Attractions industry news

06 Mar 2020

Richard Branson launches Virgin’s first cruise ship with onboard spa

Richard Branson has unveiled Virgin’s first cruise ship – called The Scarlett Lady – kicking off the launch of Virgin Voyages’ fleet which will be known as the “Lady Ships”.

Virgin Voyages masterplan involves rolling out four ships in total, due for delivery in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The adults-only ship accommodates 2,770 guests and 1,150 crew onboard and includes the Redemption Spa designed by Knibb design, which Virgin labels ‘a mermaid and merman hideaway’.

The spa is equipped with a hydrotherapy pool, mudroom, salt room, cold plunge pools, quartz beds, and will offer spa treatments by Elemis.

Guests will also have access to hair and nail services as well as relaxation spaces such as The Dock – Virgin Voyages’ outdoor lounge with a focus on relaxation and socialising surrounded by panoramic ocean views.

Facilities also include a wellbeing pool, large whirlpool and two plunge pools.

Every night there will be an evening spa party where DJs will transform the spa’s thermal suite into a ‘mermaid hideaway extravaganza’.

Wellness offerings also extend to a range of fitness options including an outdoor training zone with boxing ring; strength and gymnastics equipment, a standalone running track and multi-purpose studios for strength; spin; yoga and cardio with ocean views.

In addition, guests have access to The Burn and Build gyms which are equipped with Technogym ARTIS equipment, as well as 20 dining options.

Virgin Voyages has emphasised a focus on design for the ships, having engaged interior designers, artists and architects, including Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam.

Branson tweeted: “I’ve wanted to launch a cruise line since I was in my 20s and I’m so excited that it’s finally happening with Virgin Voyages.”

Virgin Voyages has committed to becoming one of the cleanest fleets at sea, the company has banned single-use plastics on board and partnered with Sweden-based technology company Climeon, with a goal to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by converting engine waste heat into clean electricity.

The Scarlett Lady will also use a hybrid scrubber system to remove sulfur dioxide from the boat’s exhaust and a selective catalytic reduction system to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Virgin Voyages is taking a step in the right direction in focusing on sustainability, as cruise ships are infamous for their poor carbon footprint, with some pumping out more sulphur dioxide in a day than 13 million cars, as well as dumping fuel and sewage into the ocean.

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