Scarlet Lady

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Scarlet Lady in Liverpool February 2020 (cropped).jpg
Scarlet Lady in Liverpool, 2020
Name: Scarlet Lady
Owner: Virgin Group, Bain Capital
Operator: Virgin Voyages
Port of registry: Nassau,  Bahamas
Ordered: 23 June 2015[1]
Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente)
Yard number: 6287[2]
Laid down: 31 October 2017
Launched: 8 February 2019[3][4]
Completed: 13 February 2020[5]
Acquired: 14 February 2020[6]
Maiden voyage: 7 August 2020[7]
General characteristics
Tonnage: 110,000 GT
Length: 277.2 m (909 ft)
Beam: 38 m (125 ft)
Draught: 8.05 m (26.4 ft)
  • 17 total
  • 13 passenger decks
Installed power:
  • 2 × Wärtsilä 8L46F Diesel generators producing 9,600 kW (12,900 hp) each
  • 2 × Wärtsilä 12V46F Diesel generators producing 14,400 kW (19,300 hp) each
  • Total Installed Power: 48,000 kW (64,000 hp)[8]
Propulsion: 2 × 16,000 kW (21,000 hp) [8] ABB Azipod units
  • Service speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[8]
  • Maximum: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)[8]
Capacity: 2,770
Crew: 1,160

Scarlet Lady is a cruise ship currently operated by Virgin Voyages. She is the inaugural ship for the cruise line and was delivered on 14 February 2020 by Fincantieri of Italy.[6] Her inaugural voyage is scheduled for 7 August 2020.[7] She will operate exclusively as an "adults-only" ship for guests aged 18 and over,[9] sailing mainly four-to-five-night Caribbean itineraries from Miami, Florida.[10]



On 4 December 2014, founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, announced that Virgin Group was forming Virgin Cruises, together with the backing of Bain Capital, and revealed plans to build two new cruise ships.[11]

On 23 June 2015, Virgin Cruises announced that it signed a letter of intent with Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri, for three cruise ships that could each accommodate approximately 2,800 guests and 1,150 crew for seven-day Caribbean voyages.[1] The three-ship order reportedly cost US$2.55 billion,[2] with the first ship scheduled to begin operating in 2020.[1] The order's contract for the ships was formally signed on 18 October 2016, the same day Virgin Cruises rebranded as Virgin Voyages.[12]

On 20 July 2018, Virgin Voyages revealed the name of the first ship as Scarlet Lady, in honor of sister brand, Virgin Atlantic's, second plane.[13]


Temporarily billed as Virgin I and known in the shipyard as "hull number 6287," the first ship for Virgin Voyages began construction with the steel-cutting ceremony at Fincantieri's shipyard in Sestri Ponente near Genoa on 22 March 2017.[2][14]

On 31 October 2017, the ship's keel-laying and coin ceremonies were held.[9] On 20 July 2018, the dock was flooded for the first time to allow two hull sections to be connected.[13] The ship was assembled from 399 sections.[15]

On 8 February 2019, Scarlet Lady was floated out from the shipyard, accompanied by an ceremony in which a bottle of champagne was triggered to strike the hull.[16] Interior outfitting work began upon her float out.[16]

Scarlet Lady performed two rounds of sea trials in November 2019. She set off from Genoa to Marseille between 15 November and 18 November and sailed in the reverse direction for her second round between 27 November and 30 November.[17]

Delivery and christening[edit]

Scarlet Lady was completed and presented by Fincantieri on 13 February 2020 and formally delivered to Virgin Voyages on 14 February 2020 in Sestri Ponente.[5][6] She was scheduled to be christened in Miami on 19 March 2020, but it has been postponed indefinitely due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.[18][19]

Design and concept[edit]


On 31 October 2017, Branson and president and CEO of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin, revealed that the company's first ship will be exclusive to adults only, requiring that all guests be ages 18 and over.[9] McAlpin explained that this move was made to appeal largely to travel professionals within the more premium market looking for an "elevated" experience.[15] Virgin Voyages Chief Commercial Officer Nirmal Saverimuttu also attributed the decision to the company's aim to target "people who would not typically consider a cruise holiday" and might be interested in a "cooler" and more "intimate" setting.[20]


On Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages bundles all passengers' fares as one price per cabin, as opposed to pricing each voyage per guest.[21] Consequently, prices are higher than those of Virgin's competitors.[22] In response, Virgin stated that all fares will cover all dining charges, fitness classes, internet, and gratuities, among other offerings, but alcoholic beverages, retail, and shore excursions will be charged separately.[22]

The ship does not include any buffet or dining rooms, and instead, houses approximately 20 different dining and drinking establishments.[23] Other venues include a multi-function theater[24] and an onboard tattoo and body piercing parlor.[23]

Technology and specifications[edit]

Scarlet Lady has a total of 1,408 passenger cabins and 813 crew cabins for a maximum capacity of 4,400 passengers and crew, which can accommodate over 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew.[25] Of the 1,408 passenger cabins, there are 78 suites, 1,030 balcony cabins, 95 window cabins, and 105 inside cabins.[8] She is equipped with balconies on 86% of her cabins, with 93% of the cabins featuring an outside view.[9] The ship's livery consists of a silver hull, red funnel, and tinted windows, and also includes the Virgin "mermaid guide" figure that has been featured on sister brands, Virgin Atlantic and now-defunct Virgin America.[9][26][23]

Scarlet Lady has 17 decks, a length of 277.2 metres (909 ft), a draft of 8.05 metres (26.4 ft), and a beam of 41 metres (135 ft).[8] She is powered by a diesel-electric genset system, with four Wärtsilä engines, producing 48 megawatts (64,000 hp).[8] Main propulsion is via two propellers, each driven by a 16 megawatts (21,000 hp) electric motor.[8] The system gives the vessel a service speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) and a maximum speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph).[8] Wärtsilä also provided the ship's navigation systems, a hybrid scrubber system to remove sulfur dioxide from the exhaust, and a selective catalytic reduction system to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.[27][5] The ship partially produces her own energy through a 1 megawatt (1,300 hp) production system that uses the waste heat from her diesel engines.[5]

Service history[edit]

Pre-inaugural arrangements[edit]

During her re-positioning from Genoa to Miami, Scarlet Lady hosted media and travel industry representatives on stops in Dover and Liverpool.[28][5] Upon her arrival in Miami, Scarlet Lady was scheduled to perform two pre-inaugural voyages in late-March 2020.[29] Her first was scheduled from 26 March to 29 March and her second from 29 March to 1 April.[29] Both three-night sailings would embark from Miami and visit Virgin Voyages' new private island resort, The Beach Club at Bimini, located on the Bimini islands in the Bahamas.[29]

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Virgin Voyages cancelled preview events in New York City, sailing the ship directly to Miami from Europe.[19][30] On 12 March 2020, Virgin Voyages also announced a postponement of the ship's inaugural season, with the pre-inaugural sailings now slated to begin on 15 July 2020.[7][31]


On 23 June 2015, Branson initially announced the first three ships in the fleet would be based at PortMiami for week-long, round-trip Caribbean itineraries, with the first ship beginning operations in 2020.[1][32] In January 2019, Virgin Voyages released details of Scarlet Lady's itineraries, with revisions from earlier plans. She was now scheduled to sail shorter itineraries, performing four-to-five-night round-trip Caribbean cruises to either: Havana, Cuba, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, or Costa Maya, Mexico.[10] All voyages would include a stop at The Beach Club at Bimini.[33]

In June 2019, in response to the United States' government ban on passengers from entering Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, Virgin Voyages swapped out all visits to Havana with calls to Key West, Florida.[34] It also added a fourth itinerary option to visit Cozumel, Mexico on five-night sailings, and added two seven-night holiday sailings to Puerto Plata and San Juan, Puerto Rico.[34] All voyages will retain their visits to The Beach Club at Bimini.[34] Scarlet Lady's deployment schedule is expected to continue through 2021.[35]

Scarlet Lady was originally scheduled to sail her maiden voyage on 1 April 2020, visiting Key West and "The Beach Club" at Bimini, but it was postponed by four months to 7 August, due to the coronavirus pandemic.[29][36][7][31]


  1. ^ a b c d Schaal, Dennis (23 June 2015). "Virgin Cruises to Debut 3 Ships in Miami Starting in 2020". Skift.
  2. ^ a b c Drescher, Cynthia (23 March 2017). "Virgin Voyages Begins Construction of First Cruise Ship". Conde Nast Traveler.
  3. ^ "Scarlet Lady Floats Out, Second Virgin Ship Construction Well Underway". Cruise Industry News. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Fincantieri: "Scarlet Lady" Floats Out In Sestri". Fincantieri (Press release). 8 February 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kalosh, Anne (13 February 2020). "Fincantieri presents first Virgin Voyages ship, Scarlet Lady". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Saltzman, Dori (12 March 2020). "Virgin Voyages Pushes Launch of Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship To July". Cruise Critic.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Scarlet Lady" (PDF). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Virgin Voyages Reveals First Cruise Ship Will Be Adults-Only, Begins Construction". Cruise Critic. 31 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Virgin Voyages Will Sail 4 and 5 Night Cruises to the Caribbean". Cruise Fever. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  11. ^ Stieghorst, Tom (4 December 2014). "Richard Branson to enter cruise business". USA Today.
  12. ^ Sheivachman, Andrew (18 October 2016). "Virgin Cruises Rebrands as Virgin Voyages, Finally Signs Deal for Three Ships". Skift.
  13. ^ a b Eisenberg, Sherri (20 July 2018). "Virgin Voyages Names First Ship Scarlet Lady". TravelPulse.
  14. ^ Satchell, Arlene (22 March 2017). "Virgin Voyages marks start of construction of first ship slated to debut in 2020". South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
  15. ^ a b Zhang, Benjamin (1 November 2017). "Richard Branson's Virgin Voyages is launching a cruise ship for adults only". Business Insider.
  16. ^ a b "Scarlet Lady Floats Out, Second Virgin Ship Construction Well Underway". Cruise Industry News. 8 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Scarlet Lady Completes Sea Trials, Branson Gets First Look". Cruise Industry News. 5 December 2019.
  18. ^ Saltzman, Dori (13 February 2020). "Italian Shipyard Delivers Virgin Voyages First Cruise Ship, Scarlet Lady". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  19. ^ a b Parry, Tom (12 March 2020). "Virgin Voyages Delays Scarlet Lady Miami Naming". TTG Media. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  20. ^ McMah, Lauren (16 November 2019). "Sir Richard Branson reveals what Aussies can expect from his new adults-only cruise".
  21. ^ "Virgin Voyages to Include WiFi, Selling Cruises By Cabin Price". Cruise Industry News. 6 February 2019.
  22. ^ a b Sampson, Hannah (14 February 2019). "Virgin Voyages Wants Cruisers to Pay a Premium (and Like It)". Skift.
  23. ^ a b c Cripps, Karla (21 January 2019). "Scarlet Lady: Cruise like a rock star aboard Virgin Voyages' first ship". CNN.
  24. ^ "Virgin Rolls Out Entertainment Program for Scarlet Lady". Cruise Industry News. 14 February 2019.
  25. ^ Cripps, Karla (21 January 2019). "Scarlet Lady: Cruise like a rock star aboard Virgin Voyages' first ship". CNN Travel. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Virgin Voyages Begins Construction of First Ship and Starts Taking Deposits". Business Wire. 31 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Wärtsilä to provide comprehensive optimised maintenance for Virgin Voyages". Wärtsilä. 23 July 2018.
  28. ^ Whelan, Zara (7 February 2020). "This is when Virgin's adult-only £600m rockstar-themed cruise liner Scarlet Lady will dock in Liverpool this month". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  29. ^ a b c d Saunders, Aaron (15 November 2019). "Virgin Voyages to Offer Pre-Inaugural Preview Cruises on New Ship Scarlet Lady". Cruise Critic.
  30. ^ Wood, Donald (2 March 2020). "Virgin Voyages Cancels New York City Preview Events". TravelPulse. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  31. ^ a b Kalosh, Anne (12 March 2020). "Virgin Voyages postpones inaugural season until July 15". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  32. ^ Drescher, Cynthia (23 June 2015). "Virgin Cruises Makes Waves With New Ships, Miami Port". Conde Nast Traveler.
  33. ^ "Virgin Voyages Sailings Now Open for Bookings". Virgin Voyages. 14 February 2019.
  34. ^ a b c Mathisen, Monty (11 June 2019). "Virgin Reveals New Deployments to Replace Havana". Cruise Industry News.
  35. ^ "Virgin Voyages Terminal at PortMiami coming in 2021; Scarlet Lady bookings open Feb. 2019". Travelweek. 28 November 2018.
  36. ^ Slater, Georgia (5 December 2019). "WATCH: Sir Richard Branson Tours Nearly Complete First Ship for His Adults-Only Cruise Line". People.

External link[edit]

Media related to IMO 9804801 at Wikimedia Commons