Sir Richard Branson took to the streets to personally hand out 200 free cruises to passers-by, celebrating the start of Virgin Voyages’ summer season in the Med. Photo credit: Simon Jacobs/PinPep


Was that a ship I just saw?!… Sir Richard Branson stunned onlookers as he “sailed” the streets of London and personally handed out Virgin Voyages cruises to lucky members of the public.

Sir Richard Branson stood at the helm of Virgin Voyages’ iconic first vessel, Scarlet Lady as it sailed through the streets of London. Turning heads as he roamed the bustling city streets, Sir Richard surprised 200 lucky recipients with an exclusive invitation to embark on a voyage of a lifetime. Cruising around the UK’s capital, Sir Richard made stops – some of which from Virgin’s history – down Oxford Street, past Embankment and around Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square, before heading over Westminster Bridge towards The London Eye.

Even though this version of Scarlet Lady was street-size in comparison, Virgin Voyages’ Lady Ship was packed full of energy thanks to special appearances from the brand’s Happenings Cast. Replacing the traditional role of the cruise director, this fabulous crew is tasked with bringing the epically good vibes on every Virgin Voyages’ itinerary.

Celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary today, Yutta and her husband Allen Merilanen were in the right place at the right time as they were gifted a free cruise trip by Sir Richard Branson himself.

Winners who also received vouchers were screaming and cheering, Aamir Malik, and marathon runner, Olivia Kelly – winning ahead of her race this weekend.

The surprise celebrates the start of Virgin Voyages’ summer season in the Med. With more than 45 different routes – from ‘Starry Nights in Greece & Croatia’ to ‘French Daze & Ibiza Nights’ – there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Sir Richard was in London to launch his first ever audiobook ‘Losing and Finding My Virginity’. From living on a houseboat to a paradise island home, growing a UK business into a global brand and turning a childhood dream of flying to space (in his own spaceship) a reality.

Sir Richard’s audiobook is an account of almost six decades of entrepreneurship, overcoming the odds and reaching for the stars all whilst changing business for good. With lessons in life and in business, Losing and Finding My Virginity is a must-listen memoir and an inspiring guide from the ultimate entrepreneur. Available exclusively in audio, Losing and Finding My Virginity is Sir Richard Branson’s multi-million copy bestselling memoirs in one combined edition, fully revised and updated, providing listeners with a fresh perspective on Richard Branson’s remarkable journey.

With delicious food to elevate any mood, Wi-Fi included, tipping taken care of, unlimited group workouts, all essential drinks already covered, a festival-like lineup on seam, and clever cabin technology with sophisticated styling providing the ultimate space to hide away and relax – setting sail the Virgin way is the perfect way to adventure the Mediterranean sea this summer.

Speaking of the surprise, Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, said: “It’s been wonderful to go aboard “Scarlet Lady” this morning, sailing around and surprising lucky Londoners with free voyages! I’m a big believer in it not just being about where you go, but how you get there. Summer is a time for exploration, relaxation, and creating unforgettable memories, and sailing the Med in style is the vitamin-sea everybody needs.”

In addition to the free Virgin Voyages sailings gifted this morning, members of the public also received a range of rewards in the form of Virgin Points from Virgin’s Group-wide rewards club, Virgin Red.  Virgin Points can be redeemed against flights, train travel, Virgin Experience Days, a case of wine or even a cheeky sausage roll and can be earned easily too .

Nirmal Saverimuttu, Virgin Voyages’ CEO, said: “In a world where people are constantly on the go, it’s important to stop and celebrate life’s moments while making memories with friends and loved ones that will last a lifetime. We’re thrilled to kick-start our summer Med season with this fun surprise in London and to give unsuspecting travellers a chance to come aboard and experience the standout destinations all over the Mediterranean.”

Starting in May, Virgin Voyages will have two vessels based in Europe: Scarlet Lady sailing from Barcelona, Spain and Resilient Lady sailing from Athens, Greece. Then in August, Richard Branson’s newest travel brand will also offer cruises out of Portsmouth, returning to where it all began in the summer of 2021. Resilient Lady will embark on a series of three- to six-night sailings from the UK, visiting the historic towns of Amsterdam and Zeebrugge.

For those unfortunate to miss out on today’s giveaway, fear not… FOMO can still be avoided by booking a cabin on Virgin Voyages from just £1,456 and from May, can be booked with Virgin Points via Virgin Red. And what’s more… this spring, Sailors can get their ticket to an unforgettable summer with up to 80% off the second Sailor




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