When he founded Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson aimed to shake up the industry. Not just by offering adult-only voyages and elevated eateries, but by creating a brand with a commitment to making a positive impact on people and the planet, what we call “creating an Epic Sea Change For All.”
"There is nothing more important in this world than our oceans,” Branson said, “and we're on a mission to protect them and set an example. Success needn't compromise sustainability."
Our “sea change” commitment encompasses our ambitions to protect ocean and marine life, engage our Sailors in sustainable practices, celebrate our people, and promote responsible and sustainable tourism in our communities. Specific “sea change” goals include achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, reaching 50/50 gender parity among our Crew, inspiring our Sailors to live and travel more sustainability, and making a positive impact in the communities where we live, work, and visit. And with a little help from our like-minded partners, and eco-conscious Sailors, we see no reason why we can’t achieve this epic sea change together.
And today, on June 8th, we celebrate World Ocean Day by sharing our latest impact report, which gives a comprehensive overview of what a sea change means for us. We take a closer look at our commitment to our ocean, how we are working to secure its healthy future, and the partnerships that make it possible.
Oceans aren’t just the lifeblood of our industry, but humanity in general. Preserving them and their inhabitants couldn’t be more crucial. Our ambition to secure a healthy future for our ocean is supported by taking action on climate change, curbing pollution, and doing our part to protect marine life.
Protecting Marine Life
We work with several not-for-profit organizations in our ports of call who are dedicated to ocean health and conservation. For example, we’ve teamed up with Virgin’s Foundation, Virgin Unite, to support mangrove forest projects in the Caribbean, and Mote Marine, which focuses on coral reef restoration in the Florida Keys. Through our “tip the ocean” program Sailors can join us and support these conservation efforts. It’s the only tip we ask for onboard, and all donations made support our ocean conservation partners.
We have a responsibility to the destinations around the world that welcome us to their shores. In 2022 we launched the Impact Squad to promote community volunteering and engagement. During Earth Month, for example, our Crew around the world marked the occasion by cleaning up beaches and local communities. Nearly two dozen impact events were held in 2022.
In celebration of World Oceans Day this year, we are excited to be partnered with an organization highlighting the importance of marine life and conservation through art as we commission a mural project in Greece. Additionally, our Impact Squad will be participating in beach clean ups from the Caribbean to the Aegean Sea.