Virgin Voyages Ship Makes Second Inaugural Call in a Week

Valiant Lady has visited yet another port of call for the first time, and it's also a special first for the port itself.

Virgin Voyages’ second ship, Valiant Lady, is making her debut in a number of popular Caribbean destinations on her recent sailings. Over the weekend, the distinctive ship sailed into the British Virgin Islands for the first time, bringing guests to beautiful Tortola for a tropical winter getaway.

In addition to the ship’s first visit, the occasion was also the first visit by a new cruise line to the British Virgin Islands in 2024, making it an even more notable event.

Valiant Lady Visits British Virgin Islands for the First Time

Valiant Lady had a remarkable visit to Tortola on Sunday, January 14, 2024. Not only was it the first port of call on the ship’s first departure from her new homeport of San Juan, Puerto Rico, but it was also the first port of call on the 7-night Southeastern Caribbean itinerary.

Most impressive, however, is that it was the ship’s very first-ever call to the British Virgin Islands. This special visit also makes Virgin Voyages the first new cruise line to call on the British Virgin Islands in 2024.

The ship, with 2,374 guests and 1,161 crew members aboard, was brilliantly welcomed to the port, with the cruise line’s founder Sir Richard Branson, also in attendance at the event.

The Premier and Minister of Finance, the Honorable Dr. Natalio Wheatley presented Sir Richard Branson and the master of Valiant Lady, Captain Justin Lawes, with a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion, while accepting plaques in return. This time-honored tradition marks relationships between cruise lines and individual vessels with the ports they visit.

Valiant Lady in the British Virgin Islands
Valiant Lady in the British Virgin Islands (Photo Credit: BVI Ports Authority)

The exchange ceremony took place aboard Valiant Lady while she was docked in Tortola. The ship remained in port from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Onward in the port-intensive itinerary, the ship will also visit Guadeloupe, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Antigua before returning to San Juan on Saturday, January 20.

Read Also: What’s the Best Virgin Island To Visit?

Cruise ships often receive plaques, photos, small sculptures, keys, or other symbolic items whenever visiting a new destination. These items may be displayed onboard in a gallery, atrium, hallway, or other spot for guests to enjoy, or they may be moved to the cruise line’s headquarters or other shoreside facilities, especially when many such items are collected.

Viewing the collection of a ship’s inaugural calls can be a fun way to discover the sailing history of a cruise ship and where she has visited, and a neat way for travelers to learn more about the vessel they are enjoying.

Second Inaugural Visit in a Week

The inaugural visit to Tortola is the second such first visit for Valiant Lady in one week, albeit on two different sailings. Just six days earlier, on Monday, January 8, the ship made her maiden visit to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

While the 110,000-gross-ton “ladyship” had sailing in the Bahamas previously, she typically visited Bimini and hadn’t yet been welcomed to the island nation’s thriving capital, despite the millions of cruise guests that visit the port annually.

Valiant Lady Cruise Ship in Nassau, Bahamas
Valiant Lady Cruise Ship in Nassau, Bahamas

Because Valiant Lady is a relatively new vessel – having just begun welcoming travelers in early 2022 – it isn’t unusual for her to still be making inaugural visits to popular ports of call. It would be more unusual for an older ship to be a first-timer at a port, such as happened recently when Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas made her inaugural call to Aruba after 14 years of sailing.

Valiant Lady will remain homeported from Puerto Rico through March, offering a total of 10 7-night Eastern and Southeastern Caribbean sailings to various ports. In March, she will then return to Miami for diverse 4- and 5-night sailings through October 2024.

Her future itineraries past that date have not yet been released, but are sure to include even more popular destinations and possibly more inaugural visits.

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