Having not cruised in over a year, I am more than ready to sail the seas again. One of the major disappointments of the Covid-19 travel ban was two cancellations with Virgin Voyages. I had booked one of their first sailings, and then another for September. Sadly, both of those cruises (along with one Royal Caribbean and two Princess Cruises) were canceled.
I currently have three cruises booked with Princess, but I really want to sail with Virgin. So, yesterday I did a thing! I booked the “Irresistible Med” cruise for May 29, 2022. Having sailed 30+ cruises, this will be my first true Mediterranean cruise. I’ve sailed out of Barcelona before, but didn’t visit any of the traditional Mediterranean ports, since it was the beginning of my first Trans-Atlantic cruise. I’ve also done a Greek isles cruise out of Civitavecchia, & of course, we mainly visited ports in Greece. I’ll be sailing out of Italy once again in November of this year, revisiting some Greek ports, and going to Turkey, Cypress, & Israel for the first time. I’m excited about that cruise, but have always wanted to do a “real” Mediterranean cruise, visiting the French Riviera. When I discovered this particular itinerary with Virgin, I knew it was the one for me. Also, it’s right after my 56th birthday. I’ll probably “have” to fly over and enjoy a few days of one of my favorite European cities — Barcelona, for my birthday; and then embark on the Valiant Lady. I can’t wait to see the La Sagrada Familia again to see how much work they’ve done since I first visited in September of 2014.
At Virgin, they try to ensure that their Sailors (“Sailors” is how they refer to their guests) have the ultimate Virgin experience, and that extends to their destinations as well. For this reason, they aim to give Sailors ample time in port, without feeling rushed to get back on board. Where possible, they prefer to dock in a port to allow Sailors to access the destination at their leisure.
Their approach is anchored in creating experiences that will change their Sailors’ view of the world and enable play that ignites the spirit within.
Virgin Voyages has built their ships to be floating sanctuaries, where their Sailors may never want to leave. But, if you choose to, their carefully selected choice of cruise destinations are a great excuse to disembark their ships.
By curating itineraries with late stays and overnights, they’ll show Sailors the real people and real experiences that make each port so special. With “The Irresistible Med” (seven nights) there is a late stay in Marina di Carrara; along with an overnight in Ibiza.
Let’s set sail from Barcelona on May 29, 2022 to irresistible destinations, immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of the Mediterranean. Imagine sipping sangria at a charming local cafe while enjoying the panoramic views of the azure sea… I’m super excited about an early summer cruise in the Mediterranean!
On the Valiant Lady, you’ll visit the Med’s most famous cities and islands from their home port of Barcelona. They’ve created a seven night itinerary that is typically sailed by super-yachts. “The Irresistible Med” features a longer port stay in Marina di Carrara and an overnight stop at the beach club mecca of Ibiza.
The Irresistible Med is a sampling of the Mediterranean and it’s islands. Travel the French Riviera before wandering Tuscany’s countryside. Encounter royal beauty on the island of Corsica before the Italian island of Sardinia competes for the crown and an overnight stay on the Ibizan isle takes it home!
Day One: Barcelona
Day Two: Toulon
Day Three: Marina Di Carrera (Late Stay)
Day Four: Ajaccio
Day Five: Cagliari
Day Six: Ibiza (arrives 6 PM – OVERNIGHT)
Day Seven: Ibiza (departs 6 PM)
Day Eight: Barcelona
Docking at the World Trade Center, usually reserved for super yachts, Barcelona will be your home port for The Irresistible Med. Docking in this premier location means Sailors will be only steps from Las Ramblas, the most famous street in Barcelona, diverse neighborhoods and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. Sailors will uncover hidden secrets from local market cooking classes to modern and historic art in this vibrant seaside, architecturally stunning European City.
A gateway to charming towns in Provence, access both coastline and countryside in France’s second largest naval port. Originally a fisherman’s village, its coveted Mourillion quarter still boasts original architecture with a daily market, chic little boutiques and seaside restaurants.
MARINA DI CARRARA, ITALY
With a backdrop of white-marked mountains covered in what appears to be snow, Marina de Carrara is actually blanketed with some of the world’s purest marble — a geographically rare site. On the border of Tuscany & Liguria, get access to Lucca, Pisa, Portofino and the breathtaking Cinque Terre.
As the capital of Corsica, this French commune on the island’s western coast is filled with soaring mountains and centuries worth of history. From panoramic hikes to visiting the home-turned-museum of Napoleon Bonaparte — whether crafted by nature or during the baroque period, art is everywhere.
Among the most pristine beaches to be found in Europe, Cagliari is well known for its hilltop Castello, a medieval walled quarter situated high over the rest of the town. Sailors can discover the coast with a private catamaran, relax at a beach club or stop by a local shepherd’s home for a farm-to-table meal in the countryside.
Ibiza has the boho glam laid back vibe that Sailors will crave. Known for its stunning sunsets and vibrant nightlife, Sailors will be able to experience all of Ibiza’s hotspots. Arrive at golden hour for a catamaran sunset sail before jetting to one of Ibiza’s famed night clubs. For those more into delicious than dancing, try an olive oil or local winery eco-tour, carve out a secluded spa day complete with a mind-balancing yoga class or just let the old city guide you. The Valiant Lady will typically arrive at 6 PM on a Friday for an overnight stay and sail at 6 PM on Saturday.
That sounds like an amazing itinerary, right? Now get this…Virgin Voyages is an ADULTS-ONLY vacation. That’s right…no one under the age of 18 is permitted to sail on any of Virgin’s ships. Virgin has created a brand-new concept within the cruise industry, much like Disney Cruise Line did when they came out with family cruising. In fact, the current president of Viking Voyages used to be the president of Disney Cruise Line. This is going to be an amazing vacation experience. I’ll be writing more about Virgin Voyages in the coming months, so look for more articles here soon! In the meantime, if you’d like to read about some of Virgin Voyages’ dining options, you can do so here. (with Virgin ALL of your food is included…no upcharge restaurants on their ships!). While I’m at it….Gratuities, Wifi, all dining, basic beverages & group fitness classes are ALL INCLUDED. No hidden charges.
Are you ready to begin planning your Virgin Voyages vacation? Book with me and I can walk you through all of your questions with this new amazing cruise line. I think that Virgin has created something special here! If you have any questions, just shoot me an email. Curious about Virgin? Join my Facebook group where I post regularly about the Virgin Voyages experience. There, you can learn all about Virgin and any promotions that may be going on at the time. Currently, if you book before March 31, 2021 you can get 10% off of your cruise fare, along with Sailor Loot (Onboard Credit) up to $400.00 (depending on the category you book). *as always restrictions can apply, and Virgin can withdraw this offer at any time, so my advice would be to book as soon as you can!