Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady has officially departed on its Aussie MerMaiden voyage, the company announced in a press release.
The adults-only cruise ship set to sail from Melbourne on Dec. 11, bound for the Bass Strait on a five-day journey to Tasmania.
Leaving from the ship’s local homeport, passengers made their way to Hobart for an overnight call before continuing onto Burnie.
Before the departure, Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, hosted a sail away party on the ship’s upper pool deck, seeing the passengers off with a celebratory Champagne toast.
“It was great to be in Melbourne, a vibrant city that matches the vibe of Virgin Voyages,” Branson said speaking on the day.
“Australia has always held a special place in my heart and I’m so thankful for the warm welcome Australia has provided us. We are so excited to show you Resilient Lady and we’re determined to make waves Down Under with this new way of cruising,” he added.
Prior to his sail away toast, Sir Richard Branson had a full day aboard, hosting Melbourne media during a press conference on Resilient Lady’s pool deck. He discussed the cruise line’s long-term plans for Australia and the South Pacific as well as his excitement for this new Aussie chapter in Virgin Voyages’ history.
Following the Q&A, Sir Richard Branson visited Resilient Lady’s laboratory-like restaurant, The Test Kitchen, to demonstrate his culinary skills alongside residential entertainer, foodie and former My Kitchen Rules contestant, Jake Harrison.
While Harrison was crafting the finishing touches on his Aussie lamington, Sir Richard Branson showed off his mischievous side by starting a food fight.
The Aussie MerMaiden voyage marks the first of 17 voyages Down Under for Virgin Voyages. Ranging from two- to 14-nights, the inaugural season in the region sees the Resilient Lady making its way through several destinations, including Tasmania, New Zealand’s Fjords and Australia’s southern coast.
Following the brand’s debut in the South Pacific, Virgin Voyages has already announced its return to Australia and New Zealand in December of 2024. With the return of the Resilient Lady to the region, the brand has also added nine new ports of call for its second season.