Virgin Voyages launched its second virtual summit, The Boomvang II, on Wednesday (24MAR). The event focused on providing travel advisors with first-hand insights and industry knowledge on the changes within the company and how it will help further support advisors. The summit also spotlighted Virgin Voyages newest ladyship, The Resilient Lady, with the company announcing the ship’s itineraries and highlighting some of the changes consumers will see while onboard.
The event kicked off with a surprise appearance from Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. During his speech, Branson thanked advisors for their continued support during these tough times.
“We’d like to thank you, not only for being here with us today but for sticking by our side this past year. We know there have been a few challenges but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are so looking forward for what’s to come. Each day that passes the closer we are getting to sharing the experience of a voyage of a lifetime with you all and with our sailors.”
“It’s been a long-held dream of mine to have a Virgin ship sailing the high seas. We’re so close to this dream becoming a reality and we really appreciate everything you’ve been doing to support this dream and to share it with your customers. It’s a great pleasure to kick off this second virtual event.” Branson concluded.
How Virgin Voyages Incorporates ‘Purpose’ Into The Company
Branson passed the mic over to his daughter and keynote speaker Holly Branson, Chief Purpose & Vision Officer, Virgin Group, who was joined by Charlotte Goodman, Director of Impact, Virgin Group.
Both speakers touched upon what ‘purpose’ means to Virgin Voyages as well as highlighted the company’s goals for the future which include a heightened focus on diversity and sustainability.
“For all of our Virgin businesses we have five main points that we think about when we’re embedding ‘purpose’ across the companies. The first one is just making sure your people come first. As the Purpose and Vision Officer, something that I’m absolutely passionate about is that our people are looked after and our people come as are utmost priority. We are passionate about the health and well-being of our people and one of the things I want everyone to say is that they feel like they can be 100% themselves at work.”
“It is really important to foster that culture of inclusivity, of belonging, of trust, and I think you have to really make sure that people can be openly living their truth at work.”
Holly concluded the keynote by stating that as the company has recently turned 50, they are looking at the company’s past in order to make changes that will further increase inclusivity among their workforce.
A Look at the New Itineraries & Changes Being Made On Board
Virgin Voyages has revamped the way traditional cruises operate. The cruise line has eliminated dining options such as buffets and main dining rooms and has replaced them with speciality dining at no additional cost. The company made this change in hopes to provide guests with a unique dining experience every night during their stay. Additional changes that Virgin Voyages has made are an increased amount of late-calls at ports. This allows for the opportunity for travellers to see destinations after dark as well as experience their nightlife.
Diana Block, SVP Revenue, Sales, & Itinerary Development, was excited to announce the itineraries of Virgin Voyages’ third ladyship The Resilient Lady. In summer 2022 the ship will be offering two different seven-night itineraries through the Med.
The Greek Isles itinerary will sail a journey from Athens to scenic Greek islands such as Santorini and Rhodes and includes an overnight stay in Mykonos. The Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems itinerary will sail through Greece’s most beautiful islands by way of Montenegro as well as a late-night departure from Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Closing Remarks with Tom McAlpin – All Passengers and Crew Must Be Vaccinated
Tom McAlpin, President & CEO, Virgin Voyages, concluded the event on an optimistic note, stating, “The future is very bright, and I know that we will be sailing in the very, very near future. Part of this confidence is rooted in the decision to require all of our crew and passengers to be fully vaccinated. We know that for now, this is the step we need to take to ensure that Virgin is the safest way to travel possible.”