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.
The Scarlet Lady is Virgin Voyages’ first cruise ship. Targeted at younger holidaymakers, the 110,000-tonne vessel will carry 2,750 guests.
On the Scarlet Lady, Virgin will be ditching 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, holds a “vegetarian forward” focus. 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.
Cruisers won’t be finding much plastic waste on the Scarlet Lady; the ship has banned single-use plastics, such as straws and condiment packs, as well as unnecessary food packaging.
Plastic pollution is an issue of increasing concern as of late 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. In response, the company pledged to halve the amount of plastic generated on cruises and divert remaining plastics to recycling. The brand will even provide all of its passengers with reusable drink bottles so as not to use disposable plastic ones.
“At Virgin Voyages, we are committed to having one of the cleanest fleets at sea,” said Tom McAlpin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Voyages, in a statement. 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.
The Scarlet Lady will set sail from PortMiami in 2020.
Image Credit: Virgin Voyages
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