Resilient Lady officially embarked on her Aussie MerMaiden from her new homeport in Melbourne, Australia

Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady - Sydney (Credit Billy Bohan Chinique)Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady, the third ship from Sir Richard Branson’s fleet and winner of Cruise Critic’s Best New Ship for 2023, has officially departed on her MerMaiden voyage.

The stunning, exclusively-adult cruise ship is set to sail off into the sunset, bound for the Bass Strait on her five-day journey to Tasmania. Leaving from the ship’s vibrant summer homeport of Melbourne, Sailors will make their way to Hobart for an exciting overnight call before continuing onto Burnie.

Before the departure, Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, hosted an epic sail away party on the ship’s upper pool deck, seeing the Sailors off with a celebratory Champagne toast. This monumental occasion for Virgin Voyages marks the first of 17 voyages Down Under this summer. Ranging from two- to 14-nights, the inaugural season sees the ship making its way through some incredible, postcard-worthy locales like Tasmania, New Zealand’s Fjords and Australia’s southern coast.

With so much buzz around the brand’s debut in the South Pacific, Virgin Voyages has already announced its return to Australia and New Zealand shores in December of 2024. Promising travellers the epic experiences Virgin Voyages is known for, the brand has also added nine new ports of call for its second season.

Prior to his sail away toast, Sir Richard Branson had a spectacular 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 boundary pushing, 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 iconic Aussie lamington, Sir Richard Branson showed off his mischievous side by starting a food fight.

Speaking on the momentous day, Sir Richard Branson said: “It was great to be in Melbourne, a vibrant city that matches the vibe of Virgin Voyages.

“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,” Branson said.

Sailors aboard Resilient Lady will be treated to a one-of-a-kind journey featuring Virgin Voyages’ standout amenities and exclusively adult atmosphere. Chic interior spaces designed by renowned architects, elevated menus curated by Michelin-star chefs and a dynamic schedule of “Happenings” – everything from 80s-style dances classes to morning sun salutations – perfectly complement the brand’s brilliant service and inclusions.

Every voyage includes Michelin-inspired dining, cutting-edge entertainment and rejuvenating wellness experiences at sea. As part of the five-day itinerary, Sailors will delight in an overnight stay in Hobart and visit to the rugged landscapes of Burnie in the north of the pristine island state.

Travellers interested in setting sail with Virgin Voyages this summer aboard Resilient Lady can still book now to secure a cabin on one of the sun-soaked itineraries via the Virgin Voyages website.

(Resilient Lady officially embarked on her Aussie MerMaiden from her new homeport in Melbourne, Australia – Virgin Voyages)