Virgin Voyages sails an adults-only 'MerMaiden' cruise for North American debut

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Virgin Voyages promised cruise customers a whale of a time and did so with a mermaid twist.

The new adults-only cruise line made its North American debut Oct. 6 and treated guests to a four-day "MerMaiden Voyage."

Guests boarded the 909-foot Scarlet Lady in PortMiami and traveled to Nassau and the Beach Club at Bimini in the Bahamas, according to a company press release. The trip featured mermaid-themed events and social media content that matched the ship’s scarlet-tailed logo.

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Virgin Voyages chronicled sneak peeks of its fantasy-themed adventures with Twitter posts showing the cruise line had professional mermaids attend its voyage equipped with realistic-looking silicone tails. Some of these mermaids hung out poolside at the private Beach Club or swam in the crystal blue Caribbean waters throughout the trip.

The cruise line also had talented body paint artists aboard who created airbrushed scales or full-on mermaid transformations for guests.

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"For more than 50 years, Virgin companies have been bringing innovation to industries," billionaire Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, said in a statement. "Virgin Voyages is very much charting our own path, offering a fresh perspective on cruise travel with a mix of the familiar and a healthy dose of Virgin satisfaction."

Virgin Voyages was supposed to make its American debut in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed its plans back more than a year.

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The Scarlet Lady had a "successful preview season" in the U.K. before it set sail from Miami, according to Virgin Voyages.

While the cruise line will not be making additional MerMaiden Voyages in the near future, guests will be able to book a four-night cruise known as "Fire & Sunset Soirées" that travel to Nassau and Bimini. Alternatively, guests can choose longer five-night cruises that are known as the "Mayan Sol" or "Riviera Maya," which stop at Mexican destinations like Costa Maya, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen before closing out at the Beach Club at Bimini.

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Full vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 are required for "sailors and crew," according to Virgin Voyages. The company claims it will enforce health and safety policies, including heightened sanitization, physical distancing and limited occupancy, in addition to following coronavirus guidelines that are set by local governments in each destination Virgin Voyages stops at.

Virgin Voyages also advertises itself as a "relaxed-luxe" brand that’s "adult-by-design." The cruise line’s growing list of ships includes free Wi-Fi, unlimited group fitness classes, dozens of eateries where gratuities are already covered, a tattoo parlor and other unique lodgings and amenities.

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VGIIVIRGIN GROUP ACQUISITION II9.750.000.00%

Virgin Voyages promised cruise-goers a whale of a time. Or rather they did so with a mermaid twist. The new adults-only cruise line made its North American debut Oct. 6 and treated guests to a four-day “MerMaiden Voyage.” (Virgin Voyages)

"After many years in the making, we are excited to officially launch Scarlet Lady and welcome sailors in the U.S. aboard for an unforgettable experience," said Virgin Voyages’ President and CEO Tom McAlpin, who played an instrumental role in the successful launch of the Disney Cruise Line back in the ‘90s.

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"With Michelin-starred dining, incredible spa, phenomenal on-board entertainment and amazing crew, our promise is to deliver a sophisticated, yet relaxed, adult-only experience — free of formality, where ordinary becomes extraordinary," McAlpin added. "We call this 'Setting Sail the Virgin Way.'"

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