The arrival of Virgin Voyages Resilient Lady made a splash in Australia on Monday, with shots of the ship entering Sydney’s iconic harbour being sent around the world.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, Sir Richard Branson said it’s not just the adults only factor that makes Virgin Voyages different to its competitors.
“I remember distinctly we got this thick sheet of white paper and we got a whole lot of people who had been on cruise ships that all listed the things they hated about cruising.
“From buffets to queues, that sort of thing.
“Then we had another column that listed everything we could do to fix those things, Sir Richard said.
“Then we drew on the experience and lessons from all the various Virgin companies we’ve set up over the years and we created this marvel.
“It’s just like being on a private yacht anywhere in the world, but its affordable to so many people to come experience it and feel like they were on their own private superyacht,” he said.
Moments before he was thrown into the swimming pool by Branson, the CEO of Virgin Voyages, Nirmal Saverimuttu said people also wanted quality bit without the stuffy formalities.
“We don’t want to dress up for dinner every night – Like wearing a tuxedo for dinner,” these are the sorts of things people were saying.
“I think cruising has been quite late to this trend of providing a different experience. Think about hotels and the rise of the boutique hotel or gym chains and the rise of more lifestyle oriented experiences.
“Cruising is very much linked to that and we think that we are the perfect brand, to bring that trend into cruising.”
“And so for me, if you could design a product that’s very much in line with popular preferences, then you’re going to attract the cruiser who says Wow, that’s a different way of doing that.
“This has been designed like a super yacht, or a boutique hotel in the ocean. It’s got plenty of places to eat. And we’ve got Michelin starred chefs and make all the food and outdoor workout area and it’s kid free.”
Saverimuttu and Branson spoke to media onboard Resilient Lady in Sydney on Tuesday morning. The “beach partyesque” conference ended with champagne, dancing and a few people jumping into the pool to cool off in the hot Australian heat.