Updated July 17, 2019. Virgin Voyages, the cruise line under the Virgin Group name, is out to disrupt the cruising industry. And its first port of call? Sustainability and plant-based food.
Captained by Wendy Williams, the Scarlet Lady is Virgin Voyages’ first cruise ship. The 110,000-tonne vessel — targeted at younger travelers — will carry 2,750 guests.
On the Scarlet Lady, Virgin will ditch the conventional buffet that often appears onboard cruise ships. In its place will be more than 20 restaurants, lounges, and casual eateries with made-to-order menus.
The decision was made, in part, to improve sustainability. “In doing this, we’re cutting back on waste, drastically lowering our energy usage and emissions, and setting up Scarlet Lady to be the future of sustainable sea travel,” Virgin told cruise industry publication Cruise Radio.
The ship’s signature restaurant, called Razzle Dazzle, will hold a “vegetarian forward” focus. All of its vegan and vegetarian meals are inventive and made with consciously sourced ingredients.
Diners can enjoy beverages from a juice bar and a cocktail menu that changes nightly. And twice during each voyage, Razzle Dazzle will hold a Drag Brunch featuring entertainment, glitter, and glamour.
Reducing Plastic Pollution
Cruisers won’t be finding much plastic waste on the Scarlet Lady; the ship has banned single-use plastics such as straws, bottles, and condiment packs, as well as unnecessary food packaging.
Plastic pollution is an issue of increasing concern due to its negative effect on the ocean and its inhabitants. Reports have revealed that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, a statement Virgin finds “hard to accept,” it says on its website.
“By eliminating bottled water alone we will prevent more than 2 million plastic bottles from entering the waste stream annually per ship. Our team has made great strides to reduce standard disposable items typically used in food and beverage and hotel operations,” a spokesperson for Virgin told LIVEKINDLY, adding that it has reduced its essential plastic products from 46 to 16. “Disposables that could not be replaced with a reusable item are sourced responsibly from recycled materials.”
Tom McAlpin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Voyages, in a statement that Virgin Voyages is “committed to having one of the cleanest fleets at sea.” McAlpin added that Virgin is intent on making its ships as “ocean-friendly” as possible by converting heat from the ship’s engine into electricity and its organic waste into clean energy.
“You’ve heard of tree hugging, yes? Well, let’s consider this sea hugging,” Virgin said.
Virgin Voyages‘ the Scarlet Lady will set sail from PortMiami in 2020.