Cruise team celebrate arrival of another virgin in Australia

Cruise team celebrate arrival of another virgin in Australia

Virgin Voyages is now setting its sights on Australia and New Zealand, today announcing its plans to make its new home port in Melbourne in 2023.

Resilient Lady, the newest ship in Virgin Voyages’ four-ship fleet, is inviting Aussie adults to experience the glamour and unmatched service and experience synonymous with the Virgin brand.

Resilient Lady will make her way on a 44-night trans-continental voyage, giving Aussies the chance to sail the high seas from Athens to Sydney in style. After this epic journey home, the ship will arrive at Station Pier in Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Virgin Voyages’ vice president of sales, Shane Riley, said he expects AUNZ to become Virgin’s biggest cruise market outside of the US.

Speaking at an intimate dinner last night, UK-based Riley said he was confident that Virgin Voyages’ market in AUNZ would soon outpace its market in the UK.

The dinner was to mark the Australian launch of the Resilient Lady ship, which will be heading down under for a series of adult-only cruises in the summer of 2023-24.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, Riley said Australia is “one of Richard’s favourite places in the world”.

“There is just so much synergy with the mindset of Virgin and the Australian and New Zealand people. It just aligns – the mindset, the outlook on life, that relaxed culture, the outdoor culture, the food. The ship is very much a foodie’s paradise. So it just aligns so much with what this culture loves and stands for”.

The Resilient Lady is currently cruising in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and Riley is confident that AUNZ will benefit from Virgin’s lessons in these markets.

“The benefit for the Australian market is we have been live in other markets. So when we come down to Australia we already have reviews. We have the most five-star reviews, and we’ve got lots of commendations already. We’ve already won awards. When we get here, people are like, okay, you know, we’re getting the experience.”

Aussie passengers on the Resilient Lady will initially have a chance to trial the ship for a series of 2-6 night sailings before Virgin Voyages introduces longer trips.

Resilient Lady is the third of four sister ships in Branson’s Virgin Voyages fleet. Whilst aligning with the rest of the fleet, Riley said Resilient Lady also offers something new.

“The magic of the ships really is that they are all lady ships. They’re all a part of the lady ship series. So they’re all sisters. So if you know one, you know the rest of them. From a traveling perspective, it makes it so much easier. But the exciting thing about Resilient is we’re launching some new entertainment. And that will be exclusive to Resilient.”

Fellow Australian and Virgin Voyages’ President and Chief Experience Officer, Nirmal Saverimuttu, said: “Australia and New Zealand are without question the most beautiful countries in the world, and we knew that these destinations, paired with the Virgin Voyages experience, will make it the most incredible holiday for our Sailors. The Virgin brand is known and adored by Australians and New Zealanders and we are committed to delivering a holiday experience you will love and memories that will last a lifetime.”

Exclusively adult, the voyages will take a ‘superyacht style’ that have been imagined by a creative collective of the world’s most renowned interior designers and travel to destinations across Australia including Hobart and Burnie, along with Sydney. New Zealand itineraries feature port stops in Picton, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson described it as an exciting milestone for the brand: “Australia has a very special place in my heart and we can’t wait for Australians and New Zealanders to meet our Resilient Lady and experience all that she has to offer in true Virgin style,” Sir Richard said.

“For more than 50 years, Virgin companies have been innovating and making industries better for our customers. Virgin Voyages is very much charting its own path, offering a fresh perspective on cruise travel with all the elements of the Virgin experience that people love.”

Ranging from 2 to 14 nights with a mix of itineraries, Sailors will experience Michelin starred chef-driven culinary offerings at six signature restaurants and more than 14 other eateries (all included). HIIT and bungee classes are on offer as well as festival-style entertainment.

Resilient Lady will sail through Australia and New Zealand from 11th December 2023 to 27th March 2024. Reservations are now open, and Sailors can save up to 30% off voyage fares.

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