JULY 20, 2018 — Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages has released the name of the first of the three 110,000 gt cruise ships it has under construction at shipbuilder Fincantieri.
Floated out at the shipyard today, it will be called The Scarlet Lady, and the leading lady image on the ship’s livery will be a mermaid version of a design by artist Toby Tinsley that appears on Virgin Atlantic and Australia aircraft as well as the Virgin Galactic spaceline.
Virgin Voyages is launching a program aiming to create more leadership positions for women in the operation side of the cruise industry and, apparently, the Scarlet Lady mermaid somehow ties into this. The company says that “though beautiful and mysterious in vision, she represents a woman of power – the leader not only on our first voyage, but also in our efforts to encourage front-facing female leaders throughout our company with our Virgin Voyages Scarlet Squad Program.”
Virgin says that, from engineers to builders, marine tech to crew captains and technical positions, the Scarlet Squad program is meant to create more leadership positions for women on the operations side of the sea travel industry. This multi-pronged approach, supported by skill development, recruitment and mentoring, is something we find incredibly important in areas traditionally lacking female leadership, like marine technical and hotel management.