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In May, Branson revealed his new venture, Virgin Voyages, and all his plans to make cruising cool again. And in July, he shared just a bit more about the design of the three-ship fleet, which comes with plenty of amenities younger cruisers will love, and that includes the delicious food offerings.
As Travel + Leisure previously reported, the ships, which each come with a capacity of 2,700 passengers, will cater exclusively to adults 18 and older. That means the boat won’t come with waterslides or game rooms. Instead, the ships are highly designed art pieces that are as sleek and stylish as some of the world’s finest hotels. And that’s thanks to the fact that the creative collective hired to design them also worked with brands like Ace Hotels, the Standard and the Mondrian.
And now, we’re learning more about what guests — known as “sailors” — can expect to dine on when the first ship, the Scarlet Lady, sets sail in 2020.
“We want our eateries to delight and ignite serendipitous experiences for our sailors, so have set out on a mission to capture the spirit of dining in the best cities of the world and bring it to sea,” Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages, said in a statement. “Because food is the fuel for our bodies and souls, and we’re Virgin Voyages, naturally it all had to be included within your ticket price.”
Onboard, guests won’t see a single buffet, and there’s no main dining room in sight. According to Virgin Voyages, there’s also no forced formal wear, no assigned seating, and no assigned dining times. Instead, guests will find a plethora of dining choices at restaurants across the boat that were inspired by restaurants around the globe.
“When working with the Virgin Voyages team, we were inspired by some of the best dining spots around the world but also had to gaze into what the future of dining would look like to bring the most alluring restaurant concepts to sea,” Executive Chef Brad Farmerie from AvroKO Hospitality Group, shared in the statement. “Each restaurant will not only serve delicious food, they will also have a unique vibe and energy to them to satiate sailor’s hunger for excitement and restoration while on vacation.”
Dining options include Wake, a 5,866 square foot restaurant at the aft of the ship. Billed as the most glamorous dining option, its set to serve steak and seafood inspired by The Wolseley - London and The Grill - New York.
For those looking for vegetarian options, they can head to the Razzle Dazzle, which has plenty of plant-based vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Guests can also try The Test Kitchen, where innovative and avant-garde cuisine abounds, or Geonbae, a Korean BBQ restaurant designed by Soft Room. There’s also Pink Agave, an elevated Mexican restaurant designed by Tom Dixon, and Extra Virgin, the ship’s trattoria serving regionally-inspired Italian foods and more.
“There’s a Virgin twist on everything you’ll see aboard the Scarlet Lady, which means there will be no stuffy formalities, boring buffets, and no main dining rooms,” Branson said in a statement. Sailors are not going to want to leave our ship after they experience how we’ve designed our restaurants and tasted the dishes we are going to be serving up in 2020.”
Want to be one of the first people onboard the ship? Virgin Voyages is giving away a cruise for two so you can go try all these tasty bites at sea for yourself. Just don’t forget to invite us as your plus one.