Virgin Voyages

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Virgin Voyages cruise line logo

Virgin Voyages fleet

Review of Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages (formerly "Virgin Cruises", is a new cruise line company headquartered in Plantation (Florida USA). Virgin Voyages was created as a joint venture between Virgin Group Ltd (British multinational holding company) and Bain Capital LP (multi-asset investment company), with the latter having a majority (51%) shareholding. The establishment of Virgin Cruises was announced by Virgin Group on December 4, 2014. The new cruise line is scheduled to start operations in 2020.

Company History

Bain Capital (1984-founded) is based in Boston (Massachusetts USA) and specializes in private equity, venture capital, credit, public equity, life sciences and real estate, with assets (under management in FY2018) ~USD 105 billion. Virgin Group Ltd (1970-founded by Richard Branson and Nik Powell) is based in London (England UK) and specializes in global investments and branding through numerous fully- or partially-owned subsidiary companies in businesses like travel (cruises, hotels, tours, airlines, trains), hospitality, health, banking, retail, communications, entertainment, publishing, charity.

Virgin Group's best-known brands are Virgin Holidays, Virgin Voyages, Virgin Megastores, Virgin Hotels, Virgin Care, Virgin Trains USA (Brightline), and Virgin Airlines (Australia, Atlantic, Connect, and Galactic/spaceflights).

Virgin Voyages operates a fleet of four fully-owned cruise vessels constructed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri SpA (at Sestri Ponente shipyard/Genoa).

In FY2018, Fincantieri reported revenue of EUR 5,4 billion. Currently ranked Europe's largest shipbuilding company, Fincantieri has 8 shipyards (all in Italy), in 2013 acquired VARD (Norway-based company with 9 shipyards) and in 2018 purchased 50% of STX France (Chantiers de l'Atlantique Shipyard in St Nazaire). Fincantieri builds both commercial and naval ships.

Virgin Voyages cruise line logo (CruiseMapper)

In 2020, Virgin Cruises officially started operations (from Miami Florida USA) with the 2800-passenger Scarlet Lady. Three more sisterships were inaugurated in the following years - Valiant Lady (2021), Resilient Lady (2022) and Brilliant Lady (2025).

The announcement (initially for 3 ships) was made on June 23, 2015, in Miami, during a press conference (media event "making waves") for Virgin Group's new cruise travel brand. For the event, Richard Branson arrived on a helicopter, landing near Miami's Museum Park. He announced that the total building cost for the 3 ships is USD 2,13 billion (US$710M per unit). The announcement for the 4th ship was made on October 31, 2018, with order value ~EUR 700 million.

The company's current President and CEO is Nirmal Saverimuttu (1979-born in Zambian, raised in Australia), who in September 2023 succeeded Thomas Michael McAlpin (1959-born American). McAlpin joined DCL-Disney Cruise Line in 1995 (as VP of Finance, Business Development & Shore Travel Operations) overseeing the construction of the first Disney ships (Magic/1998 and Wonder/1999) and the development of Walt Disney's private Bahamian island Castaway Cay. In 2004, he became DCL's President. Prior to heading Virgin Cruises, McAlpin served as CEO of The World Residences at Sea (in the period 2009-2014). Following his retirement from CEO and President, Tom McAlpin continued to serve Virgin Voyages as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Earlier in 2016, Virgin settled US$300M lawsuits filed by Colin Veitch (former NCL-Norwegian CEO), who claimed Virgin had stolen his ideas and moved on with the cruise line concept without him.

Tom McAlpin commented that the company is not to be considered a big player in the cruising industry, but rather "a small boutique line that will offer different experiences". McAlpin and Branson hinted that those experiences might take some cues from other successful Virgin ventures, like Virgin Hotels. The hotel chain is popular for offering free WiFi, minibar drinks at street prices, privacy doors allowing guests to go on about their business while room service brings requests, pet-friendly amenities with no weight or size restrictions.

In October 2016, "Virgin Cruises" was rebranded as "Virgin Voyages". At the time it was first announced, the company's founder Branson said his goal was to create a brand cruising experience that is more likely to appeal to millennials and other people who don't normally take cruise ship vacations.

In regard to onboard gratuities, the company has "No Tipping" policy, which means all gratuities are included in the base cruise fares. Also included in basic fares are beverages, all eateries, group fitness classes. The company also doesn't charge penalties or change fees. Customers are able to hold staterooms for 24 hours with no money down once they've placed a 20% non-refundable deposit. They also have a 7-day grace period allowing them to change bookings for any reason. Cruise departure date and names on bookings can be changed without fees or penalties. Shortly before opening the bookings on Scarlet Lady (Feb 14, 2019), Virgin announced all-inclusive deal policy by which cruises are sold "by cabin price". Fares are also inclusive of dining (shipwide / 20 options, some 24-hour), unlimited WiFi, all fitness classes. Cabin pricing only varies by the number of occupants. For 5-day itineraries, fares start from ~USD 250 pp per day (excluding taxes-fees).

Virgin Cruises' "non-commissionable policy" allows travel agents to earn across customer's entire transaction, including on add-ons (hotels, flights, travel insurance, spa treatments, tours/excursions, premium packages, onboard credits, taxes, fees). Travel agents receive 16% base commission on the transaction (increased from 10% by the expanded "Brilliant To Do Business With" program). "Red Hot Bonus" program additionally offers annually paid revenue up to 6% (in case certain production thresholds are met) in addition to 10% commission on everything sold prior the cruise (excepting taxes and fees).

Company changes 2019 (pre-inauguration)

In early-April 2019, Virgin Voyages signed an exclusive 7-year partnership deal with OSW (OneSpaWorld Holdings Ltd) - a provider of health-and-wellness services and products on cruise vessels and in destination resorts worldwide. OSW provides all the wellness staff, services and products onboard Virgin ships, including yoga and gym trainers, massages, medispa treatments, salon (manicure-pedicure-hairdresser) services. Each ship has a 29-person OSW-employed professional staff. The served facilities include Crow's Nest (outdoor yoga studio), Redemption Spa, Dry-Dock (blowout bar), B-Complex (Fitness Center).

In April 2019, Virgin and Intelligentsia Coffee signed a deal to provide Intelligentsia coffee (Virgin Voyages Blend) and made-to-order beverages at all venues, including the specialty coffee bars ("Ministry of Ground" and "Ministry of Ground Too") served by expert baristas.

In June 2019, Virgin expanded the list of RockStar Suite-only perks with RockStar Agents (dedicated butlers per stateroom), specially dedicated hair and makeup crew (upon request), complimentary laundry service, complimentary Thermal Suite access (Redemption Spa), all-inclusive premium drinks (in all shipboard eateries and bars), personalized bottomless in-room bar (free of charge), option to curate in-port activities.

In late-October 2019 was approved the agreement for Brightline Miami to be rebranded "Virgin Trains" and Virgin Group to build a train station (Virgin Trains PortMiami) at the cruise port. The new station serves high-speed trains and connects PortMiami directly with the USA's intercity railway system and Orlando International Airport.

On November 12, 2019, Richard Branson announced that the second Virgin ship (Valiant Lady) will be seasonally homeported in Sydney (NSW Australia). Branson was in Sydney to launch a partnership between Virgin Australia Airlines and Virgin Voyages and promote affordable Australian and Caribbean fly-cruise deals on Scarlet Lady.

On December 13, 2019, was officially released the "Ship No. 1" perfume (aka "the fragrance of Scarlet Lady"). The sea lavender-based perfume was created by Air Aroma - a company specializing in scent marketing and fragrance systems (diffusers, Aropromo sale scenting devices). Virgin's Ship No. 1 is infused throughout Scarlet Lady. The perfume can be also purchased (only online - via for USD 50 per bottle. All net proceeds from these sales go to Ocean Unite (non-profit foundation of 30+ political leaders and business tycoons).


On December 19, 2019, was announced the "Sailor Loot" (OBC/onboard credit) program. These promotions offer OBC (per cabin) for shipboard spending during the current voyage. The OBC is based on the stateroom category and ranges from US$ 100 (interior and oceanview) to US$200 (balcony) and up to US$ 400 (suites).

Now each Virgin cruise ship offers 50+ activities and events. The onboard programming features live performances (by the company's Hapenings Cast) and is managed by Richard Kilman (Virgin's VP of Entertainment).

Company changes 2024

In February Steven Worling (Senior Director of Infrastructure & Security) announced that Virgin Voyages would roll out fleetwide an improved connectivity (Internet/Wi-Fi package) with SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink PRO (satellite service), with onboard connectivity 1,5 Gbps (max per ship). The Internet is provided via MEO and LEO satellites (Medium Earth Orbit and Low Earth Orbit). Shipboard Wi-Fi access is unlimited and for multiple devices per guest.

Company changes 2023

In February, Virgin replaced Harding UK (Bristol-based global travel retail business) with Starboard Cruise Services (Doral Florida-based company). As of 2023, Starboard was contracted by 11 cruise lines and operated on 90+ ships worldwide.

In March was announced an expansion of onboard entertainment fleetwide. The announcement mentioned new cabaret and game shows, new parties (80s Party, We Fancy), and more live music (by the hosted in The Red Room and The Manor program Festival Stage Acts/comedy shows rotating every 2 to 4 weeks). The list of new productions includes three fleetwide game shows (Duel Reality, Untitled DanceShowPartyThing, Miss Behave), the cabaret show Lola’s Library (fleetwide), as well as 3 new productions debuting on Resilient Lady (Persephone, Mind Mangler, Another Rose/Supper Club Series).

In April Virgin signed a partnership deal with WPT/World Poker Tour (2002-founded, internationally televised gaming and entertainment brand). The premium poker experience is offered on Scarlet Lady during all 4-5-night Caribbean itineraries. The ship's new WPT at Sea Poker Room is fitted with 8 poker tables and served by professional dealers. The new gaming venue hosts beginner training sessions, as well as cash games and WPT Prize Package poker tournaments with buy-ins between US$80-320. The US$320 buy-in WPT Prize tournament is held once per cruise. The prize (US$5000) can be used on any future voyage or WPT tournament.

In September, Nirmal Saverimuttu succeeded Michael McAlpin as the company's President and CEO. Along with the new appointment was announced a capital raise of USD 550 million (~EUR 512M/~GBP 440M) with funds managed by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. As of 2023, Ares had ~US$49,2 billion of AUM/assets under management.

In October 2023, Michelle Bentubo was appointed COO/Chief Operating Officer. In 2016-2023 she served the company as VP of Technology & Operations. Previously, she has held executive positions at Walt Disney World (Director of Experience Development), DCL-Disney Cruise Line (Director of Disney's Magical Express) and Bank of America (SVP Technology/2013-16).

In November 2023, Peter Hunt was appointed CFO/Chief Financial Officer. He previously served as CFO for Service King Collision Repair (1976-founded automotive company) and before that was in the leadership team of Virgin America Inc (2004-founded/2018-merged with Alaska Airlines).

Company changes 2022

In March 2022 was announced a partnership with Jennifer Lynn Lopez (1969-born American actress and singer) via her brand company "JLo Beauty and Lifestyle LLC". Jennifer Lopez joined Virgin Voyages as an investor and chief of entertainment/advisor/lifestyle officer. As part of the partnership, fleetwide was introduced "JLo Beauty" (onboard shop) selling the superstar's products at sea for the first time. In June 2023, she was appointed as Virgin's Chief Celebrations Officer.

In September 2022 debuted Virgin's loyalty program "The Sailing Club" by which repeat customers are provided with two main complimentary perks - "Deep Blue Extras" (premium WiFi, invitations to onboard cocktail parties, laundry services) and "Red Hot Booking Bonus Months" (discounted booking with additional OBC/onboard credit).

In September 2022 Virgin partnered with RSB/Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (an independent global membership organization). Virgin also signed long-term agreements with three providers of waste-based sustainable fuels (Argent Energy, GoodFuels, Twelve) to supply the fleet's bunker fuels.

Company changes 2021

In mid-November 2021 was announced an investment in Virgin Voyages by Patricof & Co (1969-founded by Alan Patricof, specializing in venture capital investments). The company is part of Apax Partners LLP (London UK-based equity firm) that also includes Multinational Management Group (1972-founded) and Saunders Karp & Megrue (1988-founded).

In December 2021 was announced the partnership with the House Spirits Distillery () for the fleetwide presence of the brand "Aviation American Gin" (aka Aviation Gin/alcohol volume 42%, produced in Portland Oregon since 2006). Signature cocktails (based on the Aviation Gin) available for ordering at each Virgin ship include "The Double Agent at SIP", "Razzle Dazzle's Electric Fizz", "Stella's Groove at The Manor", "Gunbae's French 75".

Company changes 2020

On April 1, 2020, the company launched its "Jet Transfers Direct to Ship" service. The exclusive "fly-cruise" deal is for RockStar Suite passengers only, allowing them to arrive and depart the boat via chartered or private aircraft. The planes land at The Runway - a top-deck open space (Deck 17 aft) surrounded by a raised Jogging Track.

Virgin cruise ships

On June 23, 2015, Virgin announced it had signed a Letter of Intent with Fincantieri (shipbuilder based in Trieste Italy) for the construction of 3 ships scheduled for deliveries in 2020-2021-2022 (entering service in 15-month increments).

The shipbuilding order was officially finalized on December 21, 2016. The boats are of the so-called "Lady-class", mid-sized (volume 110000 GT-tons), max passenger capacity 2860 (1410 cabins/90% with balconies), 1150 crew-staff.

Virgin Voyages cruise ship model

The shipbuilding contract was valued at ~EUR 2 billion. The first unit's construction (Scarlet Lady) started with the steel-cutting on March 22, 2017. For the vessel design and construction, Virgin contracted the marine architecture and naval design companies "Roman and Williams" (NYC), Concrete Amsterdam, Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio (London UK), Gem Srl (Italy), Softroom (London UK), WORKac (NYC), Knibb Design, HL Studio (UK), HKS Architects (Dallas USA), PearsonLloyd (London UK).

The first ship's (Scarlet Lady) keel-laying ceremony was held on October 31, 2017, and attended by Sir Richard Branson, Tom McAlpin, and Boy George (UK singer, songwriter, fashion designer) who performed as superstar DJ. During the ceremony were also revealed the ship design and hull art of the future Virgin "Lady Ships".

The next image shows the ship's stern (aft) and the signature funnel shape - designed to be a major part of its exterior design. The aft of the superstructure also shows the Promenade Deck and 7 decks of cabin balconies towering above.

Virgin Voyages cruise ship

Each boat has 86% balcony staterooms and 93% oceanview (outside) cabins. These newbuilds greatly differ from other passenger liners (as design) and target younger and more adventurous travellers (called "sailors").

Virgin's ships are adults-only (passengers under 18 yo/teenagers and kids are not allowed) and Bahamas-flagged (registered in Nassau).

Dining on Virgin Voyages ships is ticket price-inclusive - no extra charges are applied to any of the 20-plus onboard dining options. The cruise company doesn't believe in "paying more for great food", so it ditched traditional surcharges levied in specialty restaurants. All eateries offer "exceptional made-to-order eats" - complimentary.

As part of the company's sustainable travel policy, Virgin banned single-use plastics and there is no buffet food on the ships. All shipboard food is made-to-order - to reduce waste and lower energy consumption and emissions. Savings are reinvested into fresh (locally sourced) top-quality products, exotic ingredients, highly trained staff, and clean technologies. In April 2019 was signed a partnership with Emerald Brand to supply the fleet with "Tree-Free" (disposable) paper products, including facial-bath tissues, paper towels, napkins, hot cups. Those are made from 60-100% Tree-Free materials via technologies that use by-products of agricultural crops usually wasted or burned.

The company doesn't follow any traditional cruise dining concepts. Virgin ships don't have a main dining room, buffet restaurant, dress code (formal wear policy), assigned dining times or seating. All these concepts were replaced with intimate (boutique hotel-type) eateries offering 20+ dining options - all of which are included in cruise fares.

Virgin Voyages cruise ship (top deck)

Virgin ships' signature facilities and venues include:

  • Athletic Club (training center) is an outdoor gym area with a boxing ring and gym club equipment) located top-deck aft. Part of the Sports Deck is also the raised jogging track (Runway track, red-white colored), sundeck with open-air lounge (furnished with double daybeds and semi-circular loungers), triple netting area (overlooking below decks), 10 private cabanas (cushioned bed, low table, 2 lounge chairs), beverage service (from the outdoor Sports Bar), foosball tables, swimming pool, showers.
  • MyBeast is an outdoor playground / poolside gym area.
  • The Crow's Nest (aft sundeck) offers 360-degree views and is furnished with loungers and mats colored in Virgin's signature red. Here are also hosted sunrise and sunset outdoor yoga classes.
  • The B Complex in an indoor fitness center with Technogym ARTIS equipment, floor-ceiling windows and separate rooms (studios) for cycling, yoga, cardio and spinning classes.
  • Gym and Tonic Bar serves cold-pressed fresh juices.
  • Pink Agave is a Mexican restaurant with porthole windows, metallic lighting fixtures, large tables, an elongated curved area (intimate seating with 2-seat tables), separate bar (in the Lobby), private dining room (can be booked for parties and other private events).
  • The Manor is ship's 2-deck high Disco Nightclub with a large dance floor.
  • The Dock is an outdoor lounge (aft on Deck 7) with cushioned wooden furniture (loungers, deckchairs, daybeds).
  • Test Kitchen restaurant features lab-like design (metallic furniture, beakers, test tubes),
  • Richard's Rooftop is a top-deck VIP area (Suite passengers-only sundeck) furnished with daybeds, deckchairs, circular loungers, large umbrellas, colored crystals.
  • Redemption is the ship's Spa complex (on Deck 5) consisting of a Reception, Mud Room, Salt Room, Hydrotherapy Pool, cold plunge pool, Jacuzzi, Thermal Suite (indoor spa with porthole windows, plunge pool and Jacuzzi), treatment rooms (for massages and treatments) with quartz-mattress beds, Dry Dock Salon (hairdressing services), Stubble and Groom (barbershop), Blow Dry Bar, Male pedicure Spa, Mani-pedi Spa. At night, the wellness complex transforms into a dancing lounge with live DJ music.
  • Razzle Dazzle is the vegan-vegetarian restaurant. Part of Razzle Dazzle is Red Bar - juice bar for fresh-squeezed juices and tonics, as well as crafted cocktails from a menu that varies every night. In two days per voyage, at Razzle Dazzle are hosted Drag Brunches featuring live entertainment by "sassy drag queens".

Via the Sailor App (when your phone is shaken), a secret Champagne button allows you to order Moet-Chandon Champagne (Brut Imperial, 750 ml bottle) delivered in an ice bucket and with two glasses. The service is called "Shake for Champagne" and provided anywhere on the ship. The premium wine can be also enjoyed at The Sip - the ship's wine lounge (Virgin's champagne house).- where also is available traditional British Afternoon Tea service.

Virgin cruise passengers are offered complimentary water (filtered and sparkling) at all onboard bars and restaurants. Throughout the ship, there are also complimentary water stations.


Virgin ships' hull art designs are Mermaid-themed (by different artists) and Inspired by traditional figureheads mounted on the bows of historic wooden ships. The designs symbolize the vessels' feminine spirit.

Ship technology

One of the cruise ships' features is the advanced clean energy system provided by the Swedish company Climeon Ocean. The new technology allows reducing CO2 emissions by converting the generated by diesel engines' heat into electricity for shipboard use. Each of the newbuilds has 6 such Climeon units, saving ~5400 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The ship's waste processing system is provided by Scanship.

On April 30, 2018, Virgin Voyages signed with Wartsila (marine technologies Finnish corporation / former shipbuilder) a 10-year "Optimised Maintenance Agreement" giving the corporation extensive and exclusive responsibility of the fleet's technical maintenance. Wartsila's "Dynamic Maintenance Planning" system allows maintenance works to be scheduled based on remotely (real-time) monitored and analyzed vessel performance data. This allows extending service intervals (when onboard equipment doesn't require maintenance).

Virgin Voyages cruise ship model

The Virgin-Wartsila deal includes Remote Operational Support Services, Specific Fuel Oil Consumption, spare parts, engines technical advisory services, comprehensive technical support, personnel training. Wartsila-made ship equipment includes 46F diesel engines, Hybrid Scrubber System, SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction/exhaust gas cleaning) and NACOS Platinum series (navigation and automation control systems).

  • Each Virgin ship is powered by two 8-cylinder plus two 12-cylinder "Wartsila 46F" marine diesel engines. Wartsila's Hybrid Scrubber System operates in both open and closed-loop and uses seawater to remove SOx from the ship's exhaust. It also significantly reduces NOx emissions.
  • Propulsion is based on ABB Azipod XO system (electric drive motors with off-hull submerged azimuth thrusters / 360--degree rotating propellers). These units provide best maneuverability (allowing in-port navigation without tug assistance) and minimal vibrations/noise. By placing the propulsion units outside the hull, the Azipod system frees up space for more lower-deck staterooms.
  • ABB Ability technology is based on a network using real-time data transferred to remote centres monitoring and analyzing the propulsion system data and also offering remote technical support.
  • In July 2017, was announced that Wartsila (marine technologies Finnish corporation / former shipbuilder) is the provider of vessels' power plants. Among Wartsila's core products are large diesel engines for cruise ships and ferries.

In April 2019 was contracted V-Ships Leisure USA (ship management company) which is part of V-Group Ltd (vessel management and support services provider, industry's first with a dedicated cruise ship division). V-Ships Leisure is responsible for Virgin ships' technical support/management and crew sourcing.

Virgin cruise line's staff and crew uniforms were designed by Gareth Pugh and manufactured by Cintas Corporation (via the "Design Collective by Cintas" division).

  • Cintas Corporation (1929-founded, based in Cincinnati, Ohio USA) specializes in businesses products (both for rental and direct purchase) and services, including uniforms, mats, water coolers, cleaning/restroom supplies (chemicals, mops, microfiber towels, disinfectant sprays, hand sanitizers), first aid/safety products, fire extinguishers (also testing and repairs), employee courses (safety, training, compliance). In 2020, Cintas had 40,000+ employees and total revenue USD 7,09 billion (~EUR 6,12B / ~GBP 5,21B).
  • Virgin Voyages Crew apparel collection is based on sustainable fabrics and garments specifically designed according to job functions, body types and climates. Unlike the traditional cruise ship uniforms, Virgin's lack the officers' epaulettes (ornamental shoulder pieces that designate his/her rank), as well as ties and waistcoats.

The project was led by Gareth Pugh (British fashion designer) and supervised by Dee Cooper (Virgin Voyages' SVP Design and Customer Experience).

Virgin Voyages cruise line crew uniforms

Next image shows one of the initial (train-like) Virgin ship designs.

Virgin Voyages ship design

Virgin cruise bookings on Scarlet Lady were opened on February 5, 2019 (for customers with pre-sale deposits) and on February 14 (for the general public). Beginning February 5, 2019, at (dedicated website), the cruise company offers all booking tools and information for travel agents (called "First Mates"), including downloadable and digital materials, interactive learning and more. For February 6th was planned the learning campaign "Cabin Fever" on Scarlet Lady staterooms as they went on sale. The website allows travel agents to make bookings on inaugural cruise season 2020 deals (from February 14) and to contact company's Sailor Services (from February 5) in case they have customers with pre-sale deposits.

Bookings for Valiant Lady cruises (Mediterranean 2021) opened on December 19, 2019.

In February 2020 was announced "The Band" - smart wearable technology to be introduced on Scarlet Lady (April 1). The device is made from recycled marine plastic (sustainability initiative) and developed via partnership with The Bionic Company. The lightweight device (RFID wristband) is mailed to all passengers and is complimentary (keepsake). The Band is activated upon boarding the ship and used for onboard purchases and payments (beverages, Casino gaming), booking tours, cabin access (room key), room service ordering (points guest's current location), VIP pass (for Richard's Rooftop).

Virgin's private island resort "Bimini Beach Club" (Bahamas)

The liner Scarlet Lady is the first cruise ship to stop at "Bimini Beach Club" (Virgin Group's private island resort in Bimini Bahamas). The exclusive destination allows Virgin's Sailors to enjoy world-class entertainment from a rotating cast of DJs led by Mark Ronson. Virgin's Bimini Beach Club offers premium food with locally sourced ingredients and traditional Bahamian favourites like banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, conch and mango salad, Bahamian rum cake. The complex has 6 bars, outdoor lounge areas with hammock groves, beach loungers, watersport activities, (optional/at extra cost) private poolside and beach-side cabanas for rent.

RockStar Suite passengers benefit from complimentary food service, exclusive bar and outdoor terrace lounge, VIP beach cabanas. The 7-mile (11-km) long island offers extraordinary activities like boating, snorkeling, wreck diving. The partially sunk wreck of SS Sapona (concrete-hulled steamship that ran aground in 1926) is located just a few miles off the island's southern coast.


Virgin's private resort is located on North Bimini Island and at a short bus transfer from the docking pier. It was built via partnership with Resorts World Bimini. This is a 750-acres (3 km2 / 1,2 mi2) beachfront resort-casino-marina-hotel complex operated by Genting Group (Malaysia-based multinational corporation). North Bimini is approx 68 km (42 mi) east of Miami.

Resort's building cost is USD 220 million. Virgin's Bimini Beach Club overlooks the sea and features a large lagoon-style swimming pool. The "resort experience" also features morning open-air exercises (yoga and meditation), afternoon DJ poolside parties, night beach bonfires and live musical performances.

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, Virgin Voyages postponed the cruise brand's in March 2020 inauguration (Scarlet Lady ship's Showcase Tour / media event in PortMiami) for July 15th (4-day "Richard's Birthday Bash"), with the maiden voyage departing on August 7th from Miami. The ship's originally planned inauguration was for March 29th, 2020 (3-day "Sneak-A-Peek Cruise").

All the scheduled between March 26-August 7th (a total of 29) departures were canceled. In mid-May 2020 were canceled 15 additional departures (through October 15). The 4-night "Richard Branson's 70th Birthday Cruise" (originally planned for July 15, 2020) was rescheduled for July 14, 2021. In late-September 2020 were canceled all Scarlet Lady's November itineraries, and in late-October - the remaining (December 2020) departures. The brand's inauguration was rescheduled for 2021 (January 3, then for May 9). In mid-December were cancelled more itineraries.

The brand's inauguration was rescheduled for August 6, 2021 (Scarlet Lady's Maiden Voyage from Portsmouth England). Valiant Lady's inaugural cruise program was also postponed (Maiden Voyage rescheduled from Nov 14, 2021, to March 18, 2022) and revised.

All affected bookings were provided with the option to cancel with a 125% refund (100% monetary refund) plus 25% in FCC (future cruise credit) or rebook with 200% refund in FCC. As a promo offer, all bookings made by June 30, 2020, received up to USD 500 per person in OBC (onboard credit). A full (100%) monetary refund was optional for cancellations made between May 21-December 31, 2020.

All rebookings made with the 200% FCC were fully refunded (200%) and additionally received 25% in FCC (to be used on another booking). Virgin Voyages also introduced the "Smooth Sailing Program" which allows for itineraries in 2020 (through December 16) the final payment dates to be moved to 60 days (previously 120 days) prior departure. Smooth Sailing also allows cancellations up to 48 hours (prior departure) with receiving a full (100%) refund in FCC.

Itinerary of Virgin Voyages

In 2016, Virgin cruise line's itinerary program was not detailed yet, but Branson mentioned one destination that was on the list - the Caribbean. When asked about Cuba being a potential port destination, he immediately replied "Yes!". This also meant roundtrip departures from a Florida port.

In 2017 was announced that the first Virgin cruise ship (Scarlet Lady) will be initially homeported in PortMiami for 7-day Caribbean itineraries departing on Sundays. During the inaugural season 2020-2021, the liner was scheduled to visit Cuba. The company's decision was influenced by conducted customer and travel agency research in the UK and North America. All Virgin cruises to Cuba had to offer an overnight stay in Havana, allowing passengers ("sailors") to explore the country's capital and its unique nightlife.

  • 5-day "Mayan Sol" itinerary visits Havana (overnight) and Costa Maya (Mexico). In Mexico, shore excursions include scuba diving (coral reefs) and Mayan ruins.
  • 5-day "Dominican Daze" itinerary visits Havana (overnight) and Puerto Plata (Dominicana) where shore tours include trekking, surfing, shopping.

The second Virgin ship (Valiant Lady) is homeported in Miami during 2022-2023 winter season.

On November 28, 2018, Richard Branson and Tom McAlpin announced in Miami the company's plans to build a new (Virgin-exclusive) cruise terminal in PortMiami. "Virgin Voyages Terminal" is sized 100,000 ft2 (9300 m2) and is on the seaport's northwest side.

Virgin Voyages Terminal (Miami)

Virgin Voyages passengers benefit from an impressive variety of cruises to choose from in the inaugural 2020 season of the line's new build. The 4- or 5-night "Havana After Dark" itineraries allow Sailors to explore the Cuban culture and include an overnight stay in Cuba's capital city.

  • The 5-night "Mayan Sol" itinerary visits Costa Maya Mexico. The Mayan ruins are just a short distance from the port and colorful coral reefs lie just off-shore. Virgin Voyages partnered with ITM Group for the land tours.
  • The 5-night "Dominican Daze" itinerary visits Puerto Plata. On the island are offered trekking, surfing and handicraft shopping tours.

All Virgin Caribbean cruises depart from homeport Miami Florida. Virgin ships are also seasonally deployed in Europe (via Transatlantic crossings), with planned visits to several major Mediterranean and UK ports (including Dover and Liverpool).

However, following the 2019s (June 5 issued) US Government restrictions on USA to Cuba travel, Virgin Voyages revised all scheduled itineraries to exclude Havana. The new itineraries offer late-night call port departures (including a midnight departure) on all revised Caribbean voyages.

  • 5-night "Riviera Maya" itinerary visits Playa Del Carmen (across Cozumel Island), with opportunities to explore archaeological and ecological sites or touring the neighbouring Tulum (walled Mayan city).
  • 4-night "Fire and Sunset Soirees" (short-breaks) visit Key West Florida (sunset departure) and Bimini Bahamas (with a late-night beach bonfire party and midnight departure). The line's sailors can experience the cultural paradise of Key West, paired with an exclusive late-night beach bonfire soiree. The artistic fire installation draws inspiration from the fireball sculptures on Branson's Necker Island.
  • 7-night itineraries (for 2020 Xmas holidays) include the themed cruises "Holidaze and Nights" and "New Year's Ahoy" visiting Puerto Plata Dominicana with Bimini Bahamas and San Juan Puerto Rico.

All Virgin Caribbean cruises visit Bimini Bahamas as a private island destination.

In April 2022 was announced that in winter 2023-2024, Resilient Lady will be deployed in Australia and New Zealand (Virgin brand's debut in the region). With homeporting in Melbourne, the roundtrip itineraries ranged between 2-14 nights. Some voyages also visited ports in Tasmania (Hobart, Burnie).

Brilliant Lady's inaugural cruises (2025-2026)

Virgin's Brilliant Lady inaugural cruise season (October 2025 through April 2026) is largely based on homeporting in San Juan Puerto Rico. Initially, from Puerto Rico were scheduled 7-night roundtrip itineraries themed as "Sunsets In The Lesser Antilles" (Oranjestad Aruba, Willemstad Curacao, Fort de France Martinique, Basseterre St. Kitts) and "Southeastern Caribbean Isles" (Tortola BVI, Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe, Bridgetown Barbados, Castries St Lucia, St Johns Antigua).

Brilliant Lady's Maiden Voyages commence from NYC New York, and visit destinations in Bermuda/King's Wharf and Canada/Quebec City. Follows a deployment in the Caribbean, then West Coast USA (California, Alaska), with a relocation itinerary traversing the Panama Canal.

The rescheduled 2025-2026 (October-April) Caribbean program of Brilliant Lady lists islands like Grand Turk/Cockburn Town, Antigua/St John's, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica/Ocho Rios (first-time port for Virgin Voyages). In March 2026 there is a 16-night Panama Canal repositioning itinerary (Miami to Los Angeles) visiting Costa Rica, Antigua, Guatemala, and Mexico (Los Cabos). For April-May 2026 are scheduled California Coastal voyages out of LA, followed by Alaskan cruises out of Seattle WA (May-September 2026).

Valiant Lady's inaugural cruises (2022)

Virgin's second ship (Valiant Lady) starts its inaugural season (2022/Maiden Voyage departs March 18th) with roundtrips leaving from Portsmouth England.

  • 3-night "Long Weekender" to Zeebrugge Belgium
  • 11-night "Coast the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal"/UK to Iberia
  • 12-night "Late Nights in Portugal and Spain"/UK to Iberia

Follows a Western Mediterranean deployment (May thru October 2022) based on homeporting in Barcelona and 7-day roundtrips (Sunday departures) visiting large port cities in France, Italy and Spain. Valiant Lady's Caribbean program is based on homeporting in Miami Florida USA and includes 2-week Transatlantic crossings on repositioning between Europe and USA (

In the Caribbean, Virgin boats are homeported in Miami and all itineraries visit Bimini Bahamas as a private island destination.

Resilient Lady's inaugural cruises (2022)

Virgin's third ship (Resilient Lady) started its inaugural season (2022/Maiden Voyage departed on August 14th) with roundtrips leaving from Piraeus-Athens (Greece).

  • The 7-day roundtrip "Greek Island Glow" itinerary visits the Greek islands Santorini, Rhodes, Crete (Chania) and Mykonos.
  • The 7-day roundtrip "Adriatic Sea and Greek Gems" itinerary visits Croatia (Dubrovnik), Montenegro (Kotor), and Greece (Kerkyra/Corfu Island, and Argostoli/Kefalonia Island).
  • The "Greek Isles" program (scheduled between August 14 - October 23) ended with the 11-day Transatlantic crossing from Europe to the Caribbean (from Lisbon to San Juan/departure November 1st).

The inaugural Caribbean season 2022-2023 (Nov 12 - April 15) was based on homeporting in San Juan Puerto Rico and 7-day roundtrips.

  • The "Southeastern Caribbean Isles" itinerary visits Tortola Island BVI (Road Town), Guadeloupe (Pointe-a-Pitre), Barbados (Bridgetown), St Lucia (Castries) and Antigua (St Johns).
  • The "Sunsets In The Lesser Antilles" itinerary visits St Kitts (Basseterre), Martinique (Fort-de-France), Curacao (Willemstad) and Aruba (Oranjestad).

In 2023-2024 (December-March), Resilient Lady was deployed in Australia. The program included three relocation itineraries from Europe to Asia and Australia ( - 14-day from Athens to Dubai (Oct 22), 15-day from Dubai to Singapore (Nov 5) and 15-day from Singapore to Sydney NSW (Nov 20).

Itineraries 2024-2025

Virgin's 2024-2025 (April) schedule lists 19 maiden/new ports and 27 different itineraries in the UK, Australia/NZ, and the Caribbean. Among these are the "Seachange Series" (ship relocation voyages) providing extended sea travel opportunities.

Resilient Lady is homeported in Piraeus-Athens Greece (May through July 2024) for Aegean and Adriatic itineraries. In the summer (August through September 2024) Resilient Lady visits BordeauxLa Coruna, and Bilbao on the relocation voyage to England.

On February 26, 2024, Virgin Voyages canceled Resilient Lady's 2024-2025 Australian program, citing security concerns (due to the Red Sea war crisis) impacting the ship's scheduled repositioning voyages through the Suez Canal (between Europe and Australia/ Virgin also announced that Resilient Lady (after completing the Mediterranean season on October 20th/2024) will be deployed in the Caribbean and homeported in San Juan (Puerto Rico) offering 7-8-10-11-night roundtrips to St Maarten, St Vincent, Colombia, and Dominica.

Valiant Lady (from PortMiami and San Juan Puerto Rico) offers Caribbean roundtrips (winter 2023-2024) and in April 2024.

Scarlet Lady in summer 2024 is deployed in the Mediterranean and has scheduled two repositioning voyages - from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome, and a Transatlantic crossing to Miami for a new Caribbean deployement.

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