There are different ways one can plan their vacation. We have spoken about the best places to travel that are LGBTQ friendly and shared hot spots for gay bars worldwide. We have even written about cities with the best pride festivals around the world. And we know, that sometimes, all you want is a laid back vacation whilst still visiting beautiful locations. And, we have found something exciting and new in the bag. What are we talking about? A Cruise! Richard Branson recently announced his LGBTQ friendly new launch, ‘Virgin Voyages’.
Cruising is all about feeling free. Close your eyes and imagine the wind in your hair, the view of the sea stretched over miles and miles. You can’t help but feel relaxed and rebellious at the same time. However, for LGBTQ travellers, as Advocate wrote it, “It’s easy to get stuck on a ship geared exclusively for straight travellers, an older clientele, and/or families with young kids.”
Fortunately, things are changing thanks to Sir Richard Branson’s newest ‘Virgin Voyage’; A mainstream cruise line that will be setting sail in 2020 on their first flagship ‘Scarlet Lady’. The queer-friendly cruise will be travelling from Miami to the Caribbean on its first journey.
Get to know more about the ‘Scarlet Lady’:
The new cruise line is all about giving it’s guest the maximum comfort. From 2020, Scarlet Lady is going to be the first among a line of new ships that will be rolled out over the next four year. With a total of 1,330 cabins, about 93% will have an ocean view, and 86 % will come with a private balcony.
Wait, it gets better. For luxury travellers, Virgin has 78 RockStar suites available. The suite offers special access to restaurants and entertainment that is available on-board, along with a private members club. Furthermore, it provides access to an exclusive ‘Richard’s Rooftop’ that has a killer view.
Guests will be provided with an option between a 4 and 5-night itinerary, to choose from. The trip will also have special stops at the Beach Club Bimini in Bimini, Bahamas. The main attraction of this club will be a specially curated menu that has ingredients sourced from local farmers.
Branson says that the behind this venture is:
“……is ‘Epic Sea Change for All,’ and ‘all’ includes our partners, our sailors, our ocean, the communities we operate in, and our crew,”
-As reported by International Business Times.
The Scarlet lady is deemed to be a ‘sanctuary at sea’ for adult travellers. Supposedly the concept of the cruise is to “throw out the traditional cruise dining rule book, with no buffet, no main dining room, no forced formal wear, no assigned seating, no assigned dining times and enhanced the choice for sailors to grab a bite by keeping doors open until well into the night and in some cases the early hours of the morning.” – As reported by Metro Source.
Get to know more about the Top 5 Destinations for Lesbians in 2019
Thinking about the environment:
Virgin Vogayes will take a step further by thinking about the future of the ocean. This line will be launched as one of the cleanest fleets sailing at sea. For example, single-use plastic will be banned from use in an effort to reduce waste. Branson’s motivation to be more environmentally friendly comes from the importance to secure the future of the coming generations.
Virgin is always pro-LGBT:
But this is not the first time Virgin Group has shown its support for LGBTQ. Virgin Atlantic, recently, became the first airline to host a flight that only employs LGBTQ staff. The ‘Pride flight’ travelled from London’s Heathrow Airport to Newark, on the 28th of June. The flight also had a master of ceremonies in the flight. And, recruited Tituss Burgess, a Broadway actor, and star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for the same.
According to Branson, expanding their services to include the LGBTQ realm, is about supporting inclusivity and diversity. But also, from a business perspective, is enlarging and encompassing a larger customer base. He said,
“Our purpose at Virgin is changing business for good, and that means using our business to make a positive impact in the lives of our employees as well as our customers. [He continues] Businesses are starting to see that they have important roles to play in standing up for LGBTQ rights, especially in places where those rights are being violated. This includes the travel industry, as many LGBTQ travelers feel discriminated against or feel uncomfortable being themselves while on holiday.”
-As reported by Advocate
The entrepreneur also stood for LGBTQ in Brunei, earlier this year, when the country illegalized homosexuality. He urged other business leaders to join him in an initiative, to create an inclusive workplace, and support the LGBT communities in places where it is still criminalised.
Planning your next vacation? Read about: 5 Places In India That Are LGBTQ+ Friendly
Source Credit: Advocate, International Business Times, Jakarta Post, Metro Source