Virgin Voyages will feature a tattoo studio onboard its upcoming ship with the line promising a “one-of-a-kind experience” at sea.
Squid Ink will have two resident artists chosen by leading body art designer Lou Rubino Jr of World Famous Tattoo Ink, Soho Ink and Freshly Inked Magazine, as well as a “star-studded line-up” of guest artists including the tattoo industry’s “most sought-after trendsetters and celebrity artists”.
Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages president and chief executive, said the line was looking to bring back the “time-honoured seafaring tradition” onboard its ships - the first of which, Scarlet Lady, will launch in 2020.
“Our sailors [the line’s word for guests] are looking to make lifelong memories, 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,” McAlpin said.
Virgin Voyages said the idea was following in its ethos of the “Modern Romance of Sailing,” with the inspiration behind Squid Ink “steeped in the traditions of sailing” with many historians crediting the expansion of tattooing to British colonial sailors who picked up the concept from aboriginal tribes while exploring the South Pacific.
Squid Ink will feature exclusive voyage tattoos designed by the World Famous Tattoo Ink team for those guests looking to commemorate their voyage.
The line is also encouraging its crew to “express themselves freely” through tattoos if they wish and, in what it claims to be “a unique move for the cruise industry”, has indicated that the hiring of shipboard candidates with visible tattoos is "a-okay”.
Artists including Spike TV’s Ink Master star Sarah Miller, surrealist specialist artist Arlo DiCristina and illustrative specialist Jime Litwalk have already committed to guest appearances.
All of Squid Ink’s tattoos will be created with vegan ink and the studio will also offer body piercings as well as permanent makeup treatments using vegan-friendly pigments.