Branson Treats Skymiles Fliers to Free Cruise

Virgin Voyages and Sir Richard Branson surprised passengers on a recent Delta flight with a complimentary cruise on his newest ship, Resilient Lady. 

Before boarding, Virgin Voyages hosted a departure gate takeover at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The passengers were treated to entertainment from the Virgin Voyages’ team, photo opportunities, specialty drinks, and music. Sir Richard Branson and Delta’s SVP and Chief Communications Officer, Tim Mapes, hosted a game of roulette offering prizes such as flights, hotel stays, a cruise, vacation packages, gift cards, and merchandise.

“The Caribbean has been my home for many years, and I’m very excited to welcome Resilient Lady as she sails from San Juan to visit the region’s most beautiful destinations,” said Branson. “My excitement clearly couldn’t be contained, so we came up with a way to celebrate with a personal invitation and surprise for some unsuspecting guests on a Delta flight to San Juan. We’re grateful for our partners at Delta who joined in on the fun and have also been long-time venture partners of our airline, Virgin Atlantic. We look forward to showing everyone what it’s like to Set Sail the Virgin Way!”

The flight was a special collaboration with Delta Air Lines to celebrate Resilient Lady‘s upcoming homeport in San Juan. Resilient Lady will set sail on Caribbean itineraries starting this December. Branson, the Virgin Group founder, personally gifted all SkyMiles Members aged 18 and above on the flight with a free voyage during the ship’s inaugural season in San Juan.

“When two award-winning brands come together, they create magic for their customers. Delta is thrilled to have partnered with Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages for this special surprise-and-delight for our SkyMiles Members on the flight,” said Delta’s Tim Mapes. “This is one more way in which we’re adding value to the program and unlocking exclusive experiences for our Members. Stay tuned for more with Virgin Voyages.”


This fall, Resilient Lady will make a trans-continental journey to her new homeport in San Juan. Guests can explore new ports of call in the Caribbean and Latin America, including stops in St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Colombia, and Dominica on 7-, 8-, 10, and 11-night voyages.

Julie Bouchner is the Digital Editorial Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, baking, and playing with her Siberian Husky named Ellie.