Virgin and Emerald To Bring Sustainability to the Seas

Virgin Voyages Ship

Virgin Voyages and Emerald Brand have announced a sustainability partnership to deliver a tree-free and plastic-free experience on board the Virgin ships. The partnership begins on the Scarlet Lady, setting sail in 2020.

Virgin Voyages said it is among the first of major cruise lines to ban single-use plastic. Their goal is to fully embed sustainability into their business model through their operations and the sailor (guest) experience itself.

In addition to replacing single-use plastics with reusable items, Virgin and Emerald will deliver a so-called tree-free experience through the ship’s disposable paper products. Bath tissue, facial tissue, hot cups, paper towels, and napkins will be made from 60% to 100% tree-free material.  According to a prepared statement, these products are made with unique technology that uses the by-product of agricultural crops that are typically burned or wasted, in place of trees.

The partnership underscores the level of impact both companies are seeking to make. Jill Stoneberg, director of sustainability and social impact at Virgin, stated: “We have really ambitious goals here so no decision is taken lightly. Everything down to seemingly simple changes in our supply chain is made with the intention of giving sailors the absolute best experience while continuing to change business for good.”

“Driving change to solve the issue of plastic waste and deforestation has been embedded in our company’s ethos since my father founded our group over twenty years ago,” added Ralph Bianculli Jr., managing director of Emerald.

Emerald’s team of environmental experts, said to be known as the Eco-Squad, will help Virgin measure and communicate the environmental footprint reduction that has resulted from the switch to Emerald’s products. The Eco-Squad will also provide solutions for continuous improvement throughout the supply chain.

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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.

 

Scarlet Lady Floats Out, Second Virgin Ship Construction Well Underway

Scarlet Lady

The Scarlet Lady touched the water for the first time for Virgin Voyages on Friday at Fincantieri. The first ship from the new cruise brand starts revenue service from the Port of Miami in April 2020.

Tom McAlpin, president and CEO, Virgin Voyages, was on hand for the ceremony along with Luigi Matarazzo, director of the Merchant Ships Division at Fincantieri and Paolo Capobianco, director of the plant at the shipyard.

Giuliana Rindone, an employee of the Sestri shipyard, was the godmother for the float out ceremony, cutting the ribbon that triggered a champagne bottle to crash against the hull of the ship at Fincantieri’s Sestri facility.

Scarlet Lady

With the ship now in the water and steel work on the hull complete, attention will turn to interior outfitting on the 110,000-ton, 2,770-guest ship.

With the Scarlet Lady nearing completion, Fincantieri and Virgin also celebration the coin ceremony for Virgin’s second ship, which is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021.