Sir Richard Branson has revealed the first ship from Virgin Voyages will be called Scarlet Lady at a ceremony in Genoa, Italy.

The name Scarlet Lady appeared on one of the earliest planes to fly for Virgin Atlantic, and now, as the flagship for the Virgin Voyages fleet, will be paired with the brand’s iconic mermaid image.

With a focus on ‘Vitamin Sea’, Scarlet Lady has been designed with ample outdoor space for guests (or ‘sailors’) to enjoy all activities, with highlights including sundeck the Crow’s Nest, as well as an Athletic Club, Runway and Wellbeing Pool.

The Redemption Spa has been inspired by a mermaid cave, and in the evenings will be transformed into a mermaid hideaway extravaganza.

The ship’s namesake has also inspired plans to launch the ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management, that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

While at the shipyard, Virgin Voyages also celebrated construction milestones, including he flooding of the ship’s drydock, a celebratory ritual done in preparation for the connection of two hull sections, signifying the first time the hull of the Scarlet Lady touches sea water, as well as the steel cutting ceremony for the adults-only cruise line’s second ship, due for delivery in 2021.

Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin also announced the company will eliminate the use of sailor facing single-use plastics as part of its aim to create one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

This initiative includes banning plastic items onboard including straws, bottled water, other beverage bottles, condiment packets, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers, and take-away coffee and tea cups. Instead the company will emphasize the use of recyclable and reusable materials across the ship.

Guests (sailors) will have access to complimentary filtered still and sparkling water at all bars and restaurants, as well as specially designed Natura filtered water stations throughout the ship.

“Nothing makes me prouder than seeing companies like Virgin Voyages striving to make a positive impact on the world we live in,” said Branson. “Business is a force for good and can and must be the catalyst for global change.”

“We believe that in order to fulfill our purpose of creating an ‘Epic Sea Change for All,’ we must make a commitment that is bigger than just eliminating straws,” added McAlpin.

“We must make a commitment to building ships and experiences that do everything possible to look after the well-being of our precious oceans.”

Scarlet Lady is due for delivery in 2020 at PortMiami, and is set to host over 2,700 passengers and 1,150 crew members.

For more information visit virginvoyages.com

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