Virgin Voyages celebrated International Woman’s Day with the announcement of the name of its third cruise ship, the penultimate vessel in a four-ship order with Fincantieri at its Sestri Ponente Shipyard near Genoa, Italy.
The third ship to join the fleet will be called Resilient Lady, which Virgin Voyages said in a release is intended to symbolise the spirit of its Lady Ships, and to celebrate women and their achievements, strength, leadership and resilience.
Resilient Lady is scheduled for delivery in 2022, and will be the second Virgin Voyages ship to cruise the Mediterranean (alongside sister ship Valiant Lady, due for delivery in 2021).
“Welcoming Resilient Lady to our fleet and revealing these amazing itineraries sets the tone for the most memorable summer voyage,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO and President of Virgin Voyages. “We know the time to travel is on the horizon, and Virgin Voyages is here so that we can keep dreaming of irresistible vacations ahead.”
Virgin Voyages will offer two different voyages on Resilient Lady in the Med:
Greek Isles Itinerary: Passengers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Greek history and culture in Athens before island-hopping to Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and Mykonos. The Greek Isles itinerary will feature an overnight stay in Mykonos, offering guests a premier location and access to the picturesque promenade
Adriatic (with Greek Isles) Itinerary: Sailing out of Athens, the ship will spend two days at sea before docking in Dubrovnik. She’ll then depart at 2am the following morning, giving passengers plenty of time to experience the rich history of Croatia during the day and take part in the active nightlife along the Adriatic Sea, before scenic sailing to Kotor, Corfu and Argostoli.
Virgin Voyages also said that the name of their third ship acknowledges the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women.
“The past year has been filled with adversity and adaptation for everyone – but it’s no secret that women have been challenged to rise up more than ever during the pandemic,” the cruise line said.
According to a report by Brookings Institute, the US economy is not only systemically unequal for women, but US childcare and education infrastructure also don’t fully meet the needs of working women.
As a result, working women have been impacted more in terms of wage cuts and redundancies than men. “COVID-19 is hard on women because the U.S. economy is hard on women, and this virus excels at taking existing tensions and ratcheting them up,” says Brookings.
Virgin Voyages has been active since its inception in promoting female empowerment. The first ship in the fleet, Scarlet Lady, was named after one of the first Virgin Atlantic planes, but was also “a pledge to a future of fostering gender equality across all Virgin Voyages crew”.
The cruise line launched a program called the Scarlet Squad that is intended to promote female empowerment across the entire company.
Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, the parent company of Virgin Voyages, added that he was particularly excited by the prospect of having a second ship cruising in the Mediterranean, which underscores Virgin Voyage’s commitment to its European cruise market.
“Sailing in the Med is such an extraordinary experience, and we’re so excited to bring the adventure of a Virgin Voyage to this beautiful place,” said Branson. “I’m so proud of the incredible work the team has accomplished to introduce Resilient Lady.”