Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first adults-only cruise ship, was launched last year with the goal of revolutionizing the cruise industry.

Now, Valiant Lady, Richard Branson’s cruise line, is making its debut.

This 278-meter-long ship can accommodate 2,770 guests and has 17 decks with usual cruise amenities, such as a pool deck, as well as slightly unusual options, such as a tattoo parlour.

Virgin Voyages president Nirmal Saverimuttu commented that the cruise line believes the Valiant Lady will be part of a summer sailing boom when pandemic restrictions relax.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel,” he says, adding that the favourable response to Scarlet Lady has Virgin optimistic about the potential of its sister ship.

Valiant Lady sailed from Essex, in the southeast of England, to London, where she is docked for launch celebrations at the London International Cruise Terminal. She’ll then cruise around the United Kingdom before heading to Barcelona. A trip to Australia is also anticipated.

With their glittering interiors, boutique-hotel vibes, and various eateries, Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady are nearly identical. The only real distinction is in their itineraries.

Virgin Voyages’ want their ships to stand out from regular cruise liners. That was part of the appeal for Captain Marco Carsjens in joining the cruise company.

Captaining the Valiant Lady is a “joy,” according to the captain, who has over 25 years of experience in the sector.

“I came from more traditionally designed ships, but Virgin Voyages is very different and actually quite out there from the exterior to the interior in comparison,” Carsjens says. “I’m passionate about design, so the brand using people who have never worked in ship design before was fascinating and it has worked out great.”

Carsjens says his favourite onboard area is The Dock, an indoor/outdoor restaurant with sun loungers and sea views, in addition to his headquarters on the ship’s bridge, which he describes as having the “best view in the house.”

“The way the area merges from inside to outside and has a superyacht feel, I love it,” he says.

When Virgin Voyages originally started, much was made of the cruise line’s attraction to passengers who had never sailed before.

Virgin Voyages says it will continue to follow the Covid safety standard, which requires everyone on board the Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady to be vaccinated and tested before boarding.

Resilient Lady, the cruise line’s third yet-to-be-launched ship, will debut later this year, with a fourth vessel anticipated for 2023.

– India’s new age travel digital media


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