Virgin Voyages will create cruise ships suitable for all ages at some stage in the future, Sir Richard Branson said after revealing his first vessel will be called Scarlet Lady.

The tycoon has previously said the three ships on order for the cruise line will be adults-only.

He explained: “We wanted to do something radical – we’re getting people who would like to go off on honeymoon, or meet other people and party and fall in love, so I think there is a market for at least three or four cruise ships [for adults]

“If you’re not having kids, your nightclubs and everything else can be orientated towards adults. It leaves a lot of space on the ship that would have been given to kids that can be given to make sure adults have a great time.

“But, in a few years’ time we’ll have a lot of fun designing the best kids’ ship and then Virgin Kids will definitely be important.”

Branson, who spoke at an impromptu press conference at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, where Scarlet Lady is being built, added that he wanted to keep the shipyard “busy for decades”.

He said: “When I first had this idea of a cruise ship, I was 27 and wanted to have a cruise ship for under-30s but over 17s. I was single and it was going to be the coolest cruise ship in the world.

“I never managed to get the money together so every year it’s been under 31, under 32, under 34. Anyway, now it’s under 68! It’s definitely young-at-heart people who want a good time who will love this cruise ship.

“If you’re getting on and don’t want a good time, don’t come on our cruise ship. If you don’t think of yourself as old but your mind is 25, your body is 70, you’re very welcome.”