“Everything is all thumbs up right now,” said Gene Meehan, founder and chairman of startup Blue World Voyages, the first cruise brand dedicated to active, athletic and healthy lifestyles.
While Meehan admitted the launch process has taken longer than he envisioned, the company is now moving toward taking delivery of a ship in early 2021.
“One ship we spent a good amount of time with was determined to be too slow, and another was too small,” Meehan said.
Now, along with Freddy Dellis, co-founder, the company has found a ship they like.
“One of the top three lines offered us financing on a beautiful ship. We inspected it, and it inspected very well. Our broker is working with them to come to the right price, delivery date and terms,” Meehan continued, who was riding with Dellis on their way to a meeting at Tomas Tillberg Design when interviewed by Cruise Industry News.
If all goes to plan, the company will launch service in 2021 in the Mediterranean offering seven-day voyages targeted at those with an active lifestyle, with activities ranging from golf to snorkeling and kayaking.
Capacity on the vessel will be reduced to 425 berths. Most staterooms will be combined, with new large bathrooms, walk-in closets and French balconies.
There will be 200 standard staterooms, 25 single rooms, and two upper decks of residences, along with a full deck dedicated to spa operations and wellness, and another deck for sports and fitness.
“We are developing a hybrid ship concept with owner residences and passengers,” Meehan said.
Dellis, of note, was the former CEO at Residensea and helped launched the only residence vessel, The World.
“We have done all sorts of activities over the last month and a half promoting the residences, there is genuine interest in the market,” Dellis told Cruise Industry News. “We are addressing the active-lifestyle population.”
To help sell residences, dubbed The Owner’s Club, which the company’s website lists in the low seven digits, Blue World has gone out and partnered with Compass Development, a boutique real estate firm.
“The real difference is what we are doing, 100 percent of our passengers are there for the same reason,” Meehan said. “We are marketing to people that are already fit or want to become fit.”
The company is moving into a new round of fundraising this month with Seabury Capital Group.