Virgin Voyages is today welcoming the first “sailors” on board its second ship, Valiant Lady, at London International Cruise Terminal in Tilbury.
Valiant Lady is the line’s second ship, alongside Scarlet Lady, and the duo will be joined by Resilient Lady in August.
The launch comes as the line reveals it has seen bookings surge by 178% in the last six months. Virgin Voyages also released the findings of a study of 14,000 travellers, which found that 96% were keen to cruise this year. More than two thirds of UK travellers said destinations were the lead factor when choosing a cruise.
It has been a busy week for the line, as it also unveiled film and music star Jennifer Lopez as its investor and chief entertainment and lifestyle officer. It shared a video on social media of Lopez speaking to Virgin Voyages founder Sir Richard Branson on FaceTime.
All of Virgin Voyages’ ships are adult-only and research by the brand found that 80% of cruisers are seeking and booking ‘exclusively adult’ propositions, and 53% of Virgin Voyages’ guests have children.
Speaking at the launch of Valiant Lady, Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages said: “It was incredible to launch Virgin Voyages last year, so welcoming our second ship, Valiant Lady, here in the UK less than a year later is a very special moment for the entire Virgin Voyages family.”
Virgin Voyages chief commercial and experience officer Nirmal Saverimuttu said the line has “thrown out the rule book and said goodbye to bow ties and buffets”. He explained: “Instead, our ships are exclusively adult, have a no-tipping policy and boast some of the best dining experiences you’ll find at sea, or on land for that matter – including the world’s first Korean BBQ and the biggest collection of mezcal and tequila at sea. This is what it means to set sail the Virgin way, and we can’t wait to welcome Sailors – old and new – on board.”
The launch party tonight will include live music performances by BRIT Award nominee Tom Grennan and special guest Ella Henderson, and DJ sets by Diplo, Mistajam, Camden Cox and James Hype. Agents can stream the celebrations live through Global Radio at https://www.capitalfm.com/
Valiant Lady will make its maiden voyage from Portsmouth to Zeebrugge before heading to its homeport in Barcelona in May for a summer of Mediterranean sailings. Guests will be able to explore destinations late into the evening, with overnight stays in Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, the Canary Islands, Lisbon, Belgium and Ibiza.