Virgin Voyages Celebrates Naval Traditions

Although Virgin Voyages are on a mission to disrupt the travel industry with their unique approach to cruise holidays, there are some surprisingly traditional roots within the details. Undoubtedly the most eyebrow raising venue revealed for Scarlet Lady to date, is the Razzle Dazzle restaurant.

A Tribute To War Ships

The design of Razzle Dazzle is based on Dazzle Camouflage used on war ships during the first world war.  The image above shows gunboat HMS Kildangan in her glorious zebra stripes.

However it wasn’t just war ships that donned the design. Cunard’s RMS Mauretania also had a repaint when she was ordered to serve as a troop ship

RMS Mauritanea in Dazzle Camouflage
RMS Mauretania in Dazzle Camouflage carrying troops.

The camouflage acted as an illusion to U-Boats as shown in the illustration below.



Virgin Voyages - Razzle Dazzle Restaurant onboard Scarlet Lady
Image: Virgin Voyages – Razzle Dazzle Restaurant onboard Scarlet Lady

Female Impersonators in WW1

Diners in Razzle Dazzle can enjoy entertainment by Scarlet Lady’s resident Drag Queen. Not something we are used to on cruise ships and at first glance may seem a very ‘modern’ approach. However in the war, cross dressing was seen as a coping mechanism to deal with the horror and boredom experienced by troops.

Musicians, singers, and comedians were always on the entertainment bill, but the female impersonator was always a show stopper.


Virgin Voyages - Squid Ink Tattoo Parlour onboard Scarlet Lady
Image: Virgin Voyages – Squid Ink Tattoo Parlour onboard Scarlet Lady

Another first at sea will be Squid Ink. The onboard tattoo parlour will offer Virgin Voyages Sailors the opportunity to keep the memory of their cruise with them forever.

The connection between sailors and tattoos can be traced back to Captain James Cook in the 1700s. After seeing the facial tattoos of Maori tribes, the Captain and his crew decided to get tattoos of their own. It is thought that this is how tattoos were introduced to Europe.

Sailor Jerry

During the second world war California born Norman Collins, nicknamed Sailor Jerry, was the sailors favourite tattoo artist. Enlisting in the US Navy at 19, he had been practicing his skills on drunks at Skid Row. During the war Honolulu, Hawaii, the red-light district was full of sailors and soldiers about to ship off for duty.  Before their departure they would queue up in droves to get a tattoo from Jerry.

More details on the design of Virgin Voyages first Lady Ship in my blog post Virgin Voyages – The World On A Plate

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