You’ve heard the saying, ‘it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters’. Well, at Virgin Voyages we’d have to agree with that, but only partially, because some destinations deserve all the attention social media may bring.
Look, we know our voyages will be experiences that live on far beyond the limitations of any single place, experience or time, but we’d also say that sometimes when destinations can improve or round out a journey in really unexpected ways.
That’s why the experience team at Virgin Voyages is approaching our voyage destination choices with such care and curation. As they see it, locations on land can evoke memories, conjure up feelings, or have auras often hard to replicate outside of returning to that location.
"After talking to potential Sailors we learned that many people preferred destinations that allow for personal exploration,” said Diana Block Garcia, Vice President of Itinerary & Destination for Virgin Voyages. “That’s why we searched for places that offer the opportunity for Sailors to either go off the beaten path or, if more familiar, approach from a completely new angle.”
Basically places have meanings that we all personalize and define differently. We can’t all go to the same place and be expected to experience the same thing. So, why even try?
“We get super excited when we find destinations that allow for a mix of relaxing, exploring, and just being,” added Alex Zeitz, Senior Manager of Sailor Experience. “From taking time to re-energize the soul to actively exploring, tasting, smelling and immersing yourself, uncovering culture a tourist guide might miss.”
That’s why besides our already announced five-night “Mayan Sol“ sailings with stops in Costa Maya, Mexico and Bimini, Bahamas, and five-night “Dominican Daze” itineraries to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic also with and a stop in Bimini, Bahamas, now the 2,770 Sailors and 1,160 Crew have even more to explore when off the ship.
Some additional ports we’re announcing include a place countless poets and artists have called home in Key West, Florida as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico and Cozumel/Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
These new sailings will all have late in the day sail aways, for the most time possible in each port, including the “Fire and Sunset Soirées” itinerary. This voyage will feature a departure during the historically famous sunset of this southernmost tip of the continental United States and a transformational day of relaxation and rejuvenation topped off with our exclusive late night signature bonfire soirée at The Beach Club at Bimini.
Complete with inspired twilight DJ sessions and artistic fire installations inspired by the fireball sculptures of Richard Branson’s Necker Island, these celebrations also feature a midnight departure for the ultimate relaxing way to top off this day and is only available on these sailings.
A gateway into some of Mexico's premier hot spots on the Mayan Riviera, and only a short ride from Tulum, our “Riviera Maya” itinerary features a stop in Cozumel/Playa del Carmen, Mexico where Sailors will have ample opportunity to dive one of the world's best coral reefs and enjoy the shimmering surf in a place, home to 26 coral species.
Sailors can also explore extensive Mayan ruins or venture out into the eco-forward, elevated Bohemian sanctuary of neighboring Tulum, famous for its picturesque beaches and diverse nightlife. A midnight sail away allows for the maximum exploration time possible so you can make the most of the day activities and the nightlife of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The itinerary ends with a transformational morning to night experience at The Beach Club at Bimini, complete with our final evening, communal bonfire chill down.
And because Sailors asked for longer options, we’re introducing new seven-night SEAsonally curated itineraries including our “Holidaze and Nights” voyage and our “New Year’s Ahoy!” itinerary featuring stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Bimini and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Far from any package tour, Sailors will carve their own paths in places with experiences that promote self-discovery with more time to explore in each location. That means extended port hours and an overnight or late in the day sail away on all itineraries.
Memories remain, long after departing from physical places. That’s why the right destinations can really affect a larger journey. Especially if Sailors discover new experiences somewhere they’ve never been, or gather new outlooks on those they already know and love. We’re aiming for a bit of both.