Virgin Voyages celebrated the grand opening of new Terminal V in PortMiami
Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s epic new cruise line, celebrated the long-awaited grand opening of Terminal V at PortMiami yesterday, ringing in the occasion with a mermaid-studded soiree.
Sir Richard Branson, joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Virgin Voyages’ CEO Tom McAlpin, made a splash with a memorable ribbon cutting ceremony marked by mermaid aerialists and a grand entrance via Virgin branded electric Moke vehicles.
With a street address of 718 N Cruise Blvd. – cleverly earmarked to celebrate Sir Richard Branson’s birthday on July 18 – the opening of Virgin Voyages’ own cruise terminal represents a major milestone in the brand’s history and the first time Scarlet Lady sailed from her new home.
“Coming to this beautiful new terminal and seeing Scarlet Lady in her home port here in Miami has been such an incredible experience. The team at Virgin Voyages has created a stunning building that delivers on our commitment to being better stewards of the earth with its LEED Gold Certification,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
Terminal V, an impressive three-story building on the northwestern corner of PortMiami, brings even more magic to the city with its unobstructed skyline views of Biscayne Bay, downtown and Edgewater. Yesterday, a little more than one year after the groundbreaking ceremony, Virgin Voyages invited local city officials and brand partners to celebrate the grand opening of the 132,000 square foot structure.
“We’ve always strived to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, and Terminal V gives us greater opportunity to elevate the Sailor experience from the moment you see the AHOY sign to the time you disembark. Scarlet Lady deserves a home as beautiful as she is, and we cannot wait for our Sailors to begin their voyage at Terminal V,” said Virgin Voyages’ CEO, Tom McAlpin.
The geometric design, a palm grove where land meets sea, was inspired by Miami’s iconic palm trees and the area’s historical origins (formerly used for harvesting coconuts). The concept was developed by the award-winning, global architecture and landscape firm Arquitectonica and built from the ground up by Suffolk Construction.
Terminal V’s rooftop resembles the edges of a palm canopy with angular cutouts that allow natural light to stream through. Enveloped by more than 1,000 palm trees, Terminal V features soaring floor-to-ceiling windows, natural skylights, and lush indoor landscaping that offers Sailors both a grand and warm welcome on their voyage.
Further inspired by the brand’s design ethos of the “Modern Romance of Sailing,” Terminal V’s interiors give a nod to mid-century design and are punctuated with emerald and ruby jewel tones. The space also incorporates changing LED screens, local artwork by the nonprofit organization Art in Public Places, and an al fresco terrace for Sailors to take in the sea breeze before embarkation. Outside, an expansive “Sail the Virgin Way” sign and dramatic red lighting mirror the city’s lights.
Every Sailor is treated like a RockStar at Virgin Voyages, but for Sailors who’ve booked suite accommodations, they’ll gain access to Terminal V’s VIP entrance, expedited security screening and an exclusive pre-boarding lounge. The new cruise terminal also features a special Crew-only lounge where Virgin Voyages’ team can unwind, further demonstrating the brand’s commitment to creating the best gig ever for its employees. Rounding out the design are designated areas for drop offs, ride sharing and provisioning, all working together to provide a seamless shore-to-ship experience.
Terminal V illustrates Virgin Voyages’ commitment to preserving the environment, protecting our oceans and fulfilling its mission of creating an “Epic Sea Change for All” as one of the only LEED Gold certified buildings in PortMiami. Materials were meticulously selected with sustainability in mind, from the color of the pavers in the entrance way to the glass. Even the air conditioning and electrical systems were planned to reduce Terminal V’s impact on the planet.
Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first ship and the winner of Cruise Critic’s “Best New Cruise Ship for 2021” Award, will call Terminal V her home year-round while Valiant Lady will join in the winter of 2022. Both ships will sail on a mix of multi-night itineraries to some of the most irresistible destinations in the Caribbean, each with a stop at Virgin Voyages’ signature Beach Club in Bimini.