First look at Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s new luxury cruise line

The Scarlet Lady promises chic spaces and a luxe adults-only experience

The first Virgin Voyages cruise ship has been revealed, introducing a new fleet of luxury liners for a sophisticated cruise holiday.

Scarlet Lady was unveiled by Sir Richard Branson at a special event in Dover. She is one of four Virgin Voyages ships that will come into service over the next four years.

The fleet will offer an adults-only experience, bringing the luxury of a boutique hotel to the sea.

Each ship contains 1,330 cabins, and nine in 10 Virgin Voyages staterooms will feature a balcony with an ocean view.

One of suites inside the new Scarlett Lady Virgin Voyages cruise ship

Credit: Tom Wren

Design talent including British designer Tom Dixon and New York-based Roman and Williams have contributed to the impressive interiors.

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Chic spaces inside the vast vessel include over 20 bars and restaurants. They include vegetarian eatery Razzle Dazzle and Pink Agave, a modern Mexican restaurant.

World-class chefs – including Michelin-starred Brad Farmerie – have been enlisted to create the ship’s menus, ensuring a first-class dining experience.

Pink Agave - the ship’s upscale modern Mexican restaurant inside the new Scarlett Lady Virgin Voyages cruise ship

Pink Agave restaurant | Credit: Tom Wren

Meanwhile, on-board entertainment takes its inspiration from festivals. Expect gigs, nightclubs, comedians, drag artists, and a host of other unusual shows. Special ‘On Deck’ voyages will also feature DJ sets by the likes of Mark Ronson and Diplo.

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Wellness is at the heart of the on-board experience too, with a choice of spas, gyms and pools. There’s also a mud room, as well as outdoor yoga space The Perch.

In port, passengers can enjoy visits to exclusive beach clubs and off-the-beaten track experiences designed for the curious traveller.

The Wake restaurant on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

The Wake restaurant | Credit: Tom Wren

Of the launch, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said: “I have dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my twenties and I’m thrilled that moment has arrived.

“The Scarlet Lady is truly special and we’ve worked with some of the world’s most sought-after designers, artists and architects to craft an extraordinary experience.”

Sustainability is as the heart of the Virgin Voyages project, as one of the first cruise lines to use Climeon. This state-of-the-art technology uses heat from the ship’s engines to generate electricity, thereby decreasing the demand for fuel.

Following the launch in Dover, Scarlet Lady will head to Liverpool before heading across the Atlantic for a star-studded reception in New York.

She will then continue on to Miami for her inaugural passenger voyage around the Caribbean in April.

Routes on offer include Costa Maya in Mexico, Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, Florida’s Key West and The Bahamas.

Sister ship Valiant Lady will join the fleet in May 2021, offering seven-night Mediterranean itineraries departing from Barcelona, Spain.

Words: Grant Bailey

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