Newcomer to the cruising sector, Virgin Voyages has announced its newest hire – pop star Jennifer Lopez is joining the cruise line as an investor and the chief entertainment and lifestyle officer.
“My artistic and social mission is to empower, inspire and entertain,” Lopez said in a statement.
“Any opportunity that I get to combine all these attributes into a partnership and collaboration is exciting for me. I admire Sir Richard and all he has built.”
Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s latest business venture using the Virgin brand name, couldn’t have had worse timing. The line was set to launch in March 2020, just as the pandemic began. Due to the coronavirus, the first ship, the Scarlet Lady, sat dormant for over a year, before carrying passengers on a series of voyages in the UK in August 2021 and fully launching from its home port in Miami in October 2021.
Virgin Voyages said in a statement that JLo’s role as chief entertainment and lifestyle officer is a modern take on the cruise ship “godmother”, a ceremonial nautical tradition that usually involves cracking a bottle of champagne on the ship’s hull during its debut.
The company said that that her role will include developing the cruise line brand’s emphasis on well-being, design collaborations and onboard entertainment. Also, the ship will have an exclusive deal with JLo Beauty products.
Branson launched Virgin Voyages in an attempt to redesign cruises for younger travellers. His adults-only ship is targeting millennials and first-time cruisers. The company swapped the traditional huge, formal dining rooms for smaller, individual restaurants on the ship where passengers reserve tables on an app and have non-traditional amenities onboard like a tattoo parlour.
Virgin has three more cruise ships on order that will be delivered by 2023.