(9:30 a.m. EDT) -- In a double milestone for Virgin Voyages, the line took delivery of its second ship, Valiant Lady yesterday, and had its third ship, Resilient Lady, floated out today.
Both events took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, where all four of the ships are being built. A "float out ceremony" is when the ship's hull first touches water for the first time, and is regarded as a significant milestone -- and just like a ship launch, is marked by a champagne bottle smashing against the side.
The delivery is when the ship is officially handed over by the shipyard to the cruise line, who then become its owners.
The float out and delivery come just a few weeks before the first ship in the fleet Scarlet Lady is due to make its very first sailing with passengers on a series of round-U.K. cruises this summer.
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The ship made its debut last year in Dover, offering a series of showcases for media, travel agents and other assorted guests. However, as it crossed the Atlantic to New York, the pandemic struck and a planned christening never took place and it has never sailed a revenue cruise.
Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady, as well as their sister ship Scarlet Lady delivered last year, weigh 110,000 gross tons, are 278 meters long and 38 wide.
They all have 1,400 cabins and a capacity of 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew members.