Fincantieri has signed a binding letter of intent (LoI) with Virgin Cruises to build three cruise ships.

The new 110,000gt vessels will have 1,430 guest cabins with a capacity to accommodate more than 2,800 passengers and 1,150 crew members.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said: "We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good.

"The Virgin Cruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise."

"We look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to cruise."

Branson also added that PortMiami will be the home of Virgin Cruises’ first cruise ship.

Delivery of the ships is expected to be in 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.

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By GlobalData

Virgin Group announced its decision to form a cruise liner business in December last year. The company then said that it would partner with private equity firm Bain Capital to design and construct the vessels, as part of the venture.

Virgin is expected to invest around $2bn in the construction of the three cruise vessels.

Recently, Fincantieri started construction on MSC Cruises’ first new-generation ship, MSC Seaside, following the steel-cutting ceremony at its shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

In addition, the company received a €2.1bn contract from MSC to build two new cruise ships in May last year. The new vessel is scheduled to start operating in November 2017, while the second in the series is expected to be delivered in 2018.