Sir Richard Branson Surprises Virgin Australia Flight With $1m in Free Cruises

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Sir Richard Branson surprised passengers on a Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Hobart (VA1316) with a FREE cruise to celebrate Virgin Voyages’ debut in Australia next month.

Each lucky winner will receive a FREE cruise aboard Sir Richard Branson’s award-winning, all-adults cruise ship Resilient Lady during her summer sailings in Australia – the first new Virgin travel product to arrive in Australia since the launch of Virgin Australia in 2000.

Before sailors and cabin staff entered the gate dancing, a boarding gate at Melbourne Airport was transformed into Virgin Voyages’ RockStar Quarters, inspired by the ship’s superyacht level of luxury. The quarters were complete with a hot tub, balcony, and trademark hammock.

Virgin Voyages has also revealed new prices for the maiden Australian sailing season, with staterooms beginning at $149 per person per night and up to $1000 in inclusions.

Sir Richard Branson surprised more than 150 passengers on a Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Hobart last Friday with a complimentary Virgin Voyages voyage to celebrate the cruise line’s debut in Australia next month.

The surprise Facetime call from Virgin’s founder over the plane’s PA system stunned passengers with free holidays worth up to $7,000 each. The flight was chosen to reflect the exact path that Resilient Lady (Virgin Voyages’ Australian ship) would take on her maiden Voyage, departing Melbourne’s Station Pier on 11 December 2023.

Photo: Source Virgin Australia

Before the flight, the Melbourne Airport departure gate was turned into Sir Richard Branson’s Rock Star Quarters – a luxurious cabin onboard the ship with a hot tub, hammock, and a previously unseen sea view panorama at Tullamarine.

In an unexpected twist, Sir Richard Branson surprised the flight cabin crew, ground crew, baggage handlers, and pilots by offering them a free cruise as a thank-you for bringing joy to Virgin Australia’s loyal customers.

For those who did not get a free vacation, Virgin Voyages has given the entire country a reason to rejoice by releasing exceptional new pricing to commemorate the maiden sailing season.

Cabins are already on sale for $149 per person/night, and an extra $1000 in inclusions – such as entertainment, fitness classes, Wi-Fi, tipping, and essential drinks- make sailing aboard Resilient Lady more affordable than ever.

Photo: Source Virgin Australia

“We’re counting down to Virgin Voyages’ arrival Downunder – setting sail the Virgin Way with adults-only itineraries across Australia and New Zealand,” said Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. “You’ll have to sit this one out, kids,” he announced over the plane’s PA system.

“Well, you happen to be travelling on the same route as our Australian MerMaiden Voyage today!” “To celebrate this milestone, I’m pleased to gift each adult onboard a FREE Virgin Voyages cruise,” he said to the excited passengers.

“Virgin Australia’s foundation was about keeping the air fair, and we’re proud to be taking that same mantra to the sea with Virgin Voyages.”

“We want to give Aussies the opportunity to have an affordable, stress-free holiday where they can take a well-earned break, have fun and get a dose of vitamin sea,” he said.

Libby Minogue, Virgin Australia’s chief marketing officer, said the airline was delighted to create an unforgettable memory for guests to celebrate the debut of Virgin Voyages.

“We are laser-focused on creating wonderful experiences for our guests, and today is a great example of the Virgin brands joining forces to deliver Australians new experiences in the air or at sea,” she said.

She continued, “The feeling in the gate lounge and onboard the flight was electric, and we look forward to welcoming Virgin Voyages down under. “

Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said the excitement was building for the arrival of Resilient Lady, which is now sailing from Athens to Australia.

“There will never be better prices to experience our award-winning dining, entertainment, and wellness onboard the luxurious Resilient Lady.” “This is a new way of cruising in Australia, and we can’t wait for Aussies to join us,” Mr Saverimuttu said.

“If you haven’t booked your Summer holiday, these new prices will give you a good excuse to book a lifetime trip,” he said.

Resilient Lady will call in Sydney for the first time on 4 December 2023 before sailing to Melbourne for the MerMaiden Voyage on 11 December 2023. Sir Richard Branson will be coming to Australia to celebrate the historic voyage.

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