Making ship happen

A rendered image of the Scarlett Lady cruise ship in the sea
Image from Virgin Voyages
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 1 November 2017

The ship-tease is finally over and I’m thrilled to reveal Virgin Voyages first ship.

We came together in Genoa to celebrate the launch of our new cruiseline by laying the keel of the first ship in true Virgin style, with CEO Tom McAplin and I descending onto the stage using a 200-foot crane to the sound of The Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up.

We marked the momentous occasion by welding coins into the keel for good luck and revealing the first glimpse of the cruise ship. It will feature a sleek silvery-grey hull, with smoked glass, and of course, distinctive touches of red. The ships will be instantly recognisable when they sail into any port anywhere in the world. 

The atmosphere was buzzing as my old friend Boy George took to the decks to DJ and treated the crowd to a terrific performance as we celebrated the start of construction. 

Rihard Branson stands behind decks with Boy George at the Virgin Voyages keel laying party
Image from Sadie Turner

We’ve been toying with the idea of a cruise line for a while and the industry is ripe for positive disruption. Virgin has changed the face of many industries for the better, including aviation and trains (and very soon spaceships), and it’s really exciting we’re about to do the same in the cruise industry.

We’ve decided our ships should be “Adult by Design” as we’re all about relaxation, rejuvenation and fun. You’ll be able to get onboard (if you’re 18+) from 2020. Tom revealed how the ships are inspired by super-yacht design and will be known as the “Lady Ships”, a play on the term ‘your ladyship’, giving a nod to Virgin’s British heritage. Each ship will be adorned by a beautiful mermaid designed by Toby Tinsley, who also designed the motif for Virgin Galactic. 

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady mermaid icon
Image from Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages is also committing to creating the cleanest fleet on the sea as ocean preservation is paramount. Our goal is to be a ship that leaves nothing behind except great memories. Virgin Voyages have signed an agreement with Scanship and, together, we will explore the development of potentially game-changing technology that could one day turn waste into energy.

If you fancy sailing on Virgin Voyages, you can place a $500 refundable deposit for access to an exclusive pre-sale before Virgin Voyages goes on general sale.