Posted on August 22, 2022
Virgin Voyages (“the Company”), the new lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations, today announced it has closed on $550 million in new capital raise to support its growth. The funding 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, continued support from its existing lenders. The new funding will enable Virgin Voyages to continue the execution of 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 traveling from the U.S. to the Caribbean, and Valiant Lady currently sailing in the Mediterranean. In just a short time, the brand has received strong third-party recognition for the unique cruising experiences it offers, including being awarded Cruise Critic’s “Best New Cruise Ship,” recognition on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2022 Cruising “Hot List,” and recently being named one of the top ocean cruise lines 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’re looking forward to exponential growth that will, in turn, help us achieve what we set out to accomplish,” 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 the traditional and non-traditional cruiser, allowing the brand to tap into new markets and re-imagine this travel category,” said Ryan Cotton, a Managing Director at Bain Capital. “The expansion and enthusiastic commitment of the investor group supporting Virgin Voyages is a testament to the attractive fundamentals of this brand and what makes it so special.”
“Despite the unprecedented challenges the cruise sector has faced in the past few years, the industry is exhibiting 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, Director in BlackRock Global Credit.
Virgin Voyages has seen exponential growth in bookings in the last six months and this year is set to see a strong return across the industry as cruising sails back toward pre-pandemic levels. After two years of restrictions, Sailors are ready to get back to the seas, and research by Virgin Voyages confirms this with 96% of consumers saying they are keen to cruise this year. In addition, the cruise industry has recently welcomed an update from the CDC, including the sunsetting of the COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, demonstrating confidence in the industry and a return to pre-pandemic operations.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as lead placement agent to Virgin Voyages.
ABOUT VIRGIN VOYAGES
Virgin Voyages is a new lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations. Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady – the first and second ships in the fleet – were designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury, offering the intimate, elevated experience of a boutique hotel at sea. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors, our Lady Ships are exclusively adult, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. A dose of Vitamin Sea is naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being, relaxation and rejuvenation at the forefront. Our fleet sails to 100 of the world’s most incredible destinations with 25+ unique itineraries across four continents. Each sailing offers alluring entertainment and Michelin-inspired menus served across 20+ world-class eateries. With a modern twist on luxury, coupled with discerning design, Virgin Voyages offers incredible value for its Sailors, including food, essential drinks, WiFi and group fitness classes, all covered in the voyage fare.
ABOUT BAIN CAPITAL PRIVATE EQUITY
Bain Capital Private Equity has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since its founding in 1984. Bain Capital Private Equity’s global team of more than 250 investment professionals creates value for its portfolio companies through its global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including healthcare, consumer/retail, financial and business services, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. Bain Capital has 23 offices on four continents. The firm has made primary or add-on investments in more than 1,000 companies since its inception. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across asset classes including credit, public equity, venture capital and real estate, managing approximately $160 billion in total and leveraging the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus. For more information, visit www.baincapitalprivateequity.com.