Celebrating the launch of Valiant Lady with all the crew. | Twitter: @richardbranson

Sir Richard Branson splashed out at the launch of his new cruise ship in Barcelona over the weekend. The Valiant Lady cruise ship, which visited Palma last week, will be operating across the Mediterranean this summer.

Richard Branson's blog which appears on the Virgin website.


"It was great fun celebrating with the team and getting onboard for the Mermaiden voyage – sailing to some of the best spots in the Mediterranean including the French Riviera, Tuscany and Ibiza.

She’s arrived just in time for the spring and summer season and there’s sailings to such beautiful destinations that everyone should have the pleasure of enjoying.

I’d never really wanted to go on a cruise – but that’s exactly why we created Virgin Voyages. We wanted to create something special, unlike anything ever seen before in the cruising world. We got a team together who had never worked on cruise ships before to design a brand new experience.

From our restaurants (say goodbye to the buffet!) to our wellness programme to our exciting entertainment – every aspect is fresh and different. We’re so proud of our ships and we’re thrilled to call Barcelona one of our homeports.

What makes Virgin different to any other company is the brilliant people who work for us – and this is so evident at Virgin Voyages. There’s more than 80 different nationalities working onboard – that’s almost half the world’s countries represented on our ships, all working together and bringing the experience to life with a smile. We took a picture together onboard and it’s really heart-warming to see young Ukrainians standing next to and hugging young Russians– our ships are a place where we want everyone to feel welcome and included, no matter where you are from.

I also wanted to take a moment to celebrate the launch of Valiant Lady with all the crew and to thank them for all of their hard work making it happen. I have always said that business leaders should get involved and have fun with their people – so after I got everyone dancing, I couldn’t resist jumping into the pool with our (very surprised!) Chief Experience Officer Nirmal Saverimuttu.