People in 49 states have booked trips with Virgin Voyages, according to Richard Branson. That just leaves one.

By Stacey Leasca
May 31, 2019

Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s latest travel venture, will soon set sail with some of the sleekest boats the seas have ever seen. Though the boats are ready, the staff has been hired, the entertainment is in place, and the ultra-luxurious beds are made, there is one thing missing: passengers from South Dakota.

According to Virgin Voyages, passengers from all around the United States have already booked sailings with Virgin Voyages, which hits the seas in 2020, except for people from South Dakota. And now Branson himself is appealing to citizens of the Mount Rushmore State.

“Out of all the states in the U.S., you're the only one that hasn't booked to get on board with us at Virgin Voyages,” Branson wrote in a new open letter to South Dakota. “Oh, a huge thank you to the other 49 states that have — we can't wait to make waves with you. It's sure to be a cruise experience unlike any holiday you've ever taken.” 

But, as Branson noted, South Dakota has been a bit slower to book.

“...for a state with a place called Rapid City, you're really taking your time. I was beginning to take your absence personally, and then I read an interesting statistic,” he wrote.

According to Branson, on average, South Dakotans travel less than most other Americans. In fact, South Dakotans mark a national low of 4.3 vacation days to travel and use just 26 percent of their average dedicated time off.

“I've always been an advocate of the benefits travel provides — it opens the mind and heart, bolsters health, brings us closer to loved ones, inspires us, and can be life-changing,” he wrote. “I believe this to be so important for the human spirit that l've spent most of my life working to find ways to make exploring our planet more efficient, more sustainable, and more exciting.”

Anthony DelMundo/Getty Images

And making life more exciting is exactly what Branson says they’re doing with Virgin Voyages.

“Our beautiful ships are designed to make sailing a well-being inspired, Adult-by-Design, never been done before holiday at sea,” he wrote. “So, South Dakota, we personally invite you to join the rest of the United States of Virgin Voyages' Sailors and get on board.” He added, “A worthy reward awaits those who answer the call. Are you in?”