Is the Virgin Group entering the cruise industry – finally after years of rumors.

Persistent reports have Richard Branson, Virgin founder and chairman, confirming that he is in the process of finalizing financing for two ships, with a price tag of $1.7 billion.

Similar to other start ups, Branson has been quoted as saying that he will create a different cruise product, catering to those who today will not consider taking a cruise.

If it is for real this time, it could take from three to four years before the first ship sails. But does it make sense for Branson to enter a fiercely competitive market with well-established players? And why does he have to seemingly work so hard to get the financing in place with a reported net worth of $5 billion, according to Forbes?

Branson is also involved in developing space travel with Virgin Galactic.