Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s cruise line, today celebrated the official introduction of its second flagship ship, the 2,770-passenger Valiant Lady.
Friday morning debuted with an epic launch Party at the London International Cruise Terminal in Tilbury, where Valiant Lady is docked. A special event is also planned at the Manor (the disco on board the ship) this evening, with food, drinks and music from world-class DJs.
Next, the 912-foot-long, 110,000-gross-ton ship Valiant Lady will proceed to Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, for its maiden voyage, departing March 18, which will take guests on a three-day voyage nights in Zeebrugge, Belgium.
Branson’s lifestyle cruise brand launched its first adults-only cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, last year amid the pandemic. After a UK preview, Scarlet Lady began performing four- and five-night trips to the Caribbean from Miami.
Structurally and aesthetically, Valiant Lady’s interiors and exteriors are almost identical to those of its predecessor, evoking a glitzy boutique hotel feel. While offering uniquely sophisticated features and amenities, the brand has also designed the ships to provide passengers with a simple and relaxed onboard experience.
“We’ve thrown away the rule book and said goodbye to bow ties and buffets,” said Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin at today’s launch. “Instead, our ships are adults-only, have a no-tipping policy, and offer some of the best dining experiences you’ll find at sea or on land, including the world’s first Korean BBQ and the largest collection of Mezcal and Tequila, at sea. This is what it means to set sail in the Virgin’s way and we look forward to welcoming sailors, old and new, on board.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel,” said Virgin Voyages chairman Nirmal Saverimuttu. CNN, giving Virgin reason to believe Valiant Lady is entering service in time for a busy summer season that is expected as global restrictions continue to ease. “After two tough years, people are excited to explore the world again and it means a lot to us that we can help facilitate that,” McAlpin also remarked.
According to a Virgin group Release, Virgin Voyages has seen a 174% increase in bookings over the past six months, indicating that the cruise industry is set to rebound vigorously this year, with demand potentially returning to pre-pandemic levels. Research by Virgin Voyages also found that a whopping 96% of survey participants want to go on a cruise in 2022.
In May, Valiant Lady will begin operating from her new home port of Barcelona, sailing itineraries including overnight stays in destinations including Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, the Canary Islands, Lisbon, Belgium and Ibiza. Later this year, the new ship is also set to begin sailing in Australia for the first time.
For more information, visit virginvoyages.com.