When it comes to accessible travel, Virgin Voyages is making waves in the industry. Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Alex Zeitz, the director of crew and sailor experience at Virgin Voyages. Our conversation delved deep into their commitment to accessibility, upcoming itineraries, and the overall sailor experience. Here's a peek into our enlightening discussion.
Right from the start, Alex's passion for Virgin Voyages shone through. Residing in New York City, he shared insights about how Virgin Voyages operates, emphasizing the flexibility offered to him to stay connected with the ships and their many journeys.
Virgin Voyages is not just about luxury and exotic destinations; they are deeply committed to inclusivity. One of the most pressing questions I had was about the accessibility efforts Virgin Voyages has made. Alex provided a comprehensive overview, detailing the design and amenities onboard. From accommodating motorized wheelchairs during tender loading to ensuring a seamless experience for all sailors, Virgin Voyages is setting a new standard in accessible travel.
There were two things that Alex mentioned that highlighted their focus on accessibility. The first is that the ships are designed from the start with accessibility in mind. The second was the fact that they reached out to individuals with different disabilities to make sure they based their decision on people that would use the facilities.
This focus show in the design and the features of the Bimini Beach Club. The facility has ramps to all of the spaces, and one thing that is unusual is they have Mobi Mats to allow wheelchairs to get almost to the waters edge. One thing I learned is that they also have beach wheelchairs and floating wheelchairs for people that need them.
Cheryl and I at the Beach Club on Bimini
Cheryl on a Mobi Mat at the Beach Club
Our conversation steered towards the future, with Alex giving us a sneak peek into the 2024-2025 itineraries. Highlights included their return to Portsmouth in the UK and exciting new destinations like Morocco. It's clear that Virgin Voyages is not only expanding their offerings but also committed to providing unique, accessible travel experiences.
Alex described the efforts they were making to improve the availability of the accessible excursions, and the challenges they face in places where there is not much in the way of accessible transportation. They also have challenge in some of the places in the Mediterranean where they have to tender and the height changes significantly from high to low tide.
Santorini perched on a cliff.
Our chat with Alex Zeitz was enlightening. Virgin Voyages is charting a course towards a more inclusive and accessible future in travel. With their forward-thinking approach and commitment to excellence, the horizon looks promising for all sailors.
For a more detailed dive into our conversation and to hear directly from Alex, don't miss our video interview link to video.