Virgin Voyages Will Feature the First-Ever Cruise Ship Tattoo Studio

Oct 28, 2018

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This new cruise amenity might be going a little, um, overboard.

When Virgin Voyages launches its debut ship, the Scarlet Lady, in 2020, she’s going to be equipped with the industry’s first seaworthy tattoo parlor.

In a statement, Tom McAlpin — Virgin Voyage’s president and CEO — said the tattoo shop, called Squid Ink, is a nod to the “time-honored seafaring tradition” of tattooing.

At Squid Ink, sailors can receive a tattoo (made with World Famous Tattoo vegan ink) or a piercing from one of two resident artists selected by tat master Lou Rubino Jr. A rotating roster of legendary guest artists including Sarah Miller and Arlo DiCristina will also be on deck to deliver fresh ink.

“Our sailors are looking to make lifelong memories,” McAlpin said, “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.”

Edgy tattoos are just one way Virgin Voyages is trying to reinvent the cruise industry. All of the line’s ships are exclusively for 18-and-up travelers, and the designers tapped have never before worked on cruise vessels. Instead, they’re industry titans responsible for luxury hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and even film sets. Another shift from industry standards? Virgin Voyages crew members are permitted, if not encouraged, to flaunt their own tattoos.

Until Nov. 16, travelers can enter for the chance to win a free cruise for two (plus complimentary maritime micro-tattoos at Squid Ink) on the Virgin Voyages website. Fortunately, you’ll have a couple years to decide whether you’d prefer a nautical star, a swallow or a figure-eight knot.

Featured photo by Steve Mrdja/EyeEm/Getty Images.

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