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Virgin Voyages will debut first ship in 2020 with policy that bans single-use plastics

Virgin Voyages will debut first ship in 2020 with policy that bans single-use plastics
Virgin Voyages will debut its first ship, the Scarlet Lady, seen here in an artist's rendering, in 2020. (Virgin Voyages)

When Virgin Voyages’ first ship, the Scarlet Lady, hits the water in 2020, it won’t have plastic straws, bottled water, other beverage bottles, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers and items such as take-away coffee and tea cups.

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Many cruise lines are stepping away from serving plastic straws onboard as an effort to curb the amount of plastic garbage that winds up polluting the oceans. But Virgin Voyages goes much further.

“[W]e must make a commitment that is bigger than just eliminating straws,” Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We must make a commitment to building ships and experiences that do everything possible to look after the well-being of our precious oceans.”

The ship also plans to feature filtered still and sparkling water at bars and restaurants, as well as filtered water stations on board.

The Scarlet Lady, by the way, is a recycled name. It appeared on one of Virgin Atlantic’s earliest planes, the statement said. The name will be paired with the company’s red mermaid on the bow.

The ship marked a milestone at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The Scarlet Lady was flooded during hull construction, marking the first time seawater hit the ship’s hull. Also, the first pieces of steel were cut for Virgin Voyages’ second ship, due for delivery in 2021. A third ship also is on order.

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