October 26, 2018
Richard Branson's New Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship Will Feature World's First Onboard Tattoo Shop

Elaborate buffets, fancy cocktails, and gambling are all typical amenities featured on a cruise vacation. One cruise line, however, is offering something new.

Virgin Voyages, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, recently announced that their inaugural cruise ship will feature a tattoo shop, Cruise Critic reported.

The company collaborated with World Famous Tattoo Ink to create the world's first tattoo shop at sea, which will be featured on the cruise line's Scarlet Lady. The excursion will only be available to those 18 or over and is set to launch in 2020.

Virgin Voyages president and CEO, Tom McAlpin commented on the addition of the parlor.

"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. 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."
The shop, which has been appropriately named Squid Ink, will feature two full-time resident tattoo artists onboard, which Cruise Critic reports were handpicked by Lou Rubino Jr., the "tattoo industry legend" behind World Famous Tattoo Ink, Soho Ink in New York City and Freshly Inked Magazine. The shop will follow in the footsteps of World Famous Tattoo Ink and create all its tattoos with vegan ink."The World Famous Tattoo Ink family has been working with sailors, pirates and rock stars for more than 50 years," Rubino Jr. 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."In addition to their resident artists, Cruise Critic reported the shop will feature several guests artists, including Spike TV's "Ink Master" star Sarah Miller, surrealist specialist Arlo DiCristina, and Jime Litwalk, who specializes in illustrative work. The studio will feature a selection of exclusive voyage tattoo designs, as well as offer body piercings and permanent makeup treatments.Virgin Voyages teamed up with Soho Ink to celebrate the big announcement by giving away free tattoos to the first 100 people to line up outside the Manhattan tattoo shop on October 20. Those lucky to arrive early enough to the event were able to choose one of 10 nautical-inspired micro tattoos.Scarlet Lady will set sail from Miami and feature a "Vitamin Sea" concept, focusing on passenger wellness, relaxation, and fun, Cruise Critic reported. In addition to the tattoo shop, the ship will feature a spa, fitness center, salon, bar, and nightclub.