A 110,000-ton cruise ship, the largest to ever give birth in Portsmouth, eclipsed the city as it entered port yesterday.
Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Lady’ wowed viewers as it eclipsed the city’s South Coast buildings, towering over even the Royal Navy’s largest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The 909-foot ship – part of Richard Branson’s Virgin cruise empire – has more than 20 restaurants, a nightclub, a tattoo studio, and even its own Main Street.
Onboard restaurants range from brunch bars to restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs, including vegetarian cuisine
There is also a focus on wellness with spas, gyms, yoga, wellness pools and even a locker room on board.
Named after an older Virgin Atlantic plane, the boat has previously only sailed from home ports of Miami and San Juan.
Prices for a three night stay in a two person cabin start at Â£ 998.
Virgin chief Richard Branson has said the company wants to set sail as soon as COVID restrictions allow.
âVirgin Voyages was looking forward to sailing and we are delighted to announce our intention to depart from the UK,â he said.
The 17-deck ship can accommodate 3,000 passengers, but will operate at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing and guests will sometimes need to wear face coverings.
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Branson added, “Our team put together such a fantastic experience for our sailors and know this is a vacation they will love.”
Speaking at the ship’s official launch last year, Branson told reporters: âI have dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my 20s and am delighted that moment has arrived.
âThe Scarlet Lady is truly special and we’ve worked with some of the world’s most sought-after designers, artists and architects to create an extraordinary experience.
âThe advantage of our five decades of activity in so many industries is that we can deliver a trip like no other. “
At 110,000 tonnes, the 277-meter-long commercial vessel is well ahead of the 65,000-ton aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth which sells sails from Portsmouth on its maiden voyage last month.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will train with warships from the United States, Singapore, Japan and South Korea along her route around the world, revealed Commodore Steve Moorhouse, the ship’s commander and captain. .
Watch: HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Portsmouth on maiden voyage