Richard Branson’s adult-only Virgin Voyages cruise line, founded in 2014 and based out of Plantation, Florida, has just revealed more details about its luxury-focused retail direction and strategy, carried out in partnership with Starboard Cruise Services.
In early 2023, Virgin Voyages and leading cruise retail provider Harding parted ways by mutual agreement, with the cruise line shifting its collaborative focus to Starboard Cruise Services.
Virgin Voyages and Starboard Cruise Services are now set to introduce a retail lineup featuring designer collections, celebrated purpose-driven luxury brands, pop-up shops, and more, with a focus on sustainability.
The cruise line believes its innovative and immersive retail concepts will enhance overall guest experiences. “Guests” aboard Virgin Voyages’ ships, per the company’s marketing lingo, are usually referred to as “Sailors.”
“As a brand, Virgin Voyages creates unforgettable experiences for our Sailors,” CEO Tom McAlpin remarked. “Retail is such an important part of the overall experience that we offer and partnering with industry veteran, Starboard, is an exciting opportunity to make our fleet the ultimate retail destination on the high seas.”
Starboard Cruise Services is well-known in the cruise industry for creating and operating onboard shopping experiences.
The Launch of Virgin Voyages’ Revamped Retail Services
During the inaugural voyage of Virgin Voyages’ 110,000-ton, 17-deck Resilient Lady—which has suffered a few previous launch delays—the company will roll out its new, revamped Deck 6 High Street Shops.
The onboard High Street Shops are set to showcase Starboard’s latest retail concepts and products, including a number of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH)-exclusive brands.
LVMH-exclusive brands are owned and distributed by the LVMH group, and can only be purchased through their official channels, including luxury names like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Bulgari, and others.
Resilient Lady’s maiden voyage is currently scheduled to depart from Piraeus, Greece on May 14, 2023.
Sustainable Luxury Brands Aboard Resilient Lady
“Together [with Virgin Voyages], we’ve curated a thoughtful collection of upscale, inclusive and sustainable products that seamlessly align with Virgin Voyages’ Lady Ships,” Starboard’s President Lisa Bauer pointed out in a press release.
A few examples of Starboard’s luxury offerings, available for purchase aboard the Resilient Lady, include items from Marc Jacobs and LVMH’s Bvlgari and high-end fashion products from Stella McCartney, made with vegan materials. Vegan sneakers from Loci will be available for purchase too, along with lab-grown diamonds from Engrace Diamonds.
Citizen’s first at-sea boutique will also debut on Resilient Lady and will feature sustainable products, like the firm’s Eco-Drive watch, that align with the brand’s mission to prevent one million watch batteries from ending up in landfills by 2024.
The Swiss Shop will also keep Tag Heuer and Hublot chronometers on hand. And shopping enthusiasts will also be able to buy gender-inclusive designs from John Hardy and Mono B, and so much more.
As mentioned, these new High Street offerings will debut on Resilient Lady, Virgin Voyages’ third vessel, which floated out of Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, in 2022. Scarlet Lady, also built by Fincantieri, will see these shops, and this new “purpose-driven” retail experience premier in August 2023.