Starting today, February 14th, the cruise line is officially open for business, with the first cruises up for sale aboard the 2,770-passenger ship Scarlet Lady, which is the first ocean liner of Virgin Voyages. The maiden voyage will set sail on April 1, 2020.
“I’ve dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my twenties,” Branson said. “We have taken the time to think about every detail and craft an experience that brings the Virgin brand to life and disrupts the travel industry.”
Some of the main selling points of Branson's cruise line are that 1) It's adults only with no one under 18 allowed, and 2) There are no annoying fees on the ship for basic necessities like water, drinks, and specialty restaurants.
Guests will have their choice of free food at more than 20 restaurants and eateries on the ship, free beverages like soda, tea, coffee, and water, free wifi, and other things like free group fitness classes -- all with no gratuities or service charges, which Virgin likes to call the "Virgin Voyages Rebellious Luxe" experience.
“At Virgin Voyages we are going beyond just great design, to defy and redefine luxury to be rebellious luxe. This new luxury is about knowing you are taken care of, that you’re never being nickel and dimed, and what you want, even some of the things you didn’t know you wanted, are already taken care of for you,” says Tom McAlpin, president and CEO.
“Because food is the fuel for our bodies and souls, and we’re Virgin Voyages, naturally it all had to be included within your ticket price.”
But the Scarlet Lady won't have buffets or main dining room like other cruise ships. Instead, there'll be an English grill-style steakhouse, interactive “laboratory” dining, elevated Mexican, Korean BBQ, Mediterranean, pizzeria, and a casual food court, among others.
The ship will feature six original shows, one of which is from award-winning producer Randy Weiner, who produced the buzzy interactive theater experiences Sleep No More, Queen of the Night and The Donkey Show.
Cruises will be four or five nights and will sail from Miami to Havana, the Dominican Republic, or Mexico, with prices starting at $1,450 or $6,700 for suites.
One of the ports includes the company’s new Beach Club on the fun-filled Bahamian island of Bimini, with a lagoon-style pool, pool parties, bonfires, snorkeling, bars, and complimentary gourmet eats.
All rooms on the ship also have 43-inch flatscreen TVs, rain showers, hammocks, and most of the cabins have ocean terraces. Some of the top tier "Rock Star Suites" have names like “Cheeky," "Glamorous," "Massive," and "Posh" with amenities like walk-in rain showers, all-marble bathrooms.
You can book your trip right here on the Virgin Voyages website.