On Thursday morning, more than 150 passengers on a Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Hobart were given the surprise of a lifetime when CEO Sir Richard Branson awarded every passenger a complimentary cruise.
A surprise Facetime call worth up to $7,000 each from Virgin’s founder stunned passengers as they heard it over the aircraft PA system.
The complimentary cruise was extended to pilots, baggage handlers, cabin crew, and ground crew.
“We’re excited for Virgin Voyages to visit Australia and New Zealand, where they will embark on adult-only itineraries along the Virgin Way. “Sorry kids, you’ll have to miss this one,” Sir Richard said over the public address system of the aircraft.
You just so happen to be following the same path as our Australian MerMaiden Voyage today! He addressed the passengers, “I’m happy to offer a complimentary Virgin Voyages cruise to every adult onboard in honor of this milestone.”
The Melbourne Airport departure gate was converted into Sir Richard’s RockStar Quarters, an opulent cabin on the ship with a hot tub, hammock, and a view of the sea, just before the flight took off.
The aircraft was selected to symbolize the same path that Virgin’s Resilient Lady will take on her maiden voyage, departing from Station Pier in Melbourne on December 11, 2023.
The third of four new ships in the Branson-founded cruise line’s newest lineup, Resilient Lady is designed to entice those who would never have imagined stepping foot on a cruise ship.
He has abandoned elements of the classic cruise experience, such as the three-hour dinner theatres, unlimited food buffets, ballroom dancing, and family-friendly attractions, in favour of ships designed exclusively for adults and dubbed “super-yacht glamour for all.”
This translates to over 20 upscale dining establishments, entertainment on par with the Edinburgh Fringe, poolside dance parties, “wellness” pools, and upscale exercise programs.
In the summer of 2023–2024, The Resilient Lady will make port calls in Port Melbourne, Victoria, with a range of itineraries from a few nights to two weeks, as well as a stop in New Zealand.