Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin announced that Virgin Voyages is officially open for business, with the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, now open for bookings for her inaugural season, with voyages departing from April 1 through October 21, 2020.
Virgin Voyages will offer an inclusive approach to sea travel that removes add-ons. Its guests will be provided with free food at the 20+ eateries onboard, free group fitness classes, no gratuities or service charges, free Wifi and free basic beverages like soda, teas, and drip coffee, as well as still and sparkling water.
In conjunction with opening bookings for sale, Virgin Voyages revealed that all voyages will feature The Beach Club at Bimini, a Virgin Voyages experience in Bimini, Bahamas. There, guests can have a beach day and/or explore the island flavor and culture of Bimini and its turquoise blue waters.
While on ship, Virgin Voyages guests will have the opportunity to choose from a festival-like lineup of all-new entertainment developed by notable producers, directors and artists in the expansion of the company’s Creative Collective. Virgin Voyages’ entertainment Creative Collective includes Jenny Gersten, Randy Weiner, Sam Pinkleton, Ani Taj, PigPen Theatre Co, The 7 Fingers, Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani and the Spark Cooperative.
Beach Club at Bimini
A cornerstone of every voyage will be The Beach Club at Bimini, where travelers can feel the sand in their toes in a setting with white sand and clear waters.
Built by Resorts World Bimini, The Beach Club at Bimini is designed with Miami-based architects EOA, Inc., featuring natural materials and soft earth tones that blend into the seascape. The Beach Club at Bimini will overlook the ocean and cascade down to the sea with a lagoon-style pool as the central anchor of the club.
Mornings at The Beach Club at Bimini will begin with yoga and meditation as travelers experience the sounds of the ocean. The energy at The Beach Club at Bimini will be gradually amplified as the day progresses and turned back down as dusk settles in. Travelers will reach the high point of the day by the afternoon where DJ-led pool and flotilla parties will be center of the action. The night’s energy will wind down with a beach bonfire to close out the evening with an acoustic musical performance.
Virgin Voyages says with music at the heart of the Virgin brand, Virgin Voyages will carefully curate the soundtrack for The Beach Club at Bimini, with seven-time Grammy-Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson named founding DJ, where he will be among the first talent to grace the turntables. Ronson, the British-born DJ, producer and songwriter, has collaborated with artists like Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Adele, Miley Cyrus and Bruno Mars. Ronson will have four performances in 2020, with performance dates to be announced. The Beach Club will also have complimentary food. Its locally inspired menus will serve up island favorites such as conch and mango salad, banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, Bahamian rum cake and more. As travelers start to explore the club they can discover social spaces with hammock groves and six bars where guests can congregate in groups of friends. Those looking for a home base for the day can experience the beach loungers, or opt for a more private place to cuddle up, with beach-side and poolside cabanas available for rent. The Beach Club at Bimini will also feature active areas for water sports and beach play.
Travelers staying in RockStar Suites will have a dedicated bar, complimentary food service, an outdoor terrace lounge, sun loungers and beach cabanas.
Travelers looking to explore the island of Bimini will have opportunities to do so in this off-the-beaten path tropical destination. The island was a known favorite of author Ernest Hemingway, who described it as “like the end of the world.” This seven-mile island offers sea experiences such as boating, snorkeling, and even wreck diving, with the SS Sapona just a few miles off the coast of the southern part of the island.
Events & Gigs
Scarlet Lady will have a myriad of choice in entertainment made up of bespoke Events & Gigs created exclusively for Virgin Voyages, with the goal of providing travelers with an alternative perspective on the world. They won’t just sit and watch shows; they may be asked to participate with the cast or become immersed in the world of the performance.The company will have no traditional cruise director on board the ship, and instead will have a group of individuals dedicated to making “Happenings” around the ship. From modern takes on classic stories, to interactive dance parties and participatory acts, the experiences will be designed to break down the fourth wall and push the boundaries of traditional stage performances.
The company has expanded its Creative Collective from design and food to now include entertainment. To accommodate its variety of entertainment opportunities Virgin Voyages created The Red Room—designed by architects WorkAC and theater consultants Auerbach Pollock Friedlander—as the first transformational multi-form theater at sea. It will transform into four different configurations - a traditional Proscenium stage, an alley stage used in fashion shows, a dance flat-floor configuration, and finally a reverse stage setup. This first at-sea theater will enable Virgin Voyages to create different experiences for each day of the voyage.
Scarlet Lady will feature six original shows that include a soon to be announced production by award-winning producer Randy Weiner (Queen of the Night, The Donkey Show, Sleep No More).
Sir Richard Branson’s Birthday Voyage
Sir Richard Branson will celebrate his birthday bash among celebrity friends and fellow travelers aboard a four-night Havana After Dark voyage departing July 15, 2020.
Travelers are invited to book their passage aboard this trip by visiting www.virginvoyages.com. Sailors willing to test their luck can enter for a chance to win a cabin for two now through March 31, 2019 by visiting RichardsBirthday.VirginVoyages.com.