They’ve made their mark in the air and on the railroads, and they’re even attempting space travel, so it only makes sense that Virgin would eventually try their hand at cruising. Virgin Voyages is the latest of Sir Richard Branson’s travel ventures. And the man himself, as well as the Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin, have just announced that their first ship Scarlet Lady is taking bookings for her inaugural season. Voyages will begin departing 1 April 2020.
As you would expect from something Virgin branded, this cruise line is going to be a slight departure from tradition. In their own words, they promise “A 24/7 festival at sea where tranquility meets curiosity with no kids, no buffets, and no limits.”
“At Virgin Voyages we are going beyond just great design, to defy and redefine luxury to be rebellious luxe,” said Tom McAlpin. “This new luxury is about knowing you are taken care of, that you’re never being nickel and dimed, and what you want, even some of the things you didn’t know you wanted, are already taken care of for you.”
Virgin Voyages will be offering an inclusive approach to cruising that does away with add-ons and gratuities. Guests can enjoy free food at the 20+ on-board eateries, free group fitness classes, free WiFi and free basic beverages.
Onboard entertainment has also been given a modern makeover on Virgin Voyages. Instead of the traditional cruise director managing events and activities for guests, Scarlet Lady will have a dedicated group of individuals whose job it is to ensure the ‘Happenings’ around the ship are up to standard.
The events and shows onboard have been created and curated specifically for Virgin Voyages, and have been designed to be interactive and immersive.
Every voyage will call in to The Beach Club at Bimini, which acts as an extension of the onboard luxury and entertainment. Guests can enjoy thoughtfully sourced and complimentary food at The Beach Club. Dishes include banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper and conch and mango salad. Drinks are, of course, always pouring from the six bars. Mornings are spent calmy practicing yoga and meditation on the beach, while afternoons eclipse with high-energy pool parties. As the sun sets, beach bonfires are lit and acoustic musical performances begin, allowing guests to wind down for the night.
Grammy-award winning artist and producer Mark Ronson has been honoured the title of The Beach Club at Bimini’s founding DJ. He’ll be the first to soundtrack a day at the Beach Club with four more performances lined up in 2020.
The Scarlet Lady will sail from Miami to the Caribbean in 2020. Bookings are now open: virginvoyages.com