Richard Branson is planning a big party later this summer aboard Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady to mark the Virgin brand’s 50-plus years of innovation. Cruisers can sail along with Branson, undoubtedly one of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs, as the ship island-hops through the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cruise to Mark Virgin’s Decades of Successes
Virgin Voyages announced it will sail a special cruise, “A Virgin Celebration Voyage,” with British mogul Richard Branson and other company leaders onboard, giving guests on the line’s newest ship, Resilient Lady, the chance to interact with the Virgin Group’s top brass.
The 7-night celebration voyage is roundtrip from Athens and departs on August 27, 2023, calling at Santorini, Rhodes, and Mykonos, Greece, and Bodrum, Turkey.
Branson launched Virgin Voyages in 2021, but his other major businesses date back decades, starting with Virgin Airways. Besides Resilient Lady, which debuted just last month, Virgin Voyages also operates Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady. A fourth ship, Brilliant Lady, is due to enter service in December 2023. All four are identical, carrying 2,770 guests.
The celebration cruise will feature fireside chats with Virgin Group leaders and influencers, special performances, culinary programs, and other notable experiences. The cruise is expected to be a draw for members of the cruise line’s loyalty program, called Sailing Club.
In fact, the cruise was designed with Virgin brand loyalists and Sailing Club members in mind, with the line offering a “Red Hot Savings Offer” of 30% off the fare to those guests.
“When we launched our Sailing Club last year, we knew we wanted to offer a unique loyalty program that provided Sailors with irresistible benefits and exclusive access to special brand moments,” said Tom McAplin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.
“A Virgin Celebration Voyage is a great example of this and benefits not only our Virgin following, but our incredible Sailing Club members. It’s an exciting time to be a real brand loyalist,” he added.
The cruise line said the special voyage will “break down all of the stuffy corporate barriers and offer a candid look into one of the most ground-breaking, recognizable and respected brands of all time.”
Those brands are spread across multiple business sectors besides travel, such as music and entertainment (think Virgin Records), media, financial services, and space, Branson’s latest adventure – the Virgin Galactic space-flight company.
The Virgin Galactic brand, in fact, announced earlier this week that it has set a launch window of June 27 to June 30 to operate its first commercial space flight.
About the Virgin Voyages Ships
Resilient Lady launched her inaugural season from Athens on May 14, 2023, and will sail to ports in Greece and Turkey through October. In early November, the ship will reposition to Melbourne, Australia, offering a series of Australia sailings roundtrip from Sydney and Melbourne.
The ship originally was slated to include New Zealand ports on her itineraries, but the line altered those plans last week, attributing the change to guest and travel partner feedback calling for shorter cruises.
The line’s fourth sister ship, Brilliant Lady, is in her final outfitting stages following her float-out in November 2002 from the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy.
Brilliant Lady will sail her maiden voyage from PortMiami on December 24, 2023. The 5-night Caribbean Holidays cruise will call at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St Croix, US Virgin Islands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
All Virgin Voyages ships are adult-only, with a minimum age of 18 required to book a cruise. The brand diverts from traditional cruise lines in several ways, among them the lack of a main dining room.
On Virgin ships, cruisers have a choice of some 20 dining venues, many of them themed and all included in the base fare.