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Sound familiar? Richard Branson names his first cruise ship Scarlet Lady

The first ship in the Virgin Voyages fleet is to be named Scarlet Lady, mirroring the name of one of the earliest planes to fly for Virgin Atlantic.

As the Virgin cruise flagship, the Scarlet Lady name will be paired with the brand’s iconic mermaid image on the hull when the ship sets sail in 2020.

Scarlet Lady cruise ship
Richard Branson takes a sledgehammer to a giant plastic bottle in Genoa, below, after naming his new ship, above, Scarlet Lady Pictures courtesy of Virgin Voyages
Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin, announcing the name in Genoa, also revealed that the company will eliminate the use of single-use plastics as part of its aim to create one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

This initiative includes banning plastic items on board including straws, bottled water, other beverage bottles, condiment packets, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers, and take-away coffee and tea cups. Instead, the company will emphasise the use of recyclable and reusable materials across the ship.

Sailors will have access to complimentary filtered still and sparkling water at all bars and restaurants, as well as specially designed Natura filtered water stations throughout the ship.

“Nothing makes me prouder than seeing companies like Virgin Voyages striving to make a positive impact on the world we live in,” said Branson. “Business is a force for good and can and must be the catalyst for global change.”

McAlpin added: “We believe that in order to fulfill our purpose of creating an ‘Epic Sea Change for All’, we must make a commitment that is bigger than just eliminating straws. We must make a commitment to building ships and experiences that do everything possible to look after the well-being of our precious oceans.”

The company also revealed plans to launch the “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.

“Across the maritime industry, we can do better in onboard recruiting and leadership representation for women,” said McAlpin. “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.”

Virgin Voyages also celebrated construction milestones in Genoa on Friday (20 July). The day began with the flooding of the ship’s drydock - the first time the hull of the Scarlet Lady had touched sea water.

The day at the shipyard also featured a ceremony to cut the first pieces of steel for Virgin Voyages’ second ship, due for delivery in 2021 and yet to be named.

Posted on 23rd July 2018 at 11:26 am in Cruise News | New Ships | Cruise Lines | Virgin Voyages |

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