A night to remember with Virgin Voyages

Holly Branson standing next to Geri Halliwell
Image from Virgin Voyages
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 21 May 2019

What a night!

It was brilliant to welcome Virgin Voyages to the UK and see their ‘rebellious luxe’ on-board experience brought to land (and life) at their Scarlet Night party in London. Buoy, do these guys know how to throw a party!

The entire evening had been carefully curated to give people a taste of what to expect on-board in preparation for their official launch in 2020.

Mark Ronson performs at Virgin Voyages Scarlet Night celebration
Image from Virgin Voyage

Virgin Voyages is driven by so much passion, creativity and innovation so I had expected big things, but the experience still managed to blow me away!

Geri Halliwell Horner really spiced things up – sharing a few secrets about the RockStar cabins that sailors can stay in on-board our first ship, the Scarlet Lady. Details are currently under wraps but I can’t wait to find out more in the lead up to their official launch in 2020. Do I hear a ‘zig-a-zig ahhh’?

Holly Branson and Geri Halliwell in front of a sequin Virgin Voyages backdrop
Image from Virgin Voyages

Every corner you turned revealed a new surprise. From a hidden bar to a neon basketball court, a Frosé station to a buzzing arcade, an ice-cream bar and a secret swimming pool; it was pure sensory overload and quite a stretch from my typical Tuesday evening. 

Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, we were treated to a DJ set by Mark Ronson – paying due diligence to his role as the company’s ‘Minister of Music’.

people dancing at the Scarlet Night party hosted by Virgin Voyages in London 2019
Image from Virgin Voyages

Prior to the party, I was honoured to deliver a welcome speech at the press conference and hear from the team about every element of the on-board experience.

After visiting the company at their offices in Florida late last year, I was inspired to hear such a detailed discussion about how the company is challenging industry standards and changing business for good. 

Holly Branson speaking at a press conference
Image from Virgin Voyages

The health of the ocean is a top priority for Virgin Voyages and it was brilliant to hear how they’re working to protect and rejuvenate the seas. From engaging with responsible supply chains and partnerships, to the elimination of single-use plastics, investing in clean fuel innovations and hosting beach clean-up events; the company really is changing sailing for good. Virgin Voyages will also be offsetting direct climate change emissions by purchasing carbon offsets. This makes Virgin Voyages the first cruise line to become carbon-neutral for its direct emissions footprint from its first day of commercial operation.

The health of their crew is another priority for the company. The team aim to have the healthiest, happiest and most valued crew in the industry and have worked tirelessly to ensure the team feel at home when they’re at sea. This includes detailed design elements that balance connection with privacy for the crew spaces on board, a focus on nutrition and fitness and a detailed strategy to ensure the team maintain a healthy social life.  

Adrienne Brown
Image from Claudio Morelli/Daria Bonera Agency

It was also a shock to discover that, globally, women represent less than 3 per cent of the entire maritime industry. Through their Scarlet Squad program, Virgin Voyages aims to employ a 50/50 ratio of men and women on board their ships. This promises to be a true sea change for the whole industry.

I’m forever in awe of the energy, creativity, purpose and passion that drives Virgin Voyages and I feel so lucky to have experienced a taste of what is in store for what is shaping up to be the world’s most irresistible travel brand. On a side note, I could definitely use a bit of vitamin sea today!