The founder of Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson, is onboard the 2700-passenger newbuild for a 7-night Western Mediterranean roundtrip from Barcelona visiting Toulon France /La Seyne-sur-Mer (May 16), Marina di Carrara Italy (May 17), Ajaccio, Corsica France (May 18), Cagliari, Sardinia Italy (May 19), Ibiza, Balearic Spain (May 20-21), arriving back in Barcelona on May 22.
Branson kicked off the voyage with a mass selfie on the pool deck with the crew before jumping into the pool with Chief Experience Officer, Nirmal Saverimuttu.
Addressing the assembled crew, hailing from 80 different countries, he said he just wanted to say thank you to all of them, "you are magical, magical people and it's just great to have you onboard."
"Great to see all your smiling faces, great to see how you all interact with each other and thank you and I look forward to seeing you all on the ship tonight - and now I'd better go and get changed!"
According to Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin, repeat bookings stood at ~30%, and the line was attracting new cruisers.
Valiant Lady is sailing at a little less than 50% full, with guests hailing from the USA, the UK, and Australia. She will be based in Barcelona for the summer before transiting to her homeport of Miami Florida for the winter.