeon Founder and CEO Thomas Öström. “Transforming hot water to electricity will be a major source of energy production going forward.”