Virgin Voyages has closed on $550 million in new capital raised 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.
As well, Virgin Voyages has 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.
Officially launched in August 2021, Virgin Voyages currently operates two ships, Scarlet Lady travelling from the U.S. to the Caribbean, and Valiant Lady currently sailing in the Mediterranean.
Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said: “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.”
Ryan Cotton, a Managing Director at Bain Capital, pointed out that: “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. 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.”
Brendan Galloway, Director in BlackRock Global Credit, said: “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.”
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.