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Adult only cruise ship launches   Travel by Ship/Boat

Started Feb-23 by Gimmie Chocolate Shorty (TOILETHEA1); 68 views.

Richard Branson launches Scarlet Lady, Virgin's luxury, adults-only cruise ship

Richard Branson is sailing into new waters with the launch of his first cruise liner, making a bold pitch to younger travelers at an undeniably awkward time for the industry.

The Virgin founder launched the Scarlet Lady on Friday, hoping its modern design and adults-only rule will prompt younger vacationers to take a fresh look at cruises.

The ship has docked at the Port of Dover in England and will enter operation in April, mainly offering trips around the Caribbean from a base in Miami.

"The Scarlet Lady is truly special and we've worked with some of the world's most sought-after designers, artists and architects to craft an extraordinary experience," Branson said as he presented the ship to the media on Friday.

But the launch comes as another liner — the Diamond Princess — reaches the end of a 14-day quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak. A total of 624 confirmed cases of the virus have been linked to the ship during its isolation in Tokyo Bay, with 79 new cases confirmed on Wednesday.

Having tested the waters of just about every other travel business over the course of his lengthy career, fixing his name to trains, planes and spaceships after initially launching Virgin as a record store, the entrepreneur says the launch of the ship marks the realization of a long-held ambition.

"I have dreamed of starting my own cruise line since I was in my 20s and I'm thrilled that moment has arrived," he said.

Branson's pursuit of young vacationers has yielded features not found on many other cruise ships: There's a stripey drinking spot called Razzle Dazzle, a Korean eatery called Geonbae and a tattoo and body piercing parlor dubbed Squid Ink.

The ship also features 78 luxury RockStar Suites. Those include 15 Mega RockStar Suites, which are further divided into Massive, Fab, Posh and Gorgeous Suites. Prices for those come in at around $19,000 per cabin, while the cheapest cabins start from around $1,600 for three- and four-day tours.