Virgin Voyages’ first ever cruise from Dubai aboard Resilient Lady is already 90% sold out, with older multi-generational families embracing the adults-only cruise line, according to Cruise Passenger.
The Dubai to Singapore cruise, departing November 5th, 2023 is part of a repositioning voyage from Europe to Australia, where Resilient Lady will spend the 2023 summer cruise season.
The repositioning cruise will feature three separate legs, the first from Athens to Dubai, the second from Dubai to Singapore, and the third from Singapore to Sydney.
The cruise from Dubai has seen significant demand according to Shane Riley, Vice President of Sales, Virgin Voyages, with Australian fly-cruise passengers in particular snapping up a large share of the bookings.
“I have always maintained that Australia is prime market for Virgin Voyages. People get Virgin, they love great food and that casual environment. I believe it could be our number one source market,” he said.
Riley said Virgin Voyages’ high level of complimentary offers included in the cruise price, such as specialty dining and various activities onboard, was the brand’s main selling point, especially on longer itineraries such as the two week voyage from Dubai to Singapore.
Virgin Voyages also offers more overnight or late-night stays, and has created a cruise experience that is different to most other cruise lines, targeting those who have not cruised before, and see cruises as a holiday for older people.
The average age of passengers is 47, for instance, and apart from its onboard experience, Virgin is also setting itself apart with its shore excursions. In Barcelona, for instance, your walking tour could be guided by a former homeless person, providing a unique perspective on the iconic city.
Virgin Voyages is not only the first new mainstream cruise line in many years, but is also carving out a new segment for itself, with the brand positioned between upper premium and luxury. This will prove popular with the Middle East cruise market, which is well known for its cruise tastes leaning more toward the high-end of the market.
Interest is also already strong in Resilient Lady’s eight cruises out of Melbourne from December to March, even though Virgin Voyages has yet to launch a full marketing program.
This demand has led the cruise line to confirm it will return to Australia in 2024/25 as well, which means another Dubai to Singapore cruise may be on the cards for next year.
Virgin Voyages is the cruise line subsidiary of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Resilient Lady is the third of a planned four-ship fleet. She was delivered last year and is a sister ship to Scarlet Lady and Brilliant Lady.