The first ship for startup cruise line Virgin Voyages will have two of the largest suites at sea.
The Richard Branson-backed company on Wednesday unveiled plans for two giant, 2,147-square-foot suite complexes that will sit atop the bridge of Scarlet Lady, the 2,860-passenger, adult-only Virgin Voyages vessel arriving in 2020.
The complexes will be called the Massive Suites and have a rock music theme that includes music rooms stocked with guitars and an amplifier — a nod to the rock and roll heritage of Branson’s Virgin Group.
At the centre of each suite will be a circular oversized couch designed for conversation and cocktails from the suite’s adjacent in-room bar. Other features will include a sprawling bath and dressing room area complete with a hot tub, vanity area, two full-sized wardrobes and a marble-clad bathroom with a “peek-a-boo” window overlooking the bedroom and ocean.
The complexes also will have unusually large balconies with private hot tubs, outdoor showers, hammocks and circular conversation pits.
Virgin on Wednesday also revealed plans for seven other categories of smaller suites that will be on Scarlet Lady. There will be 78 suites on the ship in all.
The line hired star British designer Tom Dixon to develop the suites, which in another nod to Virgin’s origins will be known collectively as the RockStar Suites. The line said Dixon was tasked with throwing out traditional cliches of luxury on cruise ships and bringing a “rebellious luxe” to life at sea.
“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” Branson said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our sailors like the rock stars they are.”
Virgin said inspiration for the designs of the suites came in part from rock and roll style icons like Grace Jones as well as classic yacht design. Among little touches that relate to Virgin’s music industry background, every suite will feature a vinyl turntable.
All of the suites will come with access to Richard’s Rooftop, a private club with lounge chairs and a bar at the top of the ship.
Scarlet Lady is under construction at a Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
Based in Plantation, Florida, Virgin Voyages is a joint venture between Branson’s Virgin Group and Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital. The company has ordered three vessels for delivery between 2020 and 2022.