Last week, Richard Branson provided details to the media about the maiden voyage his cruise company, Virgin Voyages, intends to take. Set to depart from Miami in 2020, the Scarlet Lady is set to be the very first vessel, named and designed after the very first Virgin Atlantic planes. A sculpture of the Lady herself, a blonde mermaid with a long red tail, is set to adorn the hull of the boat. The Scarlet Lady is to be an adults-only vessel, to give travelers an alternative to nosier, child-friendly lines.
The announcement was met with excitement by those in the industry. While the cruise industry is dominated by major players, Virgin is expected to instantly become quite competitive, thanks to their name recognition, innovative risk-taking, and its’ renowned customer service (a huge thing in today’s marketplace; something other cruise lines are known to be lacking).
Branson has designed the line of cruise ships to be “fun, fun, fun,” noting that he himself had never wanted to go on a cruise until he and his company came up with this one. Most cruise ship are designed to resemble a hotel, with a certain amount of uniformity to them. Branson’s cruise line is meant to be more of a floating city, with diversity reflected throughout its public spaces. A number of renderings were released to the media earlier this year, seemingly inspired by the golden age of cruise travel. The VIP Lounge and The Manor, a stunning nightclub, were designed by the team of Roman and Williams, which is the same firm that came with the innovating designs for the Standard High Line in New York and Hotel Emma in San Antonio.
Take Care of Your Body and Mind
The exterior is going to be just as stunning as the interior, with cabanas, a bowsprit net, a cocktail lounge, and, for the more athletically inclined travelers, an outdoor, top deck running track. There is also going to be a beautiful space on the Crow’s Nest strictly devoted to morning and evening yoga. Other perks include a basketball court, outdoor gym, and an outdoor boxing ring with complimentary introductory classes for all patrons.
In addition, adults are going to be able to indulge their inner child at an expansive outdoor playground deigned specifically for grown-ups. It still contains the same things you remember, and love, from those of your childhood, including seesaws and swings. The area is also going to feature a life-size chess board, giving you a chance to work out your mind as well your body.
Virgin Voyages seems like an ambitious endeavor, but even the critics believe that Branson can pull it off. With the first ship launching in 2020, tickets have yet to be released, nor have prices been announced. Branson has committed to making it perfect for first-time travelers, but whether that is going to translate to lower ticket prices is still up in the air.