Virgin Voyages embarks on a new chapter with alternative retail partner

Virgin Voyages and Harding, the cruise line’s current retail partner, have mutually agreed to part ways to pave the way for exciting new retail opportunities. Moving forward, Virgin will be working with Starboard to continue to offer guests a unique shopping experience along with the brands they love.

virgin voyages shop

Guided by its brand ethos to create an Epic Sea Change for All, and largely driven by Richard Branson’s passion for sustainability, Virgin Voyages successfully launched its on-board retail offerings with Harding in May of 2017. After six incredible years of collaboration, bringing Sailors’ favorite brands to the high seas, Virgin Voyages and Harding have mutually agreed to part ways.

Moving forward in 2023, virgin Voyages will now be working with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company Starboard Cruise Services, the leading global retailer at sea, to continue to offer its Sailors an elevated on-board retail experience with the luxury brands they know and love. Together, Virgin Voyages and Starboard will collectively curate the portfolio of brands, custom-designed collections and memorable experiences guests will discover on Virgin’s Lady Ships.

Virgin Voyages is a brand that broke boundaries in many ways, first introducing ocean-going vacations for travelers 18 and older with a luxe yet relaxed atmosphere, doing away with traditional buffets, and offering unparalleled value for money with 20+ eateries, gratuities, wifi, essential drinks and group fitness classes included in the voyage fare. In its planning phases, the company also envisioned an alternative retail strategy. Together with Harding, Virgin Voyages designed a high-end shopping experience at sea that was similar to the ones travelers would find on land.

Drawing on consumer insights and personal knowledge, Virgin Voyages and Harding introduced established retail brands on-board that Sailors loved, such as the first Mac Cosmetics store at sea, and sought out new and interesting fashion, beauty, jewelry, swimwear and skincare options. The result: a comprehensive on-board retail space in Virgin Voyages’ High Street Shops that included lifestyle areas with varying products displayed alongside each other in unconventional ways.

The thoughtful strategy carried into Virgin Voyages’ selection of brands. Seeking out purpose-driven companies, Virgin Voyages secured a great representation of ethically sourced labels. Coral Eyewear, for example, offers trendy sunglasses made from recycled ocean plastics while Yellow Leaf Hammocks are prominently featured on every Sea Terrace balcony and sold on-board. The hammocks are hand-woven by craftswomen from the Mlabri Tribe in the hills of northern Thailand. 

Also read: Inside the newly re-inspired Riviera

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