New Cruise Line Seeks Funding From Travel Agents, Travelers
Blue World Voyages, a new cruise line dedicated entirely to active and wellness travel, is seeking funding from travel agents and travelers. Through the Wefunder crowdfunding platform (https://wefunder.com/blueworldvoyages), agents and travelers will be able to invest in the new cruise line, becoming shareholders in the company, as well as having a voice in the line’s product development.
According to the latest announcement from Blue World, investors will become members of the Blue World Founders Club. Prior to launch, these members will be asked in advance of the launch for their opinions on cabin design, menu choices, itinerary selection, equipment choices and more. Founders Club members also receive various perks, such as the amount of their investment off their first cruise, a sports and spa credit, priority booking, cabin upgrades (when available), a sail-away party and discounts on onboard spending.
Blue World Voyages was announced in May of last year with a planned launch date for May 2018; that’s since been changed to a planned launch of May 2019 for the first ship. The line plans to retrofit an existing ship that was initially sized for 900 passengers down to a capacity of 350, using the extra space for larger cabins, an entire deck devoted to sports and fitness and another to spa and wellness offerings. Plans also call for the sale of 26 one- and two-bedroom residences onboard the ship. Gene Meehan, a Miami-based entrepreneur, and John B. Richards, formerly the president of Starbucks, head the company’s leadership team as chairman and CEO, respectively.
The launch of the new cruise line coincides with a massive boom in wellness travel over the past few years. According to the latest Portrait of American Travelers study from MMGY Global, the worldwide wellness travel market increased to $678.5 billion last year, and it’s forecast to grow another 15 percent this year. In response major cruise lines have been stepping up their wellness travel offerings, including active excursions on river cruise lines such as AmaWaterways, and partnerships such as the one between Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch, to name a few.