The Tycoon’s Adult Cruises Richard Branson They will arrive for the first time in the Canary Islands next month. Virgin Voyages will move to the Archipelago the second ship of his fleet, the Valiant Ladywhat will touch the ports of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife as part of its inaugural voyages. The company, which is sold as the reverse of traditional shipping companies with unique services on board such as tattoo artists or vinyl shops, has just received the ship, which will arrive in the Islands on March 26.
The Valiant Lady It formally joined the Virgin Voyages fleet last week after being built at Fincantieri’s Italian shipyard. The shipping company branson –although the tycoon only has a share in the company, his figure dominates all the marketing of the ships– he has taken advantage of the circumstance to confirm the first trips and highlight a 70% increase in the number of reservations since December. “The removal of travel restrictions in the United Kingdom is already offering positive signs,” said the CEO of the maritime company, Tom McAlpin.
The visits to the Canary Islands are part of a series of circuits across the Atlantic that he Valiant Lady will start at the end of March. The ship will touch three times the ports of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (March 26, April 9 and 23) and Las Palmas (March 27, April 10 and 24) consigned by Bergé Marítima, according to the forecast of calls made by the Las Palmas Port Authority. After the trips to the Canary Islands, which will have their origin and end in the British port of Portsmouth, the cruise ship will head to Barcelona, which will be its base in the western Mediterranean throughout the summer.
Virgin Voyages joins the list of shipping companies that are launching regular operations in the Canary Islands this season. The arrival of the Branson ship supposes more cruise links with the UK, one of the most traditional markets in this sector with trips that originate and end in ports in the south of Great Britain. The new company aspires to a medium-high passenger sector in competition with P&O, of the Carnival group, and Royal Caribbeanwhich also have large-capacity ships – in the Valiant Lady 2,770 passengers can travel – to cover these routes. “It is a luxury product, but informal”, details the commercial director of the Port Authority of Las Palmas, John Francis Martin.
The cruise line backed by Virgin is part of the network of companies created by Richard Branson, who went from selling records by catalog in the early 1970s to a gigantic conglomerate with all kinds of businesses owned or licensed by brand, from gyms to banks to airlines through telecommunications or rail transport companies, among others. In recent years, the tycoon has backed projects such as the Virgin GalacticWith which seeks to promote suborbital flight tourismor Virgin Voyages itself, a joint venture in which the investment fund Bain also participates.
Virgin Voyages responds toSame brand attributes as other firms in the ‘Branson universe’, with the customer experience as the driving element. Passengers, for example, are not guests or clients, but “sailors” who embark on ships of contemporary design, far from the usual decorative lines in large cruise companies. The sobriety of other shipping companies contrasts with the carefree spirit of these ships, differences that are also noticeable in the type of services and entertainment offered on board.
The Valiant Ladywith 277 meters in length and capacity for 2,770 passengers on 17 decks, is an exclusive ship for adults in which each cabin has its own hanging hammock in the balcony. Most of the non-alcoholic beverages – waters, soft drinks, juices, coffees and teas – are included in the price of the ticket, as are the meals in all the restaurants on board. Casinos from other ships become here at rooms Arcadian with classic games like Pac-Man and the disco, which is a common element on pleasure boats, becomes a night club with three bars spread over two floors. It even has a tattoo artist on board and a record store.