Billionaire Richard Branson's cruise line sets sail in 2020: Here's everything we know so far

By Mackenzie Schmidt
January 31, 2019 10:30 AM
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Virgin Voyages

Richard Branson’s first cruise line, Virgin Voyages, is just for sailors 18 and over — and its just-released itineraries and room designs, are appropriately all grown up.

The Scarlet Lady, the first ship launching in 2020 for the adults-only carrier, will be outfitted with an array of over-the-top dining and drinking establishments for adventurous seafarers. But at the end of the night, passengers can also look forward to returning to their rooms, which are designed for continued reveling, according to a release from the brand.

Virgin Voyages

“We didn’t want to create the same old box of a bedroom that our sailors would only use to lay their head down at night, we wanted to reshape the entire cabin experience,” says Dee Cooper, senior vice president of design for Virgin Voyages, in a press release.

Every cabin is equipped with a custom-designed “Seabed,” which Virgin describes as the “first-ever transformational cabin bed at sea,” and is meant to encourage in-room hangouts among new friends.

“The concept of the Seabed came from the convivial nature of cruising, and gives sailors more space for social gatherings,” according to the release. It also eliminates the “unspoken awkwardness” of having no place for guests to sit but on the bed.

That famous mood lighting familiar to those who have flown Virgin America (now part of Alaska Airlines), also comes into play. Cabin lights will automatically adjust to “enhance the time of day based on where the ship is in the world.”

The ship, which will have a “no tipping” policy, Virgin announced Monday, has 1,330 cabins and 78 “RockStar” suites, with 93 percent of cabins offering an ocean view. Eighty six percent will have a terrace.

There are also special rooms for groups, which have four “chalet-style” bunk beds, and cabins designed specifically with solo travelers in mind.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages passengers will also have an impressive variety of sailings to choose from in the ship’s inaugural 2020 season.

“We have composed itineraries that have a sense of palpable culture, history and above all induce that carefree feeling that you only get while on holiday,” says Diana Block Garcia, vice president of itinerary and destination development.

Virgin Voyages

The four- or five-night Havana After Dark schedule, allows travelers to explore the culture of Cuba, including an overnight stay in the capital city.

The five-night Mayan Sol itinerary heads to Costa Maya, Mexico, where sailors can disembark to explore ancient ruins and dive at coral reefs.

Virgin Voyages

And the Dominican Daze journey, also five nights, takes travelers to Puerto Plata in the D.R. On the island, they’ll offer trekking, surfing class or, for the more low-key cruiser, shopping excursions for handicrafts.

All the voyages depart will from Miami.

The Scarlet Lady opens for 2020 bookings on February 14. Visit virginvoyages.com for more information.