Virgin Voyages Heads for Mediterranean With Second Ship

Rendering courtesy Virgin Voyages

Published Nov 19, 2019 12:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

Virgin Voyages has announced that its second ship will be called Valiant Lady and will be deployed on Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona. Bookings open December 19 for sailings beginning in May 2021. 

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship - Valiant Lady - and to deliver on our commitment to offer travelers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our [passengers] will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Valiant Lady will sail three different itineraties, and following popular demand, all voyages feature an overnight stay in Ibiza. The sailing schedule features Sunday departures in order to give travelers the option for a prior day in Barcelona.

Virgin says that the name Valiant Lady was selected to represent the idea that women can design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry. The company has established what it calls a "Scarlet Squad" program aimed at recruiting and supporting female shipboard talent, and it has already appointed a female captain for its first ship, the Scarlet Lady.

In June, the line named Capt. Wendy Williams to take the helm when the first vessel debuts next spring. “Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family,” said McAlpin in a statement announcing the appointment. 

Scarlet Lady will also have nearly a dozen other female leaders, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer and Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer, along with multiple female engineering and deck officers.

The Scarlet Lady will be based in the cruise capital of Miami, where Virgin is building a new high-concept cruise terminal to accomodate its operations. Architect Bernardo Fort Brescia told the Miami Herald that the new building is "more like a stage set than a cruise terminal," designed for a vacation experience from the moment of arrival. 

Virgin's "No Kids, No Kidding" vacation concept is a rock-and-roll-inflected take on cruising, with an 18-and-over policy, bold modern interiors, an aesthetic aimed at replicating "the grit and authenticity of a land experience," and an onboard nightclub inspired by Virgin Group's origins in the music business.