After three years, 100,000 tons of materials and lots of hard work from the shipbuilders at Fincantieri, Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady is ready to begin her career sailing the high seas. The ship is the first of four planned by the cruise line founded by British billionaire, philanthropist and businessman Sir Richard Branson. It will be another 46 days before the ship reaches its homeport in Florida, however. The cruise line plans to show it off around Sir Richard’s home country of England before heading southeast to Miami.
Commitment to Carbon-Neutral Cruising
Throughout the ship’s planning and building phase, Virgin Voyages placed their focus on building a ship with the latest energy-efficiency standards and state-of-the art equipment. The cruise line is offsetting its direct climate change emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets, making it the first cruise line to become carbon-neutral for its direct emissions footprint.
“It’s wonderful to welcome Scarlet Lady today,” says Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. “I’m so proud that as we start this exciting journey, we also bring to life Virgin Voyages’ commitment to preserving the ocean and the first of many steps towards a net zero carbon future.”
Fighting Back Against Climate Change
“The ocean is our home, and we are on a mission to protect it. The single-biggest threat facing our ocean is climate change, and we want to be part of the solution,” said Tom McAplin, CEO and President of Virgin Voyages. “We are committed to pioneering new technologies onboard, and working with our industry peers to advance research and development for zero-carbon fuels.”
Virgin Voyages is one of first cruise lines to use Climeon, a technology that utilizes heat generated from the ship’s engines to generate electricity, thereby decreasing the demand for fuel. While the industry continues to improve on the journey for readily available and commercially-viable solutions, purchasing high-quality carbon offsets allows us to take immediate action, while also supporting a long-term strategy that secures a net-zero future for the cruise industry.
We cannot wait to get on board the newest cruise ship at sea and we’re sure you are, too! Let us know which sailing you’ve booked in the comments below!