LONDON: Virgin Voyages sailings have gone on sale, with the new cruise line’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, now open for bookings for its inaugural season next April.

“I’ve dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my 20s and now the launch is finally getting close,” said Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard 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.”

There will be no gratuities or service charges on Virgin Voyages cruises, which will also include food at the 20+ eateries on board, free wifi, basic beverages including soda, tea, coffee, still and sparkling water, and free group fitness classes.

“At Virgin Voyages we are going beyond just great design, to defy and redefine luxury to be rebellious luxe,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO for Virgin Voyages.

“This new luxury is about knowing you are take care of, that you’re never being nickel and dimed, and what you want, even some of the things you didn’t know you wanted, are already taken care of for you.”

Virgin Voyages also revealed that all cruises departing in 2020 will feature The Beach Club, an experience on the Caribbean islands of Bimini in the Bahamas.

Intended to rival the best beach clubs in Ibiza and Saint Tropez, The Beach Club will overlook the ocean and cascade down to the sea with a lagoon-style pool.

Mornings at The Beach Club will begin with yoga and meditation, and in the afternoon DJ-led pool and flotilla parties will take centre stage, with evenings winding down with a beach bonfire and acoustic musical performance.

“Sailors” (or guests) staying in the RockStar Suites will have their own exclusive slice of paradise including a dedicated bar, complimentary food service, outdoor terrace lounge, sun loungers and beach cabanas.

Scarlet Lady will set sail from PortMiami for its inaugural season on four and five night voyages calling at Havana, Cuba; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Costa Maya Mexico.

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