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Virgin Voyages reveals woman captain of Scarlet Lady and new itineraries

Virgin Voyages, Scarlet Lady

Virgin Voyages has announced that Wendy Williams will take the helm of its first new-build cruise ship, Scarlet Lady.

Williams, who has worked on ships for 28 years, will become the first Canadian woman to captain a ship for a major cruise brand, according to Virgin. The company has also announced a new schedule of itineraries for the ship’s inaugural season in 2020, in light of the US government’s decision to ban cruise lines sailing to Cuba.

Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin said: “Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family.”

Williams said: “I have salt water in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea. It’s a dream come true to be working with Virgin Voyages, a company that is focused on creating an incredible experience not only for our sailors but for our crew as well, while also taking action to minimise our footprint on our oceans.”

Virgin Voyages, cruise, cruising, travel agents, Scarlet Lady
Scarlet Lady

New Scarlet Lady itineraries include five-night Riviera Maya sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico; Fire and Sunset Soirées, including a sunset departure from Key West and a midnight departure from Bimini; and seven-night sailings for the 2020 holiday season, including the new Holidaze and Nights and New Year’s Ahoy voyages, which fall over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays respectively and feature stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and late-night cruises in both Bimini, Bahamas and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

All voyages will feature a stop in Bimini, home to The Beach Club, Virgin Voyages’ private resort.

Last year the cruise line announced its Scarlet Squad programme, an initiative designed to bridge the gender gap in leadership roles across the maritime industry. Alongside Williams, the line has recruited nearly a dozen female officers, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer and Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer. More information can be found at

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