Top quirky experiences on Virgin’s new cruise ship from drag brunches to tattoos

Virgin's first ever cruise ship Scarlet Lady has made her UK debut, and there's no denying that the ship won't offer traditional cruise holidays.

Richard Branson's new cruise line, Virgin Voyages, is targeting a younger adults-only audience for its sailings, specifically the millennial market.

The result is a series of unique on-board experiences that you wouldn't necessarily expect from a cruise – such as a tattoo parlour where you can get themed inkings, a restaurant serving up experimental dishes, and heaps of surprises including drag-themed brunches.

Richard Branson said of Scarlet Lady's launch: "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."

Virgin has already offered a sneak peek of what passengers can expect with photos from on-board the ship, but we're taking a look at some of the top quirky highlights that have caught our attention…

1. On-board tattoo parlour

Feeling inspired by the sailor theme of the ship? You can get nautical-themed inkings at The Squid Ink, the on-board tattoo parlour. But that's not all; the hub will also offer the likes of body piercings and permanent make-up offerings if you're after a bold makeover.

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2. Test Kitchen

This laboratory-style foodie spot is part cooking school, part restaurant. Think set menus of avant-garde cuisine – but instead of dishes, you'll be presented with an ingredient list which chefs use to combine for unique meals.

There'll be cooking classes, mixology sessions, coffee labs and even a few late-night lock-ins where passengers can raid the chef's fridge for a midnight feast.

3. The eateries in general

There's an impressive choice of 20 restaurants on board the ship, so passengers are sure to be spoiled for choice. But we're not talking posh dining rooms – we're talking pizzerias, cocktail bars with mixology sessions, themed brunches and plenty of brilliant snack options.

First look at new Virgin cruise ship Scarlet Lady including the lavish suites

4. Deck netting

It doesn't sound exciting until you consider that there will be a 220 square foot area of triple netting on deck which passengers can lay out on, right above the ocean other decks below. The idea? Replicate that 'wind in your hair' feeling of sailing.

Millennials love a good brunch, and Scarlet Lady will deliver with a wide array of options whether you're in the mood for vegan food, or one of the drag-themed brunches complete with drag acts. 

6. The entertainment

Plenty of cruise ships offer theatre-style shows, and while there will be shows on board Virgin's cruise ship, instead of Broadway-esque offerings, expect live gigs, DJ sets and drag artists.

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