The Scarlet Lady – the inaugural vessel from Sir Richard Branson’s forthcoming adults-only cruise line Virgin Voyages – will set sail in April 2020.
The company advertises “no kids, no buffets and no limits,” and the details released so far on the ship show that it will definitely live up to that promise.
With 1,430 cabins (93% of which boast a sea view), the Scarlet Lady will hold more than 2,770 passengers who will be looked after by a 1,160-strong crew.
Inspired by the sleek luxury of a yacht, the ship will feature over 20 dining and drinking options, including Wake, with its “theatrical take on steak and seafood”, and laboratory-style eatery Test Kitchen. Unlike traditional cruise ships it will eschew upcharges, buffets, main dining rooms, assigned dining times and even formal attire.
Other onboard amenities include the Scarlet Lady’s cave-styled spa complete with hydrotherapy pools and quartz beds; signature nightclub The Manor, inspired by the name of Branson’s first music studio; an exclusive outdoor lounge and private club reserved for guests of the 78 Tom Dixon-designed RockStar suites and the Red Room theatre which will host no less than six productions.
Meanwhile, Wendy Williams is set to make history as the first Canadian female captain of a major cruise ship when she takes the helm of the Scarlet Lady. Fewer than 3% of the world’s mariners are women and Williams hopes to lead the way for others.
Born in Sept-Iles Quebec, on the northeastern coast of Canada, Captain Williams is no stranger to the sea, having spent nearly three decades working in various capacities.
After ten years in commercial fishing, she began her cruise ship career, still only one of only a handful of women in the industry at the time. Although she has captained many vessels in her career, and was a staff captain for six of her 15 years in the industry, this will be her first time mastering her own cruise ship.