Virgin Voyages has revealed its first ship will be named Scarlet Lady.
Sir Richard Branson made the reveal at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, where the ship is being built, on Friday.
Scarlet Lady is due to launch in 2020, and the name first appeared on one of the earliest Virgin Atlantic planes. Virgin Voyages said Scarlet Lady would be the flagship for the fleet and will be paired with the brand’s mermaid image, which will adorn the hull.
Virgin Voyages are also planning to launch a programme to recruit more female crew members in male-dominated roles. The cruise line will launch a “Scarlet Squad” initiative aimed at recruiting and mentoring female crew in areas such as marine, technical and hotel management. Looking for Virgin Voyages careers? Look no further.
“Across the maritime industry, we can do better in onboard recruiting and leadership representation for women,” Tom McAlpin, chief executive said. “I want all future crew to know that Virgin Voyages will create an onboard environment that is fair, inclusive and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Sir Richard and McAlpin also announced the company will eliminate the use of passenger-facing single-use plastics to become one of the cleanest fleets at sea. Virgin Voyages will ban straws, bottled water, other beverage bottles, condiment packets, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers, and take-away coffee and tea cups.
Complimentary filtered still and sparkling water will be available at all bars and restaurants, as well as at Natura filtered water stations on the ship.
“Nothing makes me prouder than seeing companies like Virgin Voyages striving to make a positive impact on the world we live in,” Sir Richard said. “Business is a force for good and can and must be the catalyst for global change.”
“We believe that in order to fulfil our purpose of creating an ‘Epic Sea Change for All,’ we must make a commitment that is bigger than just eliminating straws,” added McAlpin. “We must make a commitment to building ships and experiences that do everything possible to look after the well-being of our precious oceans. We are delighted with what we’ve achieved so far and will continue to push ourselves to look for innovative ways to do things that will make a difference.”
Scarlet Lady to Set Sail For UK Shores
Richard Branson also revealed that Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, will head for UK shores for a fleeting visit before she heads off to the Atlantic on Caribbean itineraries.
Speaking at a press conference at the Fincantieri shipyard Branson said: “We like [the Virgin group’s] UK heritage. We will bring the ship to the UK to showcase it to our travel partners. We may pop up the Thames, although we wouldn’t want to get it stuck,” he joked.
“I want to show the ship off to the UK where we were born. Maybe it will be Southampton, I don’t know. But I would definitely love to come and show her off to everyone.”