Virgin cruises to stop in Barbados

Barbados is being assured that Bridgetown will be a port of call for a new cruise line to be launched by British business magnate Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Bain Capital, the United States based global alternative investment firm.

Although Virgin Voyages is not expected to set sail on its maiden cruise before 2020, Sir Richard Wednesday left no doubt that Barbados will be on its itinerary.

“We will have a big, red Virgin Voyages ship coming to Barbados at some stage,” he announced to a packed audience at the Hilton Barbados Resort as he took part in the Virgin Group-led Business is an Adventure leadership conference.

Sir Richard Branson

The company last month started building its first ship, which is scheduled to set sail from Miami on seven-day Caribbean cruises.

The 110,000-tonne vessel will accommodate 2,800 guests and 1,150 crew.

The humanitarian and climate change enthusiast issued a stern word of caution to the authorities here to preserve the environment in order to protect the island’s bread and butter tourism industry.

He spoke of the importance of recycling and called for an “enormous” effort to safeguard turtles and other sea creatures, as well as reefs, as major tourist attractions.

“At the moment in Barbados the most important thing you have is tourism. Why do people come to Barbados? They come for its beauty and the species that are in the oceans off Barbados, and so a much greater priority should be put on that.

“On land, there is no question of the need for recycling,” he said, adding that he had recommended to the British Virgin Islands that prisoners “be allowed out on weekends to make the island really clean so that when people come from overseas they just feel great”.

“The environment should be big priority for these islands,” the Virgin founder stressed.

Sir Richard’s Virgin Atlantic airline currently flies to Barbados from Gatwick airport in London and Manchester in the north west of England.

The airline is scheduled to begin serving Barbados from Heathrow airport in London with a twice-weekly service – Tuesday and Saturday – from December 12, operated by a three-class A330 aircraft configured for 185 economy seats, 48 in premium economy, and 33 in upper class.

The new winter seasonal route will be the only direct link between Heathrow and Barbados.

The business magnate said while there continued to be concerns over Brexit and the likely impact it could have on travel to Barbados, Virgin Atlantic would not be daunted.

“We are doing Gatwick to Barbados [right now] and I am delighted to say we are also going to start Heathrow to Barbados flights at the end of the year,” he said.

“You can keep Barbados beautiful and we keep people coming,” Sir Richard added.

11 Responses to Virgin cruises to stop in Barbados

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn May 4, 2017 at 2:16 am

    No criminals ain’t coming to clean up no street in Barbados. You want them to put people out of work. If you have so much money why not lend the government some money to pay off some of its death. All these things that you are speaking about call for money. If I was in that meeting i will ask him to lend the University some money . Who is paying for this bill. I will like to know how this meeting is going to benefit Barbados at this time when the country is still in a lot of death.

    Reply
    • Helen Connolly
      Helen Connolly May 4, 2017 at 5:02 am

      Death?

      Reply
    • J. Payne May 6, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      So Barbadians don’t have enough patriotic pride to clean up their country but Richard must come down it????

      Reply
  2. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince May 4, 2017 at 2:34 am

    BS……

    Reply
  3. sam clarke May 4, 2017 at 6:55 am

    @Anne Ince, this not BS as you saw. It is straight practical talk. Why can’t prisoners who low risk not come out and clean up the country as part of their rehabilitation? They used to do it before, and you know that. So why it is BS, to bring it back now/
    There are very few or little programs being done in the prison , so to avoid the high recidivism rate , lets try a different alternative approach to incarceration.

    So to put it down with comments such as yours, is simply nonsense.

    Reply
  4. Kammie Holder May 4, 2017 at 7:53 am

    @Angus Benn, you are an extremely negative person. Where are the positives from the seminar or Mr. Branson`s presentation?

    Reply
  5. Biscuits May 4, 2017 at 8:27 am

    The point is if we do not do something about our affinity for littering and treating our environment with such scant regard
    …very few will wish to visit our little ‘rock’ in the future. Tourism is a fickle business and as an astute businessman, he is well aware of many other beautiful destinations where investors will turn to outside of our Caribbean region. It really is up to us !

    Reply
  6. Ronnie May 5, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Know what ya just cant please you all what does Barbados (DEATH) debts have to do with the man. Go and see how many times Virgin comes into BIM .
    Why cant the prisoners clean up the place they use to and they use to clean Government House yards . but u feel good they sit on they backside and get fat of the tax payer money. You got me so wind up read your comment.
    CANT PLEASE ALL YA AT ALL .

    Reply
  7. Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 9:41 am

    The major criminals walking around growing and the minor criminals in jail. Woooowwwwww.

    Reply
  8. seagul May 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I’ve never agreed to anything this man proposed but this one time there is merit in what he says.

    Reply
  9. Tee White May 9, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Somebody please ask Richard Branson why Virgin charge you up to 80% more for your flight between Barbados and England if your starting point is Barbados than if it is England. I have been trying to get a straight answer out of Virgin and BA on this but with no luck so far. Also does anybody know if the Barbados taxpayer is paying Virgin Airlines any money under a guaranteed revenue agreement and, if so, how much?

    Reply

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