Inside the Public Spaces on the New Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages, the new adults-only cruise brand set to launch in 2020, released a sneak peek at some of the indoor and outdoor public spaces guests can expect onboard its three new ships at a media event in New York. The spaces were designed by the brand’s “Creative Collective,” a lineup of design teams from various backgrounds.

“We wanted to get designers who had never worked on a cruise ship before,” Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin told Travel Agent and other attendees at the event, which he said was in keeping with the brand’s aim to develop a new take on ocean travel.

The spaces previewed at the event were designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio in London, Roman and Williams in New York, and Concrete Amsterdam. While none have ever worked in the cruise industry before, many had a strong hospitality pedigree, with the teams having worked with boutique hotel brands like W Hotels and citizenM, as well as properties like The Standard, High Line in New York City and hotel Zoku.

The spaces were designed in a variety of styles in order to offer guests, or “sailors” as Virgin Voyages refers to them, more choices during their cruise, McAlpin said. Design influences run the gamut from retro futurism to the golden age of sea travel in the 1920s and 1930s to famous nightlife style icons like Studio 54. Here’s a look at the spaces that were previewed:

  • Richard’s Rooftop (Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio): This VIP outdoor lounge will be exclusively for the ship’s suite guests. Done in a retro futurism style, the private club will have circular loungers, giant umbrellas and access of dichroic glass that casts rainbow reflections across the space, plus a full bar.
  • Pink Agave (Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio): This upscale modern Mexican restaurant will combine electric blue lighting fixtures with oversized banquets and a central curved lounger with tables for two. There will also be a bar area in the foyer and a private dining room for larger groups.
  • The Manor (Roman and Williams): Virgin Voyages’ signature night club, this space draws heavy inspiration from the famous Studio 54, with emerald and aubergine undertones and gold accents, as well as a mirrored entryway.
  • The Dock (Roman and Williams): This outdoor relaxation space is located at the ship’s aft, on deck 7, and aims for a feel reminiscent of seaside lounges in destinations such as the Hamptons, Ibiza and Bali.
  • The Athletic Club (Concrete Amsterdam): Initial design discussions had called for a sports club, athletic area and sports bar on the new ships; here, all three venues have been combined into a single giant, open space expanding across both sides of the ship’s aft. It has traditional nautical elements and what’s being billed as the largest daybed at sea, which is next to an area of netting that lets loungers overlook the open space and decks below as though on a catamaran. There are also 10 cabanas with beverage service from the adjacent bar.
  • The Test Kitchen (Concrete Amsterdam): This lab-like restaurant incorporates an entryway with images mimicking the periodic table, plus touches like beakers, test tubes and volumetric flasks.

At the event the design panel also talked a little bit more about their philosophy when designing the new spaces, which you can watch here:

Virgin Voyages said it will announce further details on its new ships as it moves closer to its 2020 launch date. The brand has three ships on order from Fincantieri, with delivery slated for 2020, 2021 and 2022; each of the ships will have a capacity of 2,700 guests. The first ship will sail from PortMiami on Caribbean itineraries starting in 2020, with bookings open only to guests 18 years of age and older.

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