There is good news for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) travelers who feel isolated and restricted in cruise ship journeys.
A new cruise line Virgin Voyages by billionaire Richard Branson will be queer-friendly and accommodate their wishes and sentiments in its upcoming cruise ships.
According to the latest cruise news, the cruise liner’s flagship, Scarlet Lady, planning its maiden voyage from Miami to the Caribbean in 2020 will be the first queer-friendly cruise ship to hit the high seas.
Explaining the philosophy of why his business wanted to be queer-friendly, Branson said: “Businesses are now standing up for LGBTQ rights, especially in the travel industry, as many LGBTQ travelers feel discriminated against or feel uncomfortable while on holiday.”
Branson also believes that making “customer bases are as diverse and inclusive as possible will help businesses thrive.”
Virgin Atlantic shows the way
Branson’s Virgin Atlantic made news recently by showing its empathy to LGBT cause when it operated a special flight with only LGBT crew.
The “Pride Flight” took off from London’s Heathrow Airport to Newark, NJ on June 28 and coincided with WorldPride.
Branson’s cruise company and other businesses are seeking to be different with an emphasis on diversity and greater inclusiveness.
On cruise deals with the new ship by Branson, the LGBTQ travelers are expected to respond generously as an effort to keep the waves friendly for all.
Aiming new value addition to the cruise business
Branson’s new cruise line also swears by brand new ships and maximum comfort for guests. Many new ships will roll out over the next four years with Scarlet Lady being the first among the lot in 2020.
Out of the 1,330 cabins, nearly 93 percent will have an ocean view and 86 percent will be having private balconies.
Those seeking more luxury will have a choice in the 78 RockStar suites offering special access to onboard entertainment and restaurants, exclusive Richard’s Rooftop with killer views and private members club.
Solo transfers to and from the ship in Miami will be another luxury privilege.
“The brand purpose behind the company is ‘Epic Sea Change for All,’ and ‘all’ includes our partners, our sailors, our ocean, the communities we operate in, and our crew,” Branson points out.
During the inaugural season, the Scarlet Lady will sail Caribbean waters.
Guests will have the option of four-and five-night itineraries featuring a five-night Mayan Sol voyage to Costa Maya, Mexico; and Dominican Daze trip to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
Each sailing will have a special stop in Bimini, Bahamas, where guests can experience the hospitality of Beach Club Bimini where a unique menu specially sourced from local farmers will be an attraction.
Regent’s world cruise booking sets record
Meanwhile, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced that its 2022 World Cruise, “Elements of the Pacific” got record bookings on the opening day of reservations on July 10.
The 120-night Asia-Pacific voyage will start its roundtrip from San Francisco on January 2022 and circumnavigate the Pacific Rim aboard the Seven Seas Mariner.
Covering 17 countries and 59 ports of call with 18 overnight stays, the cruise will also offer access to 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and conduct 300 shore excursions.
“Regent strives to expand our immersive itineraries and offer exceptional experiences for our guests,” commented Jason Montague, president, and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.