Sir Richard Branson’s playful antics light up Resilient Lady’s maiden voyage sail away party, heralding a new chapter in cruising Down Under and announcing an exciting return with expanded routes.
Sir Richard Branson Celebrates Resilient Lady’s Maiden Voyage
Virgin Voyages’ newest cruise ship, Resilient Lady, set sail from Melbourne, Australia on December 11, embarking on a five-day journey to Tasmania. The inaugural voyage marks a significant milestone for the Virgin fleet, an initiative spearheaded by the company’s founder, Sir Richard Branson.
This news follows the ship’s maiden arrival in Sydney earlier in December, with Branson himself surprising passengers with a special welcome.
The launch event, hosted by Branson on the 110,000-gross-ton ship’s pool deck, was a celebratory affair marked with a Champagne toast. The momentous occasion underscored the importance of Resilient Lady’s debut, as Virgin Voyages extends its reach into the South Pacific market.
“Australia has always held a special place in my heart and I’m so thankful for the warm welcome,” said Branson during the event. “We are excited to show you Resilient Lady and we’re determined to make waves Down Under with this new way of cruising.”
The festivities continued with a lively sailaway party at Test Kitchen Restaurant, an innovative dining venue on Resilient Lady. Here, Branson playfully initiated a food fight while residential entertainer and former “My Kitchen Rules” contestant Jake Harrison perfected his Aussie Lamington.
Amidst the lively interaction, Branson revealed Virgin Voyages’ plans to return to Australia and New Zealand in December 2024. The upcoming season will feature an expanded itinerary, including nine new ports of call to be announced at a later date, further enhancing the cruise line’s offerings in the region.
Resilient Lady Enhances Australian Cruise Market with Luxurious Amenities
Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady, boasting a series of 17 scheduled voyages during Australia’s summer season, sets a new standard for luxury cruising in the region.
Since arriving in Darwin on November 27, the ship has charmed Australian shores with stops at Yorkeys Knob and Airlie Beach, followed by a grand entrance into Sydney Harbor on December 5. Branson himself escorted the ship on a sleek wooden speedboat before signaling from the Sydney Harbor Bridge as the ship docked.
Designed exclusively for adults, Resilient Lady offers a wealth of luxurious amenities, with the ship’s interiors crafted by renowned architects like Tom Dixon and Concrete Amsterdam, and culinary experiences by New Zealand’s own Michelin-starred chef Matt Lambert, promising an unparalleled experience.
Entertainment is provided by world-class producers such as Randy Weiner of “Sleep No More,” House of Yes, and MISCHIEF, with a range of “Happenings” tailored for an adult audience, including 80s-style dance classes and wellness programs. Over 20 bars and restaurants, a unique onboard tattoo parlor, and 13 passenger decks await guests.
The ship’s diverse seasonal offerings range from short 2- to 4-day getaways to longer 12- and 14-night voyages, with Melbourne and Sydney serving as primary embarkation ports and select voyages commencing from Auckland, New Zealand.
Depending on the cruise length, destinations include Picton, Napier, Tauranga, Wellington, Dunedin, and Christchurch, New Zealand, and the beauty of Tasmania, with stops in Hobart and Burnie. Prices begin at $264 per cabin on short cruises, and start at $4,340 on longer sails.
After completing her inaugural Australian season in mid-March 2024, the 2,700-passenger Resilient Lady will depart Sydney in late March for a 15-night journey to Singapore.
The ship will then spend the northern summer offering cruises around the Greek Isles before homeporting in Portsmouth, UK, in the late summer and early fall of 2024.