A keel-laying ceremony was held at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard in Italy for the first of three new cruise ships for Virgin Voyages.
The 110,000GT ship, which will be named via a contest, will be 278 metres long and 38 metres wide.
It will have more than 1,400 guest cabins for 2,800 passengers and accommodate 1,150 crew members. About 86 per cent of all cabins will feature a sea terrace and 93 per cent will have an ocean view.
The design of the vessels will be undertaken by a group of firms including Ace Hotels, the Standard High Line and Mondrian Hotels.
Waste management systems provider Scanship has also been enlisted to develop technology to reduce ocean discharge by turning waste into energy.
Newly minted coins were welded into the keel for good luck at the Genoa shipyard, where it was announced the super yacht-inspired ship would have a mermaid design adorning her bow.
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