Virgin Rolls Out Entertainment Program for Scarlet Lady

Red Room

Virgin Voyages today announced that the Scarlet Lady will feature a festival of choice in entertainment made up of bespoke intimate and authentic Events & Gigs created exclusively for Virgin Voyages with the goal of providing guests with an alternative perspective on the world and play that ignites the spirit within, according to a prepared statement.

At an event in New York, Virgin said guests wouldn’t just sit and watch shows but instead may be asked to participate with the cast.

Red Room

The company will have no traditional cruise director onboard the ship, and instead it will have a dynamic group of individuals dedicated to making “Happenings” around the ship completely epic, Virgin said, in a statement.

From modern takes on classic stories to interactive dance parties and off-the-wall participatory acts, the experiences will break down the fourth wall and push the boundaries of traditional stage performances.

Virgin Voyages has created The Red Room as the first transformational multi-form theatre at sea. It will transform into four different configurations – including traditional Proscenium stage, to alley stage used in fashion shows, to a dance flat-floor configuration and finally a unique reverse stage setup.

The Scarlet Lady will feature six original shows that include a soon to be announced production by award-winning producer Randy Weiner.

Sam Pinkleton & Ani Taj have created a hype music video disguised as an absurdist style dance party, called UNTITLED DANCESHOWPARTYTHING.

Phantom Folktales is a collection of song-driven, micro plays throughout the ship, that seemingly appears out of thin air, and disappears just as quickly, created by PigPen Theatre Co.

Ships in the Night is an emotion-filled contemporary experience telling its story through the use of digital projection interwoven with the authenticity of the human condition, and Duel Reality examines the age-old tale of Romeo & Juliet with a modern twist featuring acrobatic storytelling.

Never Sleep Alone is a participatory show featuring the funny, straight-talking relationship therapist, Dr Alex Shiller, by producers Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani.

Additionally, the creative development, production and installation of “happenings” that will take place throughout the ship were created by Spark Cooperative.

To add to the overall vision, Tony Award-winning creative producer, Jenny Gersten, will serve as an artistic and production liaison between the core in house Virgin Voyages Entertainment team and other members of the Collective, the company said.

 

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Branson: ‘Cruise lines will copy Virgin Voyages’

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Sir Richard Branson predicted other cruise lines will copy Virgin Voyages in “five to six years” time.

Asked how he thought Virgin would be viewed by competitors, he referenced BA’s “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin Atlantic in the 1990s when competition between the two airlines was at its most heated.

“Competition is always good in any industry,” he said. “It takes years to build new ships. So I think we will have five to six years then people will start copying us but by then we will have reinvented what we have.”

The first of three adult-only Virgin Voyages ships is due in 2020.

More details about what will be on board were unveiled in Genoa today at the Fincantieri shipyard where it is being built and include outdoor yoga, a wellness pool and sea-facing cabanas.

The ship, to be named Scarlet Lady, will also aim to convert all waste on board into clean re-usable energy.

Chief executive and president Tom McAlpin said: “As the (cruise sector) got bigger it had to appeal to a lot of segments but we have an opportunity to create something different and very special. The power of the Virgin brand is very important and we think we can attract people who have never cruised before.”

Virgin Voyages to name first ship Scarlet Lady

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Virgin Voyages will name its first ship Scarlet Lady as it plans to launch a programme to recruit more female crew members in male-dominated roles.

Sir Richard Branson revealed the name today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa where it is being built.

The name, which also appeared on one of the earliest Virgin Atlantic planes, “reflects the brand’s iconic mermaid image”, according to the line, which will appear on the hull of the adult-only ship due to launch in 2020.

Virgin Voyages will launch a “Scarlet Squad” initiative aimed at recruiting and mentoring female crew in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management, which statistically show low numbers of female staff and senior management.

Travel Weekly joined Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard and Virgin Voyages president and chief executive Tom McAlpin in Italy where the line was celebrating construction milestones, including the flooding of the ship’s drydock and a ceremony to cut the first pieces of steel for its second ship, due for delivery in 2021. Virgin Voyages will launch the third ship in 2022.

More details of the ship’s onboard features were also revealed.

“Across the maritime industry, we can do better in onboard recruiting and leadership representation for women,” McAlpin said. “I want all future crew to know that Virgin Voyages will create an onboard environment that is fair, inclusive and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Sir Richard and McAlpin also announced the company will eliminate the use of passenger-facing single-use plastics, including straws, bottled water, other beverage bottles, condiment packets, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers, and take-away coffee and tea cups.

The company will emphasize the use of recyclable and reusable materials across the ship.

Complimentary filtered still and sparkling water will be available at all bars and restaurants, as well as at Natura filtered water stations on the ship.

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

“We believe that in order to fulfil 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. We are delighted with what we’ve achieved so far and will continue to push ourselves to look for innovative ways to do things that will make a difference.”