Shipbuilder Fincantieri presented Virgin Voyages’ highly anticipated first ship, Scarlet Lady, in Italy on Thursday.
The ship, which successfully completed its first round of sea trials in Europe late last year, is the first of four ordered by the new cruise line from Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin, the Governor of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti, the Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci, the Chairman of Fincantieri Giampiero Massolo and its CEO Giuseppe Bono were among the notable people in attendance for Thursday’s ceremony.
Scarlet Lady is scheduled to set sail on her inaugural maiden voyage on April 1 following a pair of Sneak-a-Peek preview sailings late next month.
The ship weighs approximately 110,000 gross tons and spans 912 feet in length and 125 feet in width. Like each of Virgin Voyages’ four ships, Scarlet Lady will be equipped with 1,400 guest cabins that can accommodate more than 2,770 passengers.
Guests sailing the cutting-edge ship will benefit from smart wearable technology, allowing them to do things like access their cabin and make onboard purchases, as well as minimal levels of noise and vibration. Guests will even be able to control a wide range of cabin functions from an app on their smartphone, including adjusting the air conditioning, lighting, blinds, music and television.
Scarlet Lady will also operate with a reduced overall environmental impact thanks to a number of unique features, including a scrubber system for the waste management of sulfur dioxides; a catalytic converter to reduce nitrogen oxides; LED lights to reduce energy consumption and hydrodynamic hull design that allows for fuel saving.
Virgin Voyages’ second ship, Valiant Lady is already under construction in the same shipyard and is scheduled for delivery next year. Meanwhile, the cruise line’s third and the fourth vessels, which still have yet to named, will set sail in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Bookings for Scarlet Lady’s inaugural season opened last summer while bookings for Valiant Lady have been open since December.
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New Crystal Program Offers Lower Deposits Good Through 2022
Crystal’s just-launched Crystal Assured Savings program lets travelers make a $500 deposit by June 30, 2020, for an additional 2.5 percent savings on any seven-night or longer voyage through 2022. Travelers have until March 31, 2021, to select their preferred voyage.
The extra savings range from $50 for over $6,000, depending on sailing and category. The offer is good on any ocean, river, expedition or yacht cruise.
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Travel advisors will earn commission on the deposit as well as locking in new bookings for the future with full commission, less applicable savings.
“Our travel partners are part of the Crystal family, and we remain dedicated to supporting their business and working with them through these unprecedented times,” said Carmen Roig, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “The Crystal Assured Savings program equips them with an honest, simple tool – and meaningful savings for their clients – to continue to grow their luxury business and share the Crystal Experience with travelers who are looking to explore the world at a later date.”
The additional savings of 2.5 percent are on top of other Crystal special savings that may apply including two-for-one fares, Book Now Savings, Crystal Society Savings, Early Final Payment Savings, Back-to-Back Savings, Combination Voyage Savings and available future cruise credits.
“The Crystal Assured Savings is a win for our clients, given the array of opportunities to lock in savings on Crystal’s incredible luxury experiences now, as they look ahead to traveling again in the future,” said Eric Maryanov, president of All-Travel in Los Angeles. “Likewise, the program presents a wonderful chance for travel advisors to stimulate business during today’s uncertain environment, while also building a strong foundation for tomorrow that will keep their businesses growing. With Crystal Assured Savings, Crystal is making it possible for the travel community to stay connected and inspired beyond the challenges we are currently facing, and helping advisors weather the storm.”
Another advisor agrees. “There is no better time to start planning a Crystal vacation, with so many savings opportunities available to both new and returning guests. … Crystal’s new program helps ensure that we all sail through this time together,” said Leah Bergner, senior travel advisor for Coastline Travel Advisors in Orange County, Calif.
Terms and conditions for Crystal Assured Savings can be found here.
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