This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Travelers from every single state in the US have booked a sailing with forthcoming Virgin Voyages. Except, that is, South Dakota.
South Dakota counts Mount Rushmore, Michael Jordan and Tom Brokaw amongst its bragging rights. Residents of the state, however, do not take a lot of vacation time: The average full-time employee in South Dakota only uses 26% of his or her vacation days for travel.
In one of the most hilarious PR stunts we’ve witnessed in a long time, Sir Richard Branson took out an ad in today’s edition of The New York Times with an open letter to South Dakotans inviting them to cruise with his very own cruise line, Virgin Voyages. The new brand is putting the finishing touches on its inaugural ship, the Scarlet Lady — a swanky, adults-only vessel that will set sail early 2020.
“Where are you?” begins the plaintive message in a bottle. “Out of all the states in the US, you’re the only one that hasn’t booked to get on board with us at Virgin Voyages.”
Branson goes on to list a number of statistics about South Dakota professionals, none of which bode well for their relaxation habits. He ends the little love note with, “So, South Dakota, we personally invite you to join the rest of the United States of Virgin Voyages’ Sailors and get on board.”
Virgin Voyages has supplemented the open letter with a punny billboard campaign across South Dakota, with slogans such as, “Sioux . . . ya gonna book or what?” and “Rapid City, you’re not booking fast enough.”
To sweeten the deal, Virgin Voyages is offering some special swag to the first South Dakotan who books a cruise. The package includes $605 in Sailor Loot to use onboard the Scarlet Lady (a nod to the area code that covers, well, the entire Mount Rushmore State), and two first-class tickets “from the 605 to the 305” — that’s Branson speak for first-class tickets for two from South Dakota to Miami. The lucky South Dakotan will also receive a one-night hotel stay in Miami and a limo transfer from the hotel to the ship. Not a bad way to start a cruise.
Featured photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel