Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson's new cruise line, continues to release enticing details of their adults-only experience. We've learned a lot about their first ship, Scarlet Lady, which will set sail in the coming months, but finally we're learning the name of the second ship in the fleet, as well as a bit about her adventures. You can read all about it below, straight from the Virgin Voyages team, but don't forget to check out BIlly's Take at the bottom.
Virgin Voyages Sets Sights on The Med for Second Ship ‘Valiant Lady’
Launching 3 Exhilarating 7-Night Itineraries from Barcelona With Overnights In Ibiza
MIAMI, Fla. November 19, 2019 – Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand shaking up the travel industry, announced their second ship will be called ‘Valiant Lady’ and that she will sail 7-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021. Bookings for the three feature itineraries, that all offer overnight and late-night stops across some of the hottest destinations in France, Italy and Spain, will open December 19, 2019.
“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship - Valiant Lady - and to deliver on our commitment to offer travelers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our Sailors will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship. After all, there is no better way to sail the seven seas than doing it the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.
2021 Summers on the Med with a home in Barcelona
Valiant Lady will dock just steps from Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center Barcelona, positioning Sailors as close to the heart of this stunning departure-port-city as possible. This prime location, usually reserved by luxury liners and mega-yachts, gives walking access to the dynamic and diverse neighborhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. With a weekly Sunday sail away, sailors will enjoy extra time in Barcelona and be able to take advantage of many different flight options. Virgin Voyages is partnering with Global Ports Holding, the world’s leading independent cruise port operator, to prepare for Valiant Lady’s arrival in early summer 2021.
Open for bookings December 2019, 7 night sailings start May 2021 and feature an overnight in Ibiza
The Med, home to some of the world’s best beach clubs, cultural experiences, restorative spas, yacht clubs and nightlife, is a perfect choice for Virgin Voyages. Valiant Lady will sail 3 different itineraries with truly breathtaking ports of call.
- Itinerary 1 includes the exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia
- Itinerary 2 includes a fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari
- Itinerary 3 is a mostly Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar
Hearing Sailor and First Mates (travel partners) requests for later stays in ports, Virgin has delivered this on every itinerary. This means Sailors have the flexibility to make the most of their time in port and take in all that these destinations have to offer. Of particular note, every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza, one of the most stunning and thrilling Balearic islands. Whether it’s a blissed out beach club, a bohemian market, a serene spa, watching the stunning sunsets, or a late night out, there is no comparable place that offers the variety and style of this ultimate destination.
Introducing ‘Valiant Lady’
Virgin Voyages also revealed that the name ‘Valiant Lady’ was inspired by the Latin word valere and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous." While historically, the image of women only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.
The Scarlet Lady’s sister ship ‘Valiant Lady’ will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.
All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a leading creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most loved boutique hotel brands. The collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam who have all been inspired by the brand’s design concept- the Modern Romance of Sailing and Mission to Redefine the Experience of a Vacation at Sea.
The name, "Valiant Lady" was actually a bit surprising to me. Traditionally, ship names carry some theme within classes (beyond in this case, the word "lady"), which we don't exactly see in Scarlett and Valiant. That said, Virgin Voyages continues to boast that they're breaking the mold, and the name does seem to jive with the brand's identity and efforts in promoting gender equality. What's more impressive to me are the initial itineraries she'll be sailing in the Med. It sounds cliche, but these destinations really embody the image that Virgin has painted, at least it my mind. In the Caribbean, even when Virgin was originally slated to visit Havana, the ports of call didn't inspire me too much (beyond their private destination, Beach Club at Bimini), which I can't blame Virgin for, as there are a lot of cruises in the Caribbean, especially within the five-day sail range of PortMiami. In the Med, sure there are many cruises, but with routes like Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari, they'll excite even European guests and frequent travelers who aren't likely to have seen these routes on other lines - especially not outside the luxury end of the market. While there are other ways (including cruises) to visit these spots, these aren't typical combinations. Ibiza is of course known for it's modern and chic party atmosphere, and as it appears on all three of Valiants' itineraries, we wonder if there are plans for something similar to Bimini Beach Club, where Virgin can offer a hub of sorts and curate every element of their style. They would certainly both differentiate themselves with a private European resort, and given the adult-only atmosphere, Ibiza would be the place to do it. This is of course, purely speculative.