This review of the Scarlet Lady is part of a paid partnership with Virgin Voyages, however all views are our own.
“Holy Ship!” was the title of the email that landed in our inbox just a few weeks ago. Smiling at the cheeky pun, I opened the email to discover a ‘Special Invitation’ from Sir Richard Branson himself, requesting our company at the unveiling of his latest starlet – the Scarlet Lady.
Bold, beautiful and glamorous, Scarlet would be the poster-girl for Sir Richard’s latest venture; one that has seen him temporarily swap his galactic expeditions for adventures of the subaquatic kind.
It seemed that Virgin was now in the business of cruising.
The launch of Virgin Voyages has been on my radar for some time. As a brand that I’ve not only grown up with, but also regularly enjoy as a traveller (we’ve been fortune enough to travel Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic a few times), our experience of Virgin’s fun, tongue-in-cheek and ever disruptive ethos has always been incredibly positive.
Unsurprisingly, we therefore accepted Sir Richard’s invitation in a heartbeat.
Reading the email in a little more detail, I noticed that whilst we wouldn’t be heading to Miami – the Scarlet Lady’s eventual safe harbour – we would instead (and no less exotically) be spending the night docked in Dover.
Here, surrounded by the perhaps less than sparkling waters of the English Channel, the Scarlet Lady would be formally introduced to the world: welcoming her first guests (or, ‘Sailors’, as Virgin Voyages prefer to say), before making her maiden voyage across the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
And all we had to do? Our instructions were simple. We simply had to find our sea legs, board the Scarlet Lady and experience a night like no other.
It was time to rethink everything we thought we knew about cruising.