The second cruise ship under construction for newcomer cruise line Virgin Voyages has touched water for the first time, marking a major construction milestone.
Valiant Lady, a sister ship to Scarlet Lady, was floated out at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy ahead of her final fit out for an anticipated May, 2021 debut in the Mediterranean.
While several cruise ship newbuilds and refits have been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and ensuing global lockdown, the delivery of Valiant Lady has thus far not been affected.
The name ‘Valiant Lady’ for the ship was inspired by the Latin word valere and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous”, according to the cruise line and is a reference to its focus on female empowerment.
When they announced her name, Virgin Voyages also confirmed that the ship would be based in the Med, unlike Scarlet Lady, which is due to cruise roundtrip in the Caribbean from Miami.
Valiant Lady will sail seven-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain, with three itineraries on offer: The first will call in Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia; the second will call in Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari; and the third will visit Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar.
All three feature a Friday overnight in Ibiza, while her late departures from Barcelona, will give passengers extra time to enjoy the city (such as the neighbourhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta) and take advantage of many different flight options.
Virgin Voyages first ship, Scarlet Lady, was meant to debut in Miami in April this year, but those plans were put on hold by the global shutdown of the cruise industry due to COVID-19.
Scarlet Lady’s inaugural season will now begin in October, 2020 instead.
Both ships carry 2,700 passengers and boast one of the most unique designs in the mainstream cruise industry, eschewing many of the long-standing traditions of cruising, such as set mealtimes, main dining rooms, and many more.
Most of the staterooms aboard the ships won’t even have a bed, instead taking inspiration from the adaptability of the berths on sleeper trains.