There’s a reason why Virgin Voyages, the world’s No. 1 cruise line named its fourth ship “Brilliant Lady.”

Voted the best, large-ship liner in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards and the best mega-ship liner in Travel + Leisure’s 2023 World’s Best Awards, Richard Branson’s brilliantly disruptive travel company, Virgin Voyages, is making waves with the announcement and debut of its fourth vessel, Brilliant Lady.

Hitting the high seas in September of 2025, this ship will embark on the ultimate cross-country sea trip with a series of longer itineraries up to 14 nights, unlike anything Virgin Voyages has offered before.

Virgin Voyages' Brilliant Lady Fwd - Rendered Image
Virgin Voyages’ Brilliant Lady Fwd – Rendered Image

For her inaugural season, Brilliant Lady’s North American Tour will feature highly requested homeports and iconic ports of calls like New York City to Bermuda and Canada, Los Angeles to Mexico, Miami to the ABC Islands, and Seattle to Alaska, along with one epic voyage through the Panama Canal.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, said, “Virgin Voyages started as a simple idea for me and has blossomed into the world’s top cruise line with a full fleet of ships. This ship is going to be brilliant in every possible way, and that includes the incredible new places we can travel to. Alaska, LA, New York – here we come!”

As Virgin Voyages’ final vessel in its current fleet of Lady Ships, Brilliant Lady will carry through many of the signature touches Sailors have grown to know and love.

Making its return are Virgin Voyages’ thoughtfully designed interior spaces, red balcony hammocks, 20+ award-winning eateries – everything from Korean BBQ to red hot Mexican food – a Happenings Cast in lieu of a traditional cruise director, and a collection of high-end wellness spaces ranging from a yoga perch with sweeping ocean views to a mermaid-inspired spa.

What’s new, however, is the adapted frame, meaning Brilliant Lady is designed to sail through the Panama Canal and to navigate rugged new landscapes including the vast glaciers and fjords of Alaska.

Brilliant Lady Mermaid Artwork
Brilliant Lady Mermaid Artwork

Virgin Voyages’ CEO Nirmal Saverimuttu said, “The world has been waiting for us to announce Brilliant Lady’s debut, and she’s almost here. At Virgin Voyages, we’re constantly innovating and looking for opportunities to provide even better value for our Sailors with greater choice. Virgin fans have been asking for years if we’d consider sailing from places like New York, Los Angeles or Alaska, so it’s wonderful to give our Sailors and First Mates what they wanted: fresh itineraries spanning North America from 5- 14 nights in length with new experiences that they will remember forever. As the fourth and final ship in our fleet for now, Brilliant Lady will not disappoint.”

Like her sisters before her, Brilliant Lady will feature a beautiful new mermaid. Designed by Toronto-based illustrator Janice Sung, Brilliant Lady’s mermaid takes inspiration from both historic Renaissance paintings as well as traditional Japanese and Chinese art, fashion and beauty.

Along with Brilliant Lady’s stunning and courageous new guardian, Virgin Voyages will slowly release details on all new dining and entertainment options available on its newest vessel.

Virgin Voyages' Brilliant Lady Aft - Rendered Image
Virgin Voyages’ Brilliant Lady Aft – Rendered Image

Saverimuttu added, “We’re fortunate to see some of the highest repeat rates in the industry, proving that our Sailors truly fall in love with the on-board experience and understand the intrinsic value we offer. They know that stepping on-board a Virgin vessel means eating Michelin-inspired foods at no extra cost; awakening the senses during a complimentary morning yoga class; walking away fulfilled without feeling nickeled and dimed. We’ll always challenge ourselves to keep things fresh and exciting, and that starts with expanding into extraordinary new destinations, while simultaneously inviting new artists, chefs, and musicians to enhance that quintessential Virgin vibe.”

Commencing in September 2025 from New York City, Brilliant Lady’s epic inaugural season includes routes from:

New York City || September 2025 – October 2025

Five voyages from 5-13 nights || MerMaiden: September 5, 2025

Bringing it back to where it all started, Virgin Voyages kicks off the Brilliant Inaugural Season tour in the city that never sleeps. Following a premiere showcase for New Yorkers, Brilliant Lady will sail from Manhattan Cruise Terminal with itineraries ranging between five and 13 nights. The glittering archipelago of 100+ islets and cays await in Bermuda while Canada’s Quebec City shines for its charming European ambience, rich history and incredible architecture. Other new ports of call include Maine, Charleston, Boston, Halifax, and New Brunswick.

Miami || October 2025 – April 2026

17 voyages from 7-12 nights || MerMaiden: October 17, 2025

Warming up for the winter season, Brilliant Lady will embark on a collection of extended Caribbean getaways with options between seven and 12 nights. Sailing from the company’s LEED-gold Terminal V in Miami, the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao) in the Southern Caribbean, along with Cartagena, are standouts. Sailor favorites like Turks & Caicos, Antigua and Grand Cayman are back to delight, along with newcomer Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Its lush tropical rainforests, pearly shores and cascading waterfalls turned this small fishing village into Jamaica’s most coveted port.

Panama Canal Crossing || March 2026

One epic voyage for 16 nights

This crossing from Miami to Los Angeles spanning 16 nights is just one of several options in the brand’s Sea Change Series, what Virgin calls its legendary, bucket-list repositioning voyages. Departing on March 21, 2026, Brilliant Lady will say adios to Miami, sailing south towards Colombia and Panama before her eight-hour passage through the iconic Panama Canal. After a day at sea, Sailors can discover pura vida amid Costa Rica’s lush jungles before immersing themselves in the culture of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking Guatemala’s acclaimed Lake Atitlán. One final stop in Los Cabos takes Brilliant Lady to LA, arriving April 6th.

Los Angeles || April 2026 – May 2026

Four voyages from 5-8 nights || MerMaiden: April 7, 2026

While sunset used to refer to Virgin Voyages’ sailaway times and daily Moët happy hours at Richard’s Rooftop, now Sailors can cruise down Sunset Boulevard or catch Santa Monica’s famous orange skies when Brilliant Lady docks in LA. Five- to eight-night itineraries along Cali’s West Coast include calls in Baja California, Puerto Vallarta and San Diego. California’s coastal gems like Santa Barbara and Catalina Island put the classic Spanish architecture, golden beaches and waterfront promenades on full display.

Seattle || May 2026 – September 2026

Voyage details coming soon || MerMaiden: May 2026

Summer 2026 will take Brilliant Lady to the vast landscapes of Alaska’s woody shores. Wildlife is abundant, giving Sailors ample opportunities to spot some of America’s most elusive animals including bald eagles, orca, seals, bears and humpback whales. Departing from Seattle, Virgin Voyages will offer a mixture of itineraries from May through September. 

Alaska Front(ier) of the Line Pass

Given the anticipated high demand for Alaskan voyages, starting May 8, 2024, Sailors can submit an early deposit to secure their priority window to book one of the limited Alaskan itineraries before they open to the public. Placeholders are $500 for Sea Terraces, $1,000 for RockStar Quarters and $2,500 for Mega RockStar Quarters.

Brilliant 4 You Pass

Following the overwhelming success of its Summer Season Pass – which sold out in less than 48 hours – Virgin Voyages is introducing a “Brilliant 4 You Pass” with unprecedented access to all of Brilliant Lady’s MerMaiden voyages. Digs in a RockStar Suite (Seriously Suite) are complemented by one Shore Thing per voyage.

Sailors previously slated to sail on Brilliant Lady will be given priority access to book a MerMaiden voyage.

To start planning a brilliant getaway, travelers can swim on over to www.VirginVoyages.com or contact their First Mate (travel advisor).

Source: Virgin Voyages PR Team

Images: ©2024 Virgin Cruises Intermediate Limited

Virgin Voyages – My Cruise Blog

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