Virgin Voyages aimed to disrupt the cruise industry when it launched Scarlet Lady, its first adults-only cruise ship, last year.
Now Sir Richard Branson’s cruise line is premiering its next offering: Valiant Lady.
This 278-meter long vessel can accommodate 2 770 passengers, and holds the usual cruise amenities – like a pool deck – over its 17 decks, along with slightly less usual offerings – like a tattoo parlor.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, Virgin Voyages’ president, said the cruise line hopes Valiant Lady will be part of a summer cruising boom as coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions ease.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel,” he says, adding that the positive response to Scarlet Lady has Virgin confident its sister ship will be a success.
On the morning of March 11, Valiant Lady set sail from Essex in the southeast of England to London, where she’s docked at the London International Cruise Terminal for launch celebrations. Later, she’ll embark on a United Kingdom sailing before heading off to Barcelona. A stint in Australia is also on the cards.
Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady are pretty much identical, with their glitzy interior, boutique-hotel vibe and multiple restaurants. The only real difference is their respective itineraries.
Virgin Voyages’ want their ships to feel noticeably different from traditional vessels. For Captain Marco Carsjens, that was part of the appeal of joining the cruise line.
Helming Valiant Lady is a “joy”, says the captain, who has been in the industry for over 25 years.
“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 said.
“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.”
Besides his headquarters on the ship’s bridge, which Carsjens calls the “best view in the house”, the captain says his favorite on board spot is The Dock, an indoor/outdoor restaurant with sun loungers and sea views.
“The way the area merges from inside to outside and has a superyacht feel, I love it,” he says. (CNN)