Virgin Cruises Scarlet Lady rethinks cruise ship design

posted on Friday, 21st February 2020 by Steve May

Travel  Hotels  Cruise Ship  Luxury 


Sir Richard Branson aims to make waves in the cruise market with a new fleet and a fresh approach to cruise holidays. The first Virgin Voyages cruise ship launches today in Dover.

Christened Scarlet Lady, it’s the first of four Virgin Voyages ships, scheduled to come into service each year for the next four years. Each vessel contains 1,330 cabins. Nine in 10 Virgin Voyages staterooms will feature a balcony with an ocean view.

"I’ve dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my twenties,” says Branson “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.”




Virgin’s ‘Lady ships’ fleet will offer adults-only cruising in the style of a luxe boutique hotel. Interior design has been handled by Tom Dixon, amongst others. On-board entertainment supposedly takes inspiration from music festivals.

The promise is of gigs, nightclubs, comedians, drag artists, and other entertainment rarely seen at sea.Traditional tourist excursions at local ports will be replaced with visits to exclusive beach clubs and authentic, off-the-beaten track experiences catering to the curious traveller.

Scarlet Lady has more than 20 eateries ranging from brunch bars to restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs, including vegetarian cuisine. There’s a major focus on wellness with spas, gyms, yoga and wellness pools.

Eco is a theme too. Virgin Voyages is also one of first cruise lines to use Climeon, a technology that utilises heat generated from the ship’s engines to generate electricity, decreasing the demand for fuel.




Scarlet Lady arrived in the UK after her five-day inaugural voyage undergoing sea trials from Genoa in Italy, where she was built at the Fincantieri shipyard.

From Dover, she will head to Liverpool for two days before heading across the Atlantic for a star-studded reception in New York, and then on to Miami where she will make her inaugural passenger voyage around the Caribbean in April.

Routes on offer include a five-day sailing to Costa Maya in Mexico, Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, and a quick getaway to Key West and Bahamas.

The ship will later be joined by sister liner Valiant Lady which features seven-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021.

Steve May

Inside ID Editor Steve May is a freelance lifestyle and technology journalist, who also writes for Ideal Home, the i, T3, Home Cinema CHoice, TechRadar and Trusted Reviews.

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