Virgin Voyages unveils Valiant Lady’s mermaid

Richard Branson's second cruise ship to debut in the UK in early 2022

Virgin Voyages has confirmed its second ship, Valiant Lady, is expected to debut in 2022, initially operating a series of sailings from Portsmouth, UK to Europe.

Delivered to the cruise line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri this month, Valiant Lady will offer 3-, 11- and 12-night sailings to Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Canary Islands starting the second-half of March until early May. Those cruises will include late-night and overnight stays in the likes of Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Lisbon, and Zeebrugge.

Like sister-ship Scarlet Lady who came before her, Valiant Lady features a new mermaid at the helm. Created by artist Hillary Wilson, the latest mermaid “represents the beautiful tension between strength and vulnerability; a woman who is unafraid of her own power and never backs down,” the cruise line said.

Valiant Lady mermaid design by artist Hillary Wilson | Credit: Virgin Voyages' blog

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“At the onset, we knew we wanted an inclusive group of mermaids that reflect and celebrate diversity, and Hillary knew this was important to our brand. She expressed that she generally tends to draw her subjects as Black, if not otherwise specified, noting, “you don’t need permission to make someone Black.” But the truth is that culturally, we are used to seeing our models, our brand logos, and our depictions of people as predominantly white.

“And that’s something that we need to be purposeful about changing so that we can reflect the real, beautiful, and dynamic world we live in — allowing more than just white people to take up spaces; seeing only themselves and their stories represented,” Virgin Voyages said on its blog.

Virgin Voyages’ maiden ship, Scarlet Lady, was initially expected to enter service on 1 April 2020, sailing to the Caribbean from Port Miami. That ship is now scheduled to operate a “summer soiree” series of voyages from Portsmouth commencing 6 August 2021.

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