“Miami is an incredible city and one of my favorite places to work and play,” Branson said.

Richard Branson announces the Virgin Scarlet Lady cruise ship
Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

On Wednesday, Richard Branson, alongside Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, announced plans to build a brand-new cruise terminal just for the soon-to-launch Virgin Voyages. The first ship that will officially dock at the new Port Miami Terminal is called The Scarlet Lady.

Scarlet Lady cruise ship at the Miami Port
Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

“South Florida is our home, and with our fleet now growing to four ships, we’re humbled and thankful to soon have a gorgeous new terminal overlooking the Miami skyline, an incredible view that will set the stage for the alluring journey that we will take our sailors on,” McAlpin said in a statement.

Along with the new terminal and planned commitment to PortMiami, Virgin Voyages also announced that its first ship, The Scarlet Lady, will continue to sail to the Caribbean from Miami throughout the 2021 season. Its second ship will also sail out of Miami beginning in the fall/winter cruise season of 2021-2022.

Exterior of the bar on the Virgin Scarlet Lady
Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages
Pink Agave Mexican restaurant onside the Virgin Cruises Scarlet Lady
Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

“Miami is an incredible city and one of my favorite places to work and play,” Branson added in the statement. “From our headquarters for Hotels, Voyages, and now Trains USA, South Florida has quickly become another home for Virgin brands in the leisure travel sector.”

According to a press release shared with Travel + Leisure, the new terminal will be a whopping 100,000 square feet and will come with a palm grove-inspired design developed by the Miami-based designers from Arquitectonica. The terminal’s rooftop will resemble a palm tree grove and allow plenty of natural light to flow through. The storm-proof glass facility will also have designated areas for drop-offs of VIP cruisers and promises a seamless shore-to-ship experience.

Test Kitchen on board the Scarlet Lady
Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

“It’s gratifying to see Virgin Voyages expand its presence in Miami-Dade County," Gimenez said. “By constructing a new cruise terminal at PortMiami, Virgin Voyages is signaling its confidence in our thriving community, which is not only the Cruise Capital of the World but also the Gateway to the Americas.”

Construction on the project is set to begin next year and is slated for completion by November 2021.