Virgin Voyages Forms Partnership With South Florida Athletes to Expand Cruise Line

Virgin Voyages, the recently launched lifestyle travel brand offering year-round cruises out of Miami, recently partnered with Patricof Co. (P/Co) to secure more funding for future expansion. Patricof Co. is a private investment platform consisting of professional athletes, including Venus Williams of Palm Beach Gardens and Miami Dolphins players Xavien Howard and Byron Jones and Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat. P/Co will work with Virgin Voyages to establish an Athlete Advisory Council, which will play an integral role in shaping the future of the product and the experience on Virgin Voyages. The athletes will also collaborate with the brand on sustainability initiatives.

“It’s a win-win situation because it’s a great way for these athletes to diversify their portfolio,” says Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages. “And it’s good for us to get a little more access to a different channel of capital.”

Virgin Voyages launched its first ship, Scarlet Lady, out of PortMiami in October. The company plans to have one ship sail out of Miami permanently through a newly constructed $165 million terminal to accommodate the vessel. With 1,330 cabins and 78 RockStar Quarters, 86% of the Scarlet Lady cabins feature a balcony, with 93% having an ocean view. Virgin Voyages provides an adult-only experience for the 18+ traveler with over 20 unique dining options, vast entertainment and wellness-forward programming.

“Miami is the cruise capital of the world and it’s great to have a ship that can operate year-round here,” McAlpin says. “You might see ships flip flop, but we’ll always have one ship out of Miami.”

The brand currently has four ships on order with master shipbuilder Fincantieri with plans to operate a fleet of four ships by 2023.

“We are we’re getting up to scale pretty quickly With a diversity of investors in the portfolio,” McAlpin says. “Our whole business premise was about creating an epic sea change for all. The business is all about creating a differentiated experience. We don’t want people to come away feeling like they’re nickel and dimed. We have more five-star ratings on TripAdvisor for our ship than any other ship that’s out there. So that says a lot about the overall experience that people are having.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.