Virgin Voyages took delivery of the cruise line’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, during a special ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy.
Nearly three years in the making, Scarlet Lady weighs about 110,000 gross tons, is 278m (912ft) long and 38m (124ft) wide; with 1,400 guest cabins designed to host more than 2,770 passengers, accompanied by 1,160 crew members.
The ship, which will homeport in Miami, Florida, was designed for energy efficiency. Virgin Voyages relies on Climeon, a technology that utilises heat from the ship’s engines to generate electricity, thereby decreasing the demand for fuel. Virgin Voyages has also announced that it will fully offset the carbon emissions of its operations by supporting carbon offset projects that meet internationally recognised carbon offset verification standards, including The Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.
“It’s wonderful to welcome Scarlet Lady today,” said Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson. “I’m so proud that as we start this exciting journey, we also bring to life Virgin Voyages’ commitment to preserving the ocean and the first of many steps towards a net-zero carbon future.”
Virgin Voyages also committed to working with the industry to support the necessary research and development to advance carbon-free fuels and to scale commercially viable solutions.
“The ocean is our home, and we are on a mission to protect it,” said Tom McAplin, CEO and president of Virgin Voyages. “The single biggest threat facing our ocean is climate change, and we want to be part of the solution. We are committed to pioneering new technologies on board, and working with our industry peers to advance research and development for zero-carbon fuels.”
Virgin Voyages currently has four ships on order with Fincantieri. The second ship, Valiant Lady, currently under construction in the same yard, will be delivered in 2021, while the third and the fourth units, still unnamed, should set sail in 2022 and 2023 respectively.