When Richard Branson announced earlier this year that he was launching Virgin Voyages—an adults-only, all-inclusive cruise line—it shook up the cruise line industry.
The group’s first ship, the 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady, will offer unconventional amenities, such as a tattoo parlor and a drag brunch (hosted by the drag-queen-in-residence). Cruises kick off from Miami to the Caribbean starting in April 2020, and a seven-night LGBTQ itinerary is slated for May. Making even more news, Scarlet Lady will be piloted by Captain Wendy Williams, the first Canadian woman to captain a major cruise line.
Travelers hoping to sail the Mediterranean in a similarly unstuffy way can now look forward to Virgin Voyages’ second ship. Starting in May 2021, the Valiant Lady will host three different seven-night itineraries to France, Spain, and Italy. Stops include Monte Carlo, Marseille, and a Friday overnight in the party port of Ibiza. The Valiant Lady is another mammoth 2,770-passenger vessel; it will be based in Barcelona and dock not far from Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center in the Spanish city.
While Virgin Voyages is still looking for crew to staff the new ship, it will continue the work it started with its Scarlet Squad program to recruit and employ women in industries previously dominated by men.
“Virgin Voyages proudly boasts leadership positions for women with the design, build, technical operations and captaining of Virgin Voyages cruise ships,” the company said in a statement. “Like them, our ship’s leading lady is quite, well, valiant.”
Onboard, the details are still hush-hush. But it wouldn’t be surprising if the new ship features amenities similar to the Scarlet Lady, which includes 20 restaurant options (no buffets) and not-your-typical-Broadway-show entertainment options. Interior shots of the ship-to-be have yet to be released. All three itineraries will launch on Sundays and the company will start taking bookings on December 19, 2019, so mark your calendars.
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