The first light of the morning of Thursday 19 May welcomed the arrival in the Gulf of Cagliari of the Valiant Lady, cruise ship of the Virgin Voyages fleet, joint venture of the famous Virgin group founded by Richard Branson more than fifty years ago.
The new flagship of the US Cruise Line made its Maiden Call in Cagliari with more than a thousand passengers, who were able to admire the beauties of the city and of Southern Sardinia.
For the occasion, the traditional plaque exchange ceremony took place alongside the ship, attended by the President of the Port Network Authority of the Sardinia Sea, Massimo Deiana, the Harbour Master of Cagliari, Mario Valente, the Councilor for Tourism of the Municipality of Cagliari, Alessandro Sorgia, and the representatives of Efispau Shipping and Cagliari Cruise Port.
This first call of the Valiant Lady in Cagliari represents the achievement of an important goal, the result of the promotion of the destination carried out by Cagliari Cruise Port towards Virgin since 2016, which then continued both with the organization of various Educationals that saw the Cruise Line representatives guests of the City, most recently during the Feast of S. Efisio in 2019, and with the active participation in the most important international trade fairs, including the annual Seatrade Cruise Global held in Miami.
Eleven the calls of the Valiant Lady scheduled this year in Cagliari, one every two weeks until October, and about twenty thousand passengers expected. A record that makes Virgin the second most important customer of the Sardinian port in 2022, preceded only by the beloved Costa Cruises.
To celebrate this first call and make the memory of the Sardinian capital unforgettable, Cagliari Cruise Port, the company that manages the cruise terminal of the Rinascita pier, organized a rock concert, a real "dock party" in perfect Virgin style, which the ship's passengers and crew members enthusiastically attended.
“Virgin Voyages in Cagliari is a dream come true” said Stephen Xuereb, president of Cagliari Cruise Port. “Our company is constantly engaged in promoting the destination, with the collaboration of the Port Network Authority and the Municipality. Also this year, as part of the project "Cagliari: cruise destination" supported by the Municipality, the company took part in the Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami, the most important global trade in the cruise sector. This is to underline that news such as the Valiant Lady calls do not happen by chance but are the result of the assiduous cultivation of relationships and a long promotion work that, we are sure, will soon also bring new, important results”.
“The Municipality of Cagliari is proud to have hosted Virgin Voyages in our city.” Said Alessandro Sorgia, Tourism Councilor of the Municipality of Cagliari. “This goal is the result of the intense and incessant work between the municipal administration, the Port Network Authority and Cagliari Cruise Port. As municipal administration we are also working to increase the appeal of the city, transforming it into a tourist-proof reality.”
Starting from the end of 2016, Cagliari Cruise Port has become part of Global Ports Holding (GPH), the world's largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific regions, including extensive commercial port operations in Montenegro. With an integrated platform of cruise ports serving cruise liners, ferries, yachts and mega-yachts, GPH operates 26 cruise ports in 14 countries and continues to grow steadily, providing services for 14 million passengers reaching a market share of 24% in the Mediterranean annually.