Richard Branson says new cruise line will treat guests like ‘rock stars’

January 22, 2019

You don’t necessarily want to “rock and roll” on a cruise ship. (Think roiling waves and sea sickness.) But Sir Richard Branson—heretofore best-known for Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic airlines, Virgin Hotels, and Virgin Galactic space tours—has come up with an experience he thinks consumers, literally, will go for.

Virgin Voyages, the latest Branson brand, will begin operations in 2020, with the first of its four ships on order from master builder Fincantieri—the Scarlet Lady. The cruise will set off from Miami to a Caribbean destination, hosting more than 2,770 guests (whom the company calls “Sailors”) and 1,160 crew members.

The Scarlet Lady will be “adult-by-design,” Branson says—”a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler.” The new company is throwing out traditional clichés on luxury and formalities, and instead bringing what it calls Rebellious Luxe to life at sea; with RockStar Suites created by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio “as the pinnacle of that experience.”

The top two suites aboard the ship—dubbed the Massive Suites—will boast their very own guitar-clad music rooms, views of the ocean from every corner, hot tubs, hammocks—and runway outdoor dining tables.

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” says Branson. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our Sailors like the rockstars [sic] they are.”

“We have combined brilliant design and Virgin Voyages’ epic Sailor experience vision to create a completely new version of luxury—Rebellious Luxe, which is at the intersection of luxury and a rebellious attitude that makes everything we do different, indulgent and meaningfully relevant to our Sailors. Whether they want to sleep all day, praise the sun with yoga at dusk or party all night, our RockStar Suite Sailors can live out their fantasies aboard the Scarlet Lady,” says Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

RockStar Suites Sailors “will live their best lives,” attended to by the RockStar Services Crew, from time of booking, to sail away, and throughout their voyage, Virgin Voyages claims. There will be backstage access for RockStar Suites Sailors at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, Shore Things (a private transfer to and from the ship in Miami), and an exclusive express VIP pathway to the ship during embarkation.

What’s more, RockStar Suites Sailors will have their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack; complimentary pressing service; and nightly express swimsuit drying service—“because no rockstar should ever have a wet bottom.”

All RockStar Suites Sailors will have access to Richard’s Rooftop, their very own private members club—a secluded place for them to bask under the sun or have a drink under the stars.

From now through January 31, Virgin Voyages fans can enter for the change to win the opportunity to Party Like a rockstar, Virgin Voyages’ style, at their next #ShipTease event in New York City on Valentine’s Day. Those interested in the sweepstakes should visit www.virginvoyages.com to enter.

Research contact: @VirginVoyages

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