Middle East Cruise News

Virgin Voyages will cruise from Dubai ‘in time’ says Richard Branson

Virgin Voyages appears to be warming to the idea of cruising from Dubai, possibly on a repositioning or grand voyage cruise, with Sir Richard Branson recently telling Arabian Business that the cruise line would sail from Dubai in the future.

“In time, our cruise ships will come down to this region which is obviously very beautiful,” he said on the side-lines of The Retail Summit in Dubai. “It will be a real party ship.”

Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first ship, was recently floated out in Genoa

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These comments come just a little over a year after Craig Milan, Vice President of Itineraries & Destination Development at Virgin Voyages told Cruise Arabia & Africa that the cruise line was “open to all options” regarding Dubai cruises.

“We’re open to all options,” he said, “but it definitely won’t be any time before 2022.”

In 2022 Virgin Voyages will take delivery of its third ‘Lady Ship’, with the first (Scarlet Lady) due for delivery in 2020, and her second sister ship due in 2021.

Virgin Voyages is building four near-identical cruise ships

If Virgin Voyages ever does cruise from Dubai, it will therefore likely be aboard Scarlet Lady, which might by then be repositioned out of the Caribbean as the new ships add extra capacity and fleet dynamics.

Virgin Voyages is a truly game-changing brand entrant in an industry that has remained quite traditional for the past several decades.

The cruise line has introduced entirely new cruise concepts not offered by any other cruise line, such as ‘Seabeds’ that convert between loungers and beds from day to night, old-school hammocks on the balconies, all-inclusive specialty dining across 20 restaurants, and a futuristic ship design that provides 86% of staterooms with a balcony.

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Even the on-board entertainment will be unlike anything in the industry thus far, with a theatre that will change shape and set-up to offer Broadway productions, intimate plays that involve the audience and immersive comedy from one night to the next.

Thus far, only Scarlet Lady’s very first cruise season, during the winter of 2020, has been announced, and that will feature 4 to 5 night cruises in the Caribbean from Miami to Costa Maya, Mexico, Havana, Cuba or Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

The Beach Club – Virgin Voyages’ super-cool private destination in the Bahamas

All cruises will feature either an overnight stay or a late-night sailaway and include a stop at Virgin Voyages’ private beach resort The Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas.

“I’ve dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my 20s, and now the launch is finally getting close,” says Branson. “We have taken the time to think about every detail and craft an experience that brings the Virgin brand to life and disrupts the travel industry.”

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