x

Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 March 2019

Richard Branson’s adults-only cruise ship features rock star suites and a tattoo parlour

Bookings for 'Scarlet Lady' Miami-Havana cruise are now open before next year's maiden voyage

'Scarlet Lady' will set sail in April 2020. Courtesy Virgin Voyages
'Scarlet Lady' will set sail in April 2020. Courtesy Virgin Voyages

Billed as an expedition rather than a cruise, Virgin Voyages is hoping to entice Instagram-generation customers to book places on its adults-only Scarlet Lady vessel which will make its maiden voyage in April 2020.

Scarlet Lady will set sail from Miami to Havana on April 1 next year for a four-night excursion that also takes in Virgin's own private club in the Bahamas in partnership with DJ Mark Ronson. If you want to be on the first journey, you best be quick as many cabin categories have already sold out.

Rockstar suites have their own terrace complete with dance-friendly dining tables. Courtesy Virgin Voyages
Rockstar suites have their own terrace complete with dance-friendly dining tables. Courtesy Virgin Voyages

On board, it's all retro-futuristic design and smart-tech cabins. Its Rock Star Suites come equipped with guitar-clad music rooms, turntables and private terraces complete with hot tub, hammock and a dance-friendly dining table.

All cabins come with mood-matching lights and configurable beds as well as Netflix-bingeing capabilities, no matter where on the ocean you are.

Passengers, or as they're called in Virgin-speak, sailors, will have access to 24-hour entertainment and activities. An impressive schedule of live performances, including six original shows, music, dance and theatre will be available.

In a move away from traditional cruise costing, fares will include all eateries and fitness classes. Courtesy Virgin Voyages
In a move away from traditional cruise costing, fares will include all eateries and fitness classes. Courtesy Virgin Voyages

Fitness fans can hit up The Athletic Club, an outdoor space with sports and fitness classes where fresh, healthy smoothies are served up. Yoga fans will love The Crow’s Nest, a yoga and meditation spot on the upper-deck that's ideal for asanas under the sun. The Redemption Spa is a sleek haven of whirlpools, plunge pools and a mudroom, and, for the ultimate in take-home souvenirs, a tattoo parlour called Squid Ink.

Veggie-friendly Razzle Dazzle is just one of 20 restaurants included in the cruising cost. Courtesy Virgin Voyages
Veggie-friendly Razzle Dazzle is just one of 20 restaurants included in the cruising cost. Courtesy Virgin Voyages

In a move away from traditional cruises, Virgin Voyages are all-inclusive so sailors can dine at any of the 20 eateries on board at no extra cost, and all group fitness classes are complimentary.

When it comes to dining, options include taking part in cooking classes in The Test Kitchen or tucking into prime cuts at a 5,866-square-foot dining room inspired by New York’s The Grill. There's also a geometrically bold vegetarian spot called Razzle Dazzle, upscale Mexican food on offer at Pink Agave, hands-on Korean grilling at Gunbae and an authentic Italian eatery called Extra Virgin.

And despite its Insta-focused design ethos, it’s not all quirk – the ship has banned single-use plastics and all food will be thoughtfully sourced.

If you're keen to get on-board, you can also book to sail on July 15 when Sir Richard Branson himself will be on-board to celebrate his 70th birthday.

As well as trips to Cuba, Scarlet Lady's destinations include Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and Mexico's Costa Maya. Every voyage will also include a stop at Virgin's private Ibiza-inspired beach club at Bimini in the Bahamas.

Prices for the inaugural cruise start from $3,850 (Dh14,140).

Updated: February 18, 2019 03:41 PM

SHARE

SHARE