August 16, 2022

Journey author Jo Kessel filmed her cruise on Virgin Voyages’ model new ship Valiant Woman. It’s the second ship to affix Richard Branson’s fleet – the primary was Scarlet Woman a yr in the past – and the footage exhibits how the liner dares to be totally different, with a tattoo parlour, immersive leisure and design options (assume seesaws and swings) aimed on the younger at coronary heart. Plus, Jo offers the within scoop on the place to eat and drink, together with making an attempt the ship’s signature cocktail – ‘Richard’s Ginger Beer’.

The Virgin emblem is among the most immediately recognisable on the earth and when music and transport mogul Richard Branson launched his personal cruise line he set about redefining cruising in addition to ensuring his ships had been very clearly Virgin branded. 

And so it was that once I hopped on board the £700million ($925million) adults-only Valiant Woman for its maiden voyage from Portsmouth to Zeebrugge in Belgium, I used to be immediately struck by its daring, purple hues. Keep in mind, this can be a ship like no different, one thing I hoped to seize on movie.

Jo Kessel movies her cruise on Virgin Voyages’ model new ship, Valiant Woman

'The 2,700-passenger ship¿s exterior resembles a sleek, giant superyacht, with a glamorous mermaid gracing the liner¿s bow,' says Jo

‘The two,700-passenger ship’s exterior resembles a smooth, big superyacht, with a glamorous mermaid gracing the liner’s bow,’ says Jo

On Valiant Lady guests (referred to as Sailors by the line) can roam 17 decks that accommodate 2,700 passengers in 1,408 cabins. Pictured here is the ship's pool

On Valiant Woman company (known as Sailors by the road) can roam 17 decks that accommodate 2,700 passengers in 1,408 cabins. Pictured right here is the ship’s pool

In reality, Valiant Woman’s distinctiveness is not possible to overlook. In a bid to be ‘totally different’ and break the conventions of cruising, Virgin used designers who had by no means labored on cruise ships earlier than. The two,700-passenger ship’s exterior resembles a smooth, big superyacht, with a glamorous mermaid gracing the liner’s bow.

My mission was to get caught in and embrace the ship’s innovativeness and the video begins by exploring the highest deck, stepping onto the significantly purple jogging observe earlier than making an attempt out the seesaw and swings. 

Sure, it did make me really feel like a child once more and sure, it was enjoyable. 

Beware what’s referred to as ‘The Internet’ although. It’s a large trampoline whose purple mesh is the one factor that separates you from the ocean, 16 decks beneath. Vertigo victims shouldn’t even take into consideration stepping onto it, not to mention leaping.

The video starts with Jo exploring the top deck, stepping onto the 'particularly red' jogging track

The video begins with Jo exploring the highest deck, stepping onto the ‘significantly purple’ jogging observe

Jo tries out the swings. 'Yes, it did make me feel like a kid again and yes, it was fun,' she says

Jo tries out the swings. ‘Sure, it did make me really feel like a child once more and sure, it was enjoyable,’ she says

Jo says 'beware' of 'The Net' - a giant trampoline whose red mesh is the only thing that separates you from the sea, 16 decks below

Jo says ‘beware’ of ‘The Internet’ – a large trampoline whose purple mesh is the one factor that separates you from the ocean, 16 decks beneath

'Vertigo sufferers shouldn¿t even think about stepping onto it, let alone jumping,' says Jo of 'The Net' trampoline (pictured)

‘Vertigo victims shouldn’t even take into consideration stepping onto it, not to mention leaping,’ says Jo of ‘The Internet’ trampoline (pictured)

In a bid to be ¿different¿ and break the conventions of cruising, Virgin used designers who had never worked on cruise ships before, Jo reveals

In a bid to be ‘totally different’ and break the conventions of cruising, Virgin used designers who had by no means labored on cruise ships earlier than, Jo reveals

Subsequent up are the cabins. They’re high-tech and trendy, with beds that may convert into an L-shaped couch by day (to create more room) and a private pill that controls lighting, music and the TV. 

Ninety-three per cent of the ship’s 1,408 cabins have a sea view and 87 per cent have balconies that include a hammock. The ship is pleased with its eco credentials and hammocks are created from sustainable supplies handwoven in rural Thailand. 

Each bears a label saying who made it. Yua made mine (she belongs to a socially accountable girls’s collective), which was tremendous comfortable, tremendous sturdy and an effective way to soak up the ocean view.

According to Jo, the ship's cabins are high-tech and modern, with beds that can convert into an L-shaped sofa by day

In response to Jo, the ship’s cabins are high-tech and trendy, with beds that may convert into an L-shaped couch by day 

The hammock on Jo’s balcony was ‘tremendous comfortable, tremendous sturdy and an effective way to soak up the ocean view’

The film takes a sneak peek at one of the posh Mega Rockstar suites (pictured), which costs £20,000 ($26,000) a week

The movie takes a sneak peek at one of many posh Mega Rockstar suites (pictured), which prices £20,000 ($26,000) per week

The Mega Rockstar suites come with perks such as unlimited alcohol, a vinyl turntable and a guitar

The Mega Rockstar suites include perks comparable to limitless alcohol, a vinyl turntable and a guitar

On Richard¿s Rooftop sundeck, Jo samples the ship¿s signature cocktail, ¿Richard¿s Ginger Beer¿

On Richard’s Rooftop sundeck, Jo samples the ship’s signature cocktail, ‘Richard’s Ginger Beer’

The movie then takes a sneak peek at one of many posh Mega Rockstar suites that sleeps 4, prices £20,000 ($26,000) per week and comes with perks comparable to limitless alcohol (nice for entertaining), a vinyl turntable and a guitar.

Suite company even have entry to the unique – and really cool – Richard’s Rooftop sundeck, which has its personal sizzling tubs in addition to a signature cocktail: ‘Richard’s Ginger Beer’. I order one – watch the video to see what I considered it.

This being Virgin implies that ship terminology is totally different. Balconies are referred to as terraces, company are referred to as Sailors and the crew greets you with an ‘Ahoy’ as a substitute of ‘good day’. There’s a report store on board (a nod to Virgin’s roots) and a tattoo parlour referred to as Squid Ink. To my shock, this was heaving with ‘Sailors’ eager to take house a everlasting, inky memento of their voyage. The most cost effective, easiest designs value £115 ($150), however larger, extra detailed artistry might run up a invoice of hundreds.

Above is the ship's Squid Ink tattoo parlour. 'To my surprise, this was heaving with

Above is the ship’s Squid Ink tattoo parlour. ‘To my shock, this was heaving with “Sailors” eager to take house a everlasting, inky memento of their voyage,’ says Jo 

Jo glides through the ship's sparkly nightclub entrance - an 'Instagrammer's dream'

Jo glides via the ship’s sparkly nightclub entrance – an ‘Instagrammer’s dream’

Jo enjoys a 'gritty, acrobatic take on Romeo and Juliet' in the Red Room theatre

Jo enjoys a ‘gritty, acrobatic tackle Romeo and Juliet’ within the Purple Room theatre

'A Virgin cruise is all about doing it your way. Want to dance? Do it,' says Jo

‘A Virgin cruise is all about doing it your manner. Need to dance? Do it,’ says Jo

Afterwards, the highlight turns to the ship’s leisure, from the sparkly nightclub whose entrance is an Instagrammer’s dream to the theatre whose saucy identify is ‘Purple Room’. Right here I loved essentially the most jaw-dropping immersive present I’ve ever witnessed – a gritty, acrobatic tackle Romeo and Juliet that required communal viewers participation.

A Virgin cruise is all about doing it your manner. Need to dance? Do it. Choose to look at? That’s nice. Put on purple or not for the ship’s once-a-voyage Scarlet evening – by the way, even the ship and its lighting flip purple for this occasion. Social gathering until daybreak or tuck in early. All the things goes.

Valiant Woman’s Redemption Spa is an excellent house to nurse a hangover. It’s bought heated marble slabs to laze on in addition to a sauna with a view and a mudroom. The video exhibits me caking myself in muddy gloop. As soon as washed off my pores and skin felt easy and delicate.

Jo unwinds on the heated marble slabs in Valiant Lady¿s 'glorious' Redemption Spa

Jo unwinds on the heated marble slabs in Valiant Woman’s ‘superb’ Redemption Spa

The video shows Jo caking herself in 'muddy gloop' in the spa's mudroom. 'Once washed off, my skin felt smooth and soft,' she says

The video exhibits Jo caking herself in ‘muddy gloop’ within the spa’s mudroom. ‘As soon as washed off, my pores and skin felt easy and delicate,’ she says

Meals is the movie’s becoming finale, as a result of that is the most important manner wherein Virgin Voyages differs from different liners. 

Gone is the buffet – Valiant Woman has a Meals Courtroom. And there’s no principal eating room both. 

As a substitute, there are 20, together with speciality eating places that cater for all tastes. 

High decide for lunch is the Dock Home, which is laid again with seashore membership vibes and serves Mediterranean meze. Its grilled shrimp with garlic yoghurt is a should.

The Test Kitchen restaurant (pictured) serves an experimental six-course tasting menu created by internationally acclaimed Michelin-star chef Matt Lambert

The Take a look at Kitchen restaurant (pictured) serves an experimental six-course tasting menu created by internationally acclaimed Michelin-star chef Matt Lambert

Impressed by her meal at Test Kitchen, Jo says: 'It¿s a quality, innovative night out and hard to believe it¿s included in the fare'

Impressed by her meal at Take a look at Kitchen, Jo says: ‘It’s a high quality, modern evening out and exhausting to consider it’s included within the fare’

TRAVEL FACTS

Valiant Woman will begin crusing 4 totally different seven-night Mediterranean and French Riviera voyages from Barcelona in Might 2022, together with in a single day stays in Ibiza. In November Valiant Woman will relocate to Miami and the Caribbean for winter. For extra info, go to www.virginvoyages.com.

And for dinner with a distinction Take a look at Kitchen can’t be crushed. 

It resembles a lab and serves an experimental six-course tasting menu created by internationally acclaimed Michelin-star chef Matt Lambert. 

It’s a high quality, modern evening out and exhausting to consider it’s included within the fare.

Cease press, Take a look at Kitchen first opened on sister ship Scarlet Woman and was so effectively obtained that one is quickly to open in New York, the primary restaurant to ever switch from a ship to land. 

And that sums up Virgin Voyages – reaching what’s by no means been accomplished earlier than.

Valiant Woman won’t attraction to traditional cruisers, however dare to embrace the distinction and also you’ll be happy you probably did.

For extra movies from Jo, go to her YouTube channel – Go together with Jo 

'Valiant Lady might not appeal to conventional cruisers, but dare to embrace the difference and you¿ll be pleased you did,' says Jo

‘Valiant Woman won’t attraction to traditional cruisers, however dare to embrace the distinction and also you’ll be happy you probably did,’ says Jo

When music and transport mogul Richard Branson launched his own cruise line he set about redefining cruising, Jo reveals. Above is Valiant Lady's stylish Redemption Spa

When music and transport mogul Richard Branson launched his personal cruise line he set about redefining cruising, Jo reveals. Above is Valiant Woman’s fashionable Redemption Spa 

There are 1,150 international crew members on board and 40 per cent of Virgin¿s passengers are new to cruising. Pictured is the living room in one of Valiant Lady's Mega Rockstar suites

There are 1,150 worldwide crew members on board and 40 per cent of Virgin’s passengers are new to cruising. Pictured is the lounge in one in all Valiant Woman’s Mega Rockstar suites

VALIANT LADY BY THE NUMBERS

  • Valiant Woman is Virgin Voyages’ second cruise ship, in-built Genoa, Italy. 
  • She measures 38m (125ft) large and 278ft (912ft) lengthy – and weighs 110,000 gross tonnes. 
  • Company (known as Sailors by the road) can roam 17 decks which accommodate 2,700 passengers in its 1,408 cabins. 
  • Ninety-three per cent of staterooms have an ocean view and 87 per cent have balconies with hammocks. 
  • There are 1,150 worldwide crew members on board and 40 per cent of Virgin’s passengers are new to cruising. 
  • The typical age of a Virgin cruiser is 45 years.