Sir Richard Branson “wants to do it better” than anyone else. So this jetsetting billionaire who’s never taken a cruise ship ride in his life established Virgin Voyages in 2014 to build cruise ships unlike anything on the world’s oceans.

The first of these fantastic floating palaces, which will cater mostly to the very rich and famous, will be “Scarlet Lady.” It will be the first of three Virgin Voyages cruise ships, each of which will be capable of carrying 2,800 passengers and crew. Construction of the second ship (still unnamed) began in 2018. The other two ships in Virgin Voyages five-ship fleet will be smaller ships.

To hit the waves in 2020, Scarlet Lady will initially operate "adults-only" (as in a passenger must be older than 18) cruises from Miami, Florida to ports in the Caribbean. The maiden Scarlet Lady cruise will depart Miami for Havana, Cuba, but new U.S. government sanctions on Cuba leave this itinerary in doubt.

Scarlet Lady has 17 decks, 13 of which are accessible by passengers, and 1,430 cabins. Deck 15 will feature 78 "RockStar" luxury suites. Of this number, 15 will be "Mega RockStar Suites" for the very rich.

Scarlet Lady’s being built by Fincantieri S.p.A., Europe’s largest shipbuilder and the world’s fourth largest. She was launched in February 2019.

Branson, 69, said he first had the idea of establishing his own cruise line when he was only 27. In an interview with Robb Report, the Virigin Group founder revealed why he waited until he was in his 60s to act on this dream.

“What is it now? Under 70. But you know, I think at Virgin, we just try to make it fun for any age in the end,” he said. “And, you know, older people want to party generally as much as younger people if they’re given the chance, especially if there’s good music and good drinks and the right atmosphere.”

Branson wants to “create the kind of cruise ship that ourselves and our friends would have a blast on. And I’m looking forward to seeing whether we delivered. But I think it looks like it’s going to be absolutely stunning and unlike any other cruise line.”

Sir Richard Branson receives his Star
Sir Richard Branson being honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk in 2018. David Livingston/Getty Images

For one, Scarlet Lady and her sister ships won’t have any buffets on it, said Branson.

“There will be 35 different restaurants throughout it. The entertainment will be like nothing else that’s out there.”

In establishing Virgin Voyages (formerly Virgin Cruises), Branson hopes to open the market to hundreds of thousands of people who have never been on a cruise ship.

He acknowledged this represents quite challenge and admitted each ship costs $800 million to build. Branson revealed his company is building five ships.

“So it’s, you know, big and bold and exciting. And yeah, I am looking forward to you being on it and letting us know what you think,” he said.