Virgin Voyages' first ever cruise ship Scarlet Lady made her highly-anticipated debut in the UK, two months before heading to homeport in Miami, from which she will embark on a host of Caribbean itineraries.
Richard Branson's cruise line has already offered a sneak peek with photos on board, including highlights such as the lavish Rockstar Suites, a few of the 20 restaurants on board, and other spots including the luxury spa.
Branson said of Scarlet Lady's big debut: "I have dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my 20s and I’m thrilled that moment has arrived.
"The Scarlet Lady is truly special and we’ve worked with some of the world’s most sought-after designers, artists and architects to craft an extraordinary experience. The benefit of our five decades in business in so many industries is that we can offer a voyage like no other."
Hailed as one of the new cruise ships for 2020 to get excited about, Scarlet Lady will offer a quirky take on traditional cruise holidays, including an on-board tattoo parlour, drag-themed brunches and vegan menus.
But how much do you know about the new ship? We share 8 interesting facts about Scarlet Lady…
1. Where the name Scarlet Lady comes from
The name has a close link to the history of Branson's global empire, having also appeared on one of the first planes to fly for Virgin Atlantic.
2. The ship's impressive size
Scarlet Lady boasts a gross tonnage of 110,000, and measures 278m in length and 38m in width. She will be able to host over 2,770 passengers and 1,160 members of crew.
3. Passengers can get tattoos
The ship will feature her very own on-board tattoo parlour where passengers – or as Branson calls them, sailors – can get nautical themed inkings to commemorate their getaway.
The Squid Ink parlour will also offer body piercings and permanent make-up treatments.
4. There are over 20 restaurants
Passengers won't go hungry thanks to the plethora of eateries on offer, with everything from pizzerias to vegan hotspots. Some of the venues will also host special events, such as drag-themed brunches.
5. She's one of four cruise ships
So far, Virgin Voyages has placed orders for a total of four cruise ships, which started with Scarlet Lady. The second ship will be Valiant Lady who will homeport in Barcelona. The cruise line currently has not revealed details of the further two ships, being built at shipyard Fincantieri.
6. Guests can lie on nets above the ocean
Forget a typical sun lounger (although there are plenty of those too). Those wanting to bask in the sunshine can lay out on the 220 square foot of triple netting, right above the ocean and decks below. The idea is to replicate the feeling of sailing.
For those after something particularly lavish, the RockStar Suites could be just the thing. mega RockStar guests will get huge suites with large beds, ensuite bathrooms and spacious balconies, not to mention there are some seriously tempting perks from a dedicated hair and make-up crew on hand, to a free personalised bottomless bar in-room.
There will only be 15 Mega Rockstar available on board, but there are 78 RockStar Suites in total, all designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio.
8. She will homeport in Miami
Scarlet Lady will be based in Miami, from where she will sail on a host of Caribbean itineraries – including ports of call to the cruise line's beach club in the Bahamas.
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