Passengers on Flight Given Free Cruise from Sir Richard Branson

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In a stunning collaboration, Virgin Voyages teamed up with Delta Air Lines to offer unsuspecting passengers a free vacation aboard Resilient Lady, celebrating the ship’s new itineraries from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A High-Flying Celebration

Virgin Voyages orchestrated a surprise for more than 160 passengers on a Delta flight from Atlanta to San Juan, gifting them with a free cruise vacation aboard Resilient Lady to commemorate the launch of its just-announced itineraries from San Juan.

Before the flight, a captivating departure gate takeover at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport set the celebratory mood with entertainment, photo ops, and a prize roulette game. 

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, was on hand to greet astounded passengers and share his deep connection to the Caribbean.

The pre-flight entertainment featured original choreography from Virgin Voyages’ entertainment team and specialty drinks and music, creating an anticipatory atmosphere of the vibrant party scene travelers could expect to find on an adults-only Virgin Voyage cruise.

Participants at the roulette table walked away with prizes, including Virgin Atlantic flights, Virgin Hotel stays, a Virgin Voyages cruise, a Delta Vacation package, gift cards, and premium swag.

Richard Branson Gives Free Virgin Voyages Cruise
Richard Branson Gives Free Virgin Voyages Cruise

The Caribbean has been my home for many years, and I’m very excited to welcome Resilient Lady as she sails from San Juan to visit the region’s most beautiful destinations,Branson said before revealing an even bigger surprise.

Fueled by his enthusiasm, Branson revealed,My excitement clearly couldn’t be contained, so we came up with a way to celebrate with a personal invitation and surprise for some unsuspecting guests on a Delta flight to San Juan.

Branson then boarded the plane, extending his generosity by personally offering all Delta SkyMiles Members on the flight, 18 and older, a free voyage during the Resilient Lady’s inaugural season, which begins in December 2024.

Richard Branson Gives Free Virgin Voyages Cruise
Richard Branson Gives Free Virgin Voyages Cruise

Branson’s Tradition of Surprises

The event is not the first time Branson has surprised passengers to commemorate the inaugural voyages of Resilient Lady, which debuted in Greece on May 14, 2023.

In November, Branson presented Virgin Airline passengers on a flight between Melbourne, Australia, and Hobart, Tasmania, with free cruises, aligning with Resilient Lady’s similar route on her December 11, 2023, maiden voyage.

During the ship’s debut in Australia, Branson made a memorable entrance, meeting Resilient Lady in a classic wooden speedboat to escort her into Syndey Habour. He then ascended to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge to witness the 110,000-gross-ton ship’s arrival and docking.

Richard Branson Welcomes Resilient Lady
Richard Branson Welcomes Resilient Lady (Photo Courtesy: Virgin Voyages)

Following a season in Australia, Resilient Lady returns to the Mediterranean for the summer. Originally planned to reposition through the Middle East, departing Sydney on March 27, 2024, geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea prompted Virgin Voyages to chart a new course around Africa.

Branson’s recent surprise coincides with Virgin Voyages’ announcement that Resilient Lady will not return to Australia due to the Red Sea conflicts. Instead, for winter 2024-25, the 2,700-passenger ship will navigate the warm Caribbean waters.

Resilient Lady’s inaugural journey begins on December 6, 2024, with a “Pre-Holiday Caribbean Refresh.” The roundtrip cruise will call on Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts.

The season’s additional offerings include “Saint (Isles) & Seas of the Caribbean,” “Resilient Caribbean Holidays,” “Sunsets in the Lesser Antilles,” “San Juan, St. Vincent, Barbados & More,” “Idyllic Caribbean Isles and Colombia,” “San Juan, Barbados & Beyond,” “Puerto Rican Daze & Caribbean Nights,” and “Colombia & Caribbean Islands.”

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