December 5, 2019
(10 a.m. EST) -- Virgin Voyages' first ship, 2,750-passenger Scarlet Lady, has completed sea trials and is on schedule for its maiden voyage from Miami on April 1.
Company founder Richard Branson toured the ship with other executives and ceremoniously painted a red outline on the hull where the company's logo will appear. Virgin Voyages also released a video offering the public a first look at the vessel.
"The stereotype of a cruise ship is not something I'd particularly want to go on," Branson says in the video. "So, we thought if we could create the kind of cruise ship that ourselves and our friends would want to go on, then we'd go on it … I think it'll be incredibly well received by people who love what Virgin has done in the past."
The ship, the first of four vessels planned by the new cruise line, will sail seven-night Caribbean itineraries out of Miami. All will be adults-only, with a minimum sailing age of 18 years old.
Scarlet Lady was named after one of Virgin Atlantic's first planes and sailed its first sea trial from Genoa to Marseille on Nov.15 and then back from Marseille to Genoa Nov. 27.
"We're thrilled to have completed such a significant milestone with our sea trial," Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages CEO, said in a statement. "We're one step closer to getting our sailors on the Scarlet Lady and are grateful for all that have chosen to join us on this adventure."
Before the ship's maiden voyage, which is expected to be celebrity-packed, the line has planned two three-day "Sneak-a-Peek" sailings on March 26 and March 29.
Virgin Voyages aims to build on Branon's star power. Nightlife is expected to be one of the main draws of the ship, with lots of bars and lounges and unusual nighttime activities, including aerialist shows, comedy performances, pop-up music and interactive theate
Additionally, the fleet is being designed around a "Vitamin Sea" philosophy that emphasizes daytime relaxation and wellness.
"Virgin likes to surprise..." Branson says, "... we've gone into quite a few different sectors in my lifetime, and I think [we've] surprised people and changed those industries for the better. And I'm absolutely convinced we can do the same in the cruise -- or what we call voyages -- business."