February 6, 2020
(1 p.m. EST) -- Virgin Voyages ship will debut a wearable technology known as The Band to replace functions normally performed by a traditional plastic keycard.
The device, which will be mailed to cruisers prior to sailing on the line's flagship, Scarlet Lady, will be made of recycled ocean plastic, thanks to a partnership with BIONIC Yarn, a material engineering firm dedicated to reducing pollution in marine environments.
"Just like our stunning fleet of Lady Ships, and through our partnership with BIONIC, our wearable technology marries sustainability with smarts and style, which is quintessentially Virgin," said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages. "The Band will be our seamless and worry-free way for [passengers] to not only unlock their cabins with ease, but to explore all of the thrills and great experiences that Scarlet Lady and the rest of our fleet will have to offer."
When it debuts along with Scarlet Lady on April 1, 2020, The Band will allow passengers access to their cabins, enable speedier boarding and act as an onboard payment method that can be used in the ship's bars, shops and casino. The band will also keep tabs on wearer's locations to allow for the delivery of Shake for Champagne -- Virgin's Champagne-on-demand service that allows customers to simply shake their Bands (or app-enabled phones) for glasses of bubbly on the spot.
The Band will complement Virgin Voyages' "Sailor App." Scheduled for release shortly, the Sailor App will allow passengers to complete their pre-cruise check-in, book shore excursions and customize their voyages.