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Virgin Voyages founder Richard Branson joined the grand opening celebration for the line's Terminal V at PortMiami on Feb. 13.
Branson was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Virgin Voyages' CEO Tom McAlpin at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was marked by mermaid aerialists and Virgin-branded electric Moke vehicles.
The new cruise terminal has a street address of 718 N Cruise Blvd. - Branson's birthday is on July 18.
"Coming to this beautiful new terminal and seeing Scarlet Lady in her homeport 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," Branson said.
Terminal V, a three-story, 132,000-square-foot building on the northwestern corner of PortMiami, has unobstructed skyline views of Biscayne Bay, downtown and Edgewater.
The geometric design, a palm grove where land meets sea, was inspired by Miami's palm trees and the area's historical origins (formerly used for harvesting coconuts). The concept was developed by the 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 floor-to-ceiling windows, natural skylights, and lush indoor landscaping.
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 tones. The space also incorporates LED screens, local artwork by the nonprofit organization Art in Public Places, and an al fresco terrace for passengers to use before embarkation. Outside, an expansive "Sail the Virgin Way" sign and red lighting mirror the city's lights.
Terminal V illustrates Virgin Voyages' commitment to preserving the environment as a LEED Gold certified building. Materials were selected with sustainability in mind, from the color of the pavers in the entranceway to the glass. Even the air-conditioning and electrical systems were planned to reduce the terminal's impact on the planet.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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