Cruise Case Study

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages is a cruise line headquartered in Plantation, Florida and a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Bain Capital. As of May 2023, Virgin Voyages has three ships in the fleet, with one more on order, all with an expected capacity of approximately 2,700 passengers each. The first ship, Scarlet Lady, began sailing August 6 from Portsmouth with UK only itineraries. Scarlet Lady began operating from Port Miami in October 2021, sailing mainly four-to-five night cruises in the Caribbean.

“HVAC is one of the most important systems aboard a cruise ship. To that end, we designed our ship based on industry best practices, working with Fincantieri and HVAC engineers. We are trading off energy consumption for passenger comfort, quality, and safety.”

- Andy Schwalb, Chief Marine and Technology for Virgin Voyages, told Cruise Industry News


They wanted to provide improved air quality to stay ahead of the curve in cruising for a better cruising experience for their cruise ship guests.


“So, instead of building the most efficient air-conditioning system possible, we built the best air circulation system possible for the comfort of our guests and crew,” he added.

Aboard the Scarlet Lady, each public space has its own air-handling system, designed and optimized for each space.

“We are constantly putting fresh air into public spaces and cabins. While other ships may pump in fresh air too, the question is how often that air is exchanged. Our system is smart and adjusts according to how many people are in the room. So, the air may be exchanged every couple of minutes, or every five to seven minutes. It can go faster or slower.

“Some large spaces also have cooling coils that help keep the air cool, but we are not recirculating air.

“We also change the air in every cabin every few minutes. Each cabin has its own cooling unit, and there is no cross-contamination between cabins.”

“We have chosen a different route, covering 100 percent of the ship with bipolar ionization.”


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