Virgin Voyages’ “Eat & Drink Festival” is on the Horizon

Scarlet Lady, an adults only cruise product, is now sailing this winter from PortMiami to the Caribbean. Photo by Viking Voyages.

Throughout July 2024, Virgin Voyages, the vibrant, adults-only oceangoing cruise line, rolls out its third annual Eat & Drink Festival fleetwide. This popular, culinary-and-cocktail showcase is designed to delight foodies, epicureans, adventurers and “Sailors,” as Virgin aptly describes its guests.

They’ll savor diverse tastes and enjoy some new events too! Fresh for 2024, Virgin is introducing its first-ever Asian Night Market at Sea, a celebration of the iconic spices and flavors of Far East street food.

Also new? Tapping into the expertise of Michelin-starred Chef Matt Lambert, the premium line is unveiling a new, six-course menu at the line’s Test Kitchen. That’s a new development for that experimental, laboratory-like eatery.

But if you’ve sailed previously during the Eat & Drink Festival, it’s also great to know that Virgin is also bringing back beloved experiences. Among those is “Seven Seas Sippers,” a thrilling cocktail treasure hunt across seven onboard bars.

Virgin Voyages: The Love of Gastronomy

“This year’s Eat & Drink Festival is a celebration of epic innovation, creativity and passion for exceptional gastronomic experiences,” says Virgin Voyages’ Charles Steadman. He’s the premium line’s director, food and beverage experiences and strategic partnerships.

He continues: “We’re proud to showcase the finest flavors, the creations of some of the most talented chefs and bar personalities, and the most immersive F&B experiences for our ‘Sailors.'”

More Than 20 Special Activities

The festival’s 2024 lineup includes more than 20 food-and-drink activities. So, what’s on tap? Well, guests will discover wine pairings, hidden speakeasy pop-ups, spirited dinner series, culinary demonstrations and other taste-tempting happenings aboard each ship.

“In the midst of an incredible, record-breaking Wave Season, we’re looking forward to sharing these unique experiences once again with our ‘Sailors,’” says John Diorio, the line’s vice president, North American sales.

“We’ve heard from both ‘Sailors’ and ‘First Mates’ (professional travel advisors) that these onboard events are what keep people coming back time and time again,” he adds.

Virgin Voyages will bring back the "Food & Drinks Festival" in July 2024. Here are colorful cocktails on Scarlet Lady. Photo by Virgin Voyages.
(Look for Virgin Voyages’ third annual Eat & Drink Festival in July 2024. Shown above are colorful cocktails on Scarlet Lady. Photo by Virgin Voyages.)

Top Festival Highlights – All Virgin Voyages Ships

So, without further ado, here’s a snapshot look at the Eat & Drink Festival’s lineup of events. These are fleetwide, no matter which Virgin ship you’re sailing on.

Asian Night Market at Sea: Getting under way at The Galley, this is an immersive Far East experience. So, guests will explore Asia’s rich cultures through authentic cuisine and beverages.

Seven Seas Sippers: Think about an “elevated bar crawl” and you’ll understand Seven Seas Sippers. Cruisers will follow a pirate-like map as they set off on an adventure across the ship. Along the journey, they’ll explore popular watering holes, taste seven cocktails and earn stamps that may lead to secret treasure.

New Menu at Test Kitchen: In a new menu offering at the Test Kitchen, diners will set off on a culinary journey that blends innovative, molecular gastronomy techniques and global flavors.

Shhh: This pop-up speakeasy concept features well-known bartenders from Miami, Barcelona and Athens. Travelers partake in an immersive, phone-free “Stowaway Sanctuary” experience. It transforms a unique space into an intimate cocktail haven.

… And Even More Fleetwide Activities

Amuse Bouche at Signature Eateries: Specially crafted by the chefs in Virgin Voyages’ Culinary Collective, unique and inventive “bouches” begin the dinner experience.

Spirited Dinner Series at The Wake: At this intimate, exclusive culinary experience, cruise guests will enjoy a four-course meal crafted by a Michelin-starred chef. Look for the creative cuisine to be paired with a selection of fine spirits, beers or wines.

Afternoon Tea Cocktail Extravaganza at Sip: Tea lovers will enjoy herbal flavors, teapot cocktails, and a single malt whiskey and chocolate pairing. This event combines the charm of traditional British tea service with innovative mixology.

Activities for Specific Virgin Voyages Ships 

Virgin Voyages also has unveiled certain Eat & Drink Festival activities on individual ships. So, here’s a look at those.

Let’s Get Choco-Lit: Think of a mix between chocolate worship and a pastry workshop. This mouthwatering culinary demonstration is designed for those who love baked sweets. Cruisers will discover the art of making exquisite chocolate pralines and rocher treats on Scarlet Lady only.

Master The Art of Wine: In this sensory journey, you can learn the nuances of white, red or rose wine during an hour-long wine tasting at The Wake.

  • Master The Art of Red Wine – Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady
  • Master The Art of White Wine – Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady
  • Master The Art of Rose Wine – Valiant Lady


Meat & Cheese, If You Please: An exclusive to Valiant Lady, this one-hour culinary demonstration gets under way in the Test Kitchen. “Sailors” will learn how to perfect an Insta-worthy charcuterie board. Led by “The Foodie” from Virgin Voyages’ Happenings Cast,  they’ll build their own mini-board, complete with salami roses and cheese zippers.

In addition to enjoying Virgin Voyages' annual "Food & Drinks Festival," the line's "Sailors" can enjoy fun in the sun on Scarlet Lady's pool deck. Photo by Virgin Voyages.
(In addition to savoring Virgin Voyages’ annual Eat & Drink Festival, the line’s “Sailors” can enjoy fun in the sun on Scarlet Lady’s pool deck. Photo by Virgin Voyages.)

… And More Ship-Specific Events

Shot For Shot: During this interactive beverage class hosted exclusively in Valiant Lady’s Test Kitchen, cruisers will drink and click their way to a new level of self-expression. They’ll make four signature cocktails and snap the perfect photo.

Acai What You Did There: On Resilient Lady, guests can create a tempting acai bowl with healthy toppings. Get ready for the perfect blend of taste and nutrition.

More Eat & Drink Festival Perks

“There are big rewards if you book a July 2024 Eat & Drink Festival cruise now,” says Shelby Steudle, president, Pavlus Travel. “You could receive up to a $200 bar tab that can be used for specialty drinks.” Available at press time, that bar tab amount typically depends on the voyage’s length.

“Plus, you can use that for Seven Seas Sippers cocktails and the cruise line’s nifty “Shake for Champagne” feature,” she says.

What’s the latter all about? “Well, with the simple shake of a phone, Moët & Chandon can be delivered anywhere onboard,” Steudle emphasizes. 

Virgin Voyages to Consider?

Among the many Virgin Voyages options for July 2024 are these:

  • Dominican Daze,” a five-night voyage on Valiant Lady, sails roundtrip from Miami on July 5, 2024, and July 19, 2024. The cruise visits Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic as well as the Beach Club at Bimini in the Bahamas. Fares for the July 5 departure, for instance, start at $1,936 per cabin, with a complimentary bar tab of up to $100.


  • Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems,” a seven-night cruise on Resilient Lady, sets sail roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens). Ports of call include Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Corfu, Greece. Pricing for the July 7, 2024, sailing starts at $1,806 per cabin. Guests receive up to a $200 bar tab.


View from Cannes, France. Photo by Virgin Voyages.
(“Sailors” aboard Scarlet Lady this July can enjoy both Virgin Voyages’ “Food & Drinks Festival” and the lovely scenery of Cannes, France. Photo by Virgin Voyages.)
  • French Daze & Ibiza Nights,” a seven-night sailing roundtrip on Scarlet Lady from Barcelona, Spain, calls at chic Mediterranean ports. This itinerary includes Marseille and Cannes, France, plus Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza, Spain. If booked now (at press time), guests can receive up to a $200 bar tab. Fares for the July 7, 2024, voyage start at $1,806 per cabin.

To Learn More…

For general information about Virgin Voyages, visit the Virgin Voyages website. “But if you’re thinking of a vacation on Virgin Voyages, call us to discuss your needs,” says Pavlus’ Steudle. 

“We have experienced personal travel planners who can assist you — and we don’t charge a service fee,” she explains. “We’ll also assure you get the best pricing and top-notch service.”

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