Virgin Voyages' First Cruise Ship Made Its Debut in an England Port and Is Even More Glam Than Expected

Introducing the Scarlet Lady.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady
Photo: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Sir Richard Branson is officially ready to hit the high seas with the debut of Virgin Voyages’ first ship, the Scarlet Lady.

Unveiled in Dover, England on Friday, ahead of its inaugural trip in April, the ship is even more glamorous than expected and the vibe is decidedly cosmopolitan cool. The adult's only cruise includes a record shop, tattoo parlor, karaoke rooms and night clubs. But for those who need a “detox,” there are plenty of healthy options as well, including sunrise and sunset yoga classes, a spa, pool, outdoor running track and gym.

And when it comes to dining, don't expect it in typical cruise fashion with massive buffets. Everything is done restaurant style, ranging from a chop-house with raw bar to upscale Mexican to a healthy vegetarian option. There’s also a Korean style eatery that starts with a free round of soju for the table and continues with staff encouraging the table to play different Korean-style drinking games. On-board bars will vary from a casual open-air lounge to an exclusive rooftop bar, reserved only for those in suites.

Members of the design team included Roman and Williams, Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio and Concrete Amsterdam who have designed hotspots like Le Coucou in New York and Shoreditch House in London. And don't even get us started on the super chic staff uniforms.

The ship, dedicated to reducing its environmental impact, uses a technology that uses heat from the ship’s engines to generate electricity, thereby reducing the demand for fuel. The cruise will operate with zero single-use plastic, nixing key cards for bracelets made from recycled ocean plastic. The trendy bands will also guarantee that staff can find you for the ship’s “champagne-on-demand” service.

The ship has 1,330 cabins and 78 “RockStar Suites” onboard.

From Dover, the ship will head up to Liverpool where it will dock for two days before its transatlantic voyage to New York. From there it will sail down to Miami where it will embark on its first passenger expedition this spring. The ship will cruise around the Caribbean on various journeys, but it will always stop at Virgin’s private Beach Club at Bimini.

Virgin Voyages’ second ship, the Valiant Lady, will set sail in May 2021 with cruises around the Mediterranean.

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