Virgin Voyages launches new adults-only cruise ship

Versie Dortch

(CNN) — Virgin Voyages aimed to disrupt the cruise field when it released Scarlet Woman, its to start with grown ups-only cruise ship, last calendar year.

Now Richard Branson’s cruise line is premiering its upcoming providing: Valiant Woman.

This 278-meter extended vessel can accommodate 2,770 passengers, and holds the standard cruise facilities — like a pool deck — about its 17 decks, alongside with a little less typical offerings — like a tattoo parlor.

Nirmal Saverimuttu, Virgin Voyages’ president, tells CNN Travel the cruise line hopes Valiant Woman will be portion of a summer time cruising increase as pandemic limitations simplicity.

“There is certainly a lot of pent-up demand for journey,” he says, adding that the positive response to Scarlet Woman has Virgin confident its sister ship will be a achievement.

On the morning of March 11, Valiant Woman established sail from Essex in the southeast of England to London, where by she’s docked at the London Global Cruise Terminal for launch celebrations. Afterwards, she’ll embark on a British isles sailing before heading off to Barcelona. A stint in Australia is also on the playing cards.

Swanky style

The Pink Agave restaurant is on board Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady.

The Pink Agave cafe is on board Scarlet Woman and Valiant Woman.

Courtesy Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Woman and Valiant Lady are pretty significantly equivalent, with their glitzy interior, boutique-lodge vibe and various places to eat. The only true difference is their respective itineraries.

Virgin Voyages’ want their ships to feel significantly distinctive from conventional vessels. For Captain Marco Carsjens, that was section of the appeal of becoming a member of the cruise line.

Helming Valiant Girl is a “joy,” states the captain, who has been in the industry for more than 25 a long time.

“I came from much more traditionally made ships, but Virgin Voyages is very various and actually quite out there from the exterior to the inside in comparison,” Carsjens tells CNN Travel. “I am passionate about design, so the brand applying people today who have in no way labored in ship style and design ahead of was intriguing and it has worked out good.”

Other than his headquarters on the ship’s bridge, which Carsjens calls the “very best perspective in the house,” the captain states his favored on board spot is The Dock, an indoor/out of doors cafe with sunshine loungers and sea views.

“The way the location merges from inside of to outside and has a superyacht come to feel, I love it,” he claims.

Considerably was designed about the cruise line attractive to individuals who’ve never ever cruised just before when Virgin Voyages first introduced.

You will find no prerequisite to costume up for evening meal. You can find the aforementioned tattoo parlor. There are pop-up entertainment functions. There are various places to eat fairly than just one big eating hall with a buffet.

Still, Saverimuttu is keen to worry that Virgin Voyages aims to appeal to the veteran cruiser as considerably as the newbie. He adds that the cruise line is wanting to cater to folks of all ages.

British cruise blogger Emma Le Teace, who operates the web site Emma Cruises, voyaged on Scarlet Woman last summer months.

“Prior to my Virgin Voyages cruise, I had heard a good deal about how distinct the cruise line was. Virgin were being concentrating on a new cruise current market and this still left me wanting to know if current cruisers would like the item,” she tells CNN Travel.

“Virgin unquestionably do have some factors that set them apart from other cruise strains these as the bundled WiFi and soft drinks but I identified the enjoyment and ship to be fairly equivalent to that which I would locate on other cruise strains.”

Le Teace states that, as with all cruise traces, there were facets she liked, and areas she didn’t. In her blog site critique, she praised the fact that crew were being authorized to gown casually, and the wonderful food solutions, while noting she was fewer convinced by the small pool.

Over-all Le Teace tells CNN Journey she was amazed by how Virgin appeared to pay attention to client feedback.

She’d been not sure about the converting bed which doubles up as a sofa, but on boarding was delighted to discover the mattress only converted to couch on ask for. It was also “pretty comfortable.”

“I really feel as nevertheless Virgin listened effectively to the comments that their prospects have supplied them and I count on them to do very well in the long run,” she states.

Looking to the upcoming

Virgin Voyages' interiors are designed to evoke a boutique hotel.

Virgin Voyages’ interiors are built to evoke a boutique hotel.

Virgin Voyages/Sang An

Launching a cruise line in the middle of a pandemic is no mean feat.

“It is really no secret that Omicron had a big affect on the travel market in December and for January, folks ended up pulling back again on in close proximity to-phrase vacation designs — and we did see that in our bookings as perfectly,” states Saverimuttu.

But as Omicron wanes in Europe and the US, Saverimuttu is self-confident a corner has been turned. There is certainly been an uptick in bookings, he states, suggesting travelers are self-assured to cruise again.

Virgin Voyages claims it will proceed to employ Covid basic safety protocol — everyone on board Scarlet Girl and Valiant Lady is required to be vaccinated, and the cruise line suggests it also assessments company prior to boarding.

Saverimuttu stresses that the cruise line hasn’t has not had any main challenges in terms of Covid-19 linked ailments on board. He stated Virgin’s vaccination needs will lessen the impression of any outbreak on board.

As for the long run, Saverimuttu states Virgin Voyages is excited about opening up its travel plan as Covid restrictions ease — Valiant Girl is established to sail from Australia later on this yr.

The cruise line’s third as-yet-to-be-launched ship, Resilient Lady, will start later this 12 months, when Virgin has a fourth vessel scheduled for 2023.

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