By Dana Niland
Richard Branson said his new cruise line would be different, and he’s making good on the promise.
Branson’s Virgin Voyages has announced that its first ship, Scarlet Lady, will bring tattoo artistry to the high seas with Squid Ink, an on-board tattoo studio — the first ever on a cruise ship.
To create this unique on-board experience, Virgin Voyages has teamed up with the ink industry legends from World Famous Tattoo Ink.
“Tattooing is a time-honored seafaring tradition, and we’re continuing that legacy with rock and roll style by bringing some of the best ink artists to sea,” said Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages. “Our sailors are looking to make lifelong memories, and we think there’s no better way to commemorate their first voyage with us than with a souvenir they’ll never lose track of.”
When Scarlet Lady sets sail in 2020, she will carry two full time resident tattoo artists on board, handpicked by ink industry legend Lou Rubino Jr.
Squid Ink will also feature a line-up of guest artists including celebrity artists from the industry.
While details and timing are still to come, artists to the likes of Spike TV’s Ink Master star Sarah Miller, surrealist specialist artist Arlo DiCristina and illustrative specialist Jime Litwalk have already committed to a guest artist appearance aboard the Scarlet Lady in 2020, the company said.
All Squid Ink tattoos will be created with World Famous Tattoo Ink original vegan ink, which is globally recognized to exceed safety standards with no animal by-products or testing.
In addition to tattoos, Squid Ink will also offer body piercings as well as permanent makeup treatments using vegan-friendly Perma Blend pigments.
“The World Famous Tattoo Ink family has been working with sailors, pirates and rock stars for more than 50 years,” Rubino said. “As global acceptance of tattoos and body art continues to grow, partnering with Virgin Voyages gives us the unique opportunity to bring color to places people might have never thought possible before. We couldn’t be more excited to leave our mark on the sea travel industry.”