The latest luxury travel innovation from Richard Branson is here, as Virgin Voyages took possession of the Scarlet Lady—the first ship in the fleet—on Friday in Dover, England.
“The Scarlet Lady is truly special and we’ve worked with some of the world’s most sought-after designers, artists and architects to craft an extraordinary experience,” Branson said. “I have dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my 20s and I’m thrilled that moment has arrived.”
The maiden voyage will take place in March, with Scarlet Lady making Caribbean sailings from its base in Miami. Virgin’s private beach club at Bimini in the Bahamas will be a port of call, along with Puerto Plata, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen in Mexico plus Key West and San Juan.
With trendy eateries, a tattoo and body piercing parlor, and a mirror-lined room built for Instagram, the cruise line is aimed at a younger clientele than cruises typically attract. It’s also adults-only, so there won’t be children running around. It’s all done is Branson’s signature cool Virgin style. Virgin’s travel ventures have been perfected in planes, trains, and resorts the world over.
“The benefit of our five decades in business in so many industries is that we can offer a voyage like no other,” he said.
Mediterranean voyages are slated to begin in 2021, with stops at places such as Sardinia, Corsica, and Ibiza. Branson also has his sights set on space, with Virgin Galactic competing to be the first commercial venture to take tourists to space.
Branson expressed Virgin Voyages’ commitment to sustainability.
“I’m so proud that as we start this exciting journey, we also bring to life Virgin Voyages’ commitment to preserving the ocean and the first of many steps towards a net-zero carbon future.”
Valiant Lady will follow next year, with the third and fourth ships expected in 2022 and 2023.