As it took delivery of its first vessel, Virgin Voyages said that it will be the first cruise line to be carbon-neutral from its first day of operation via the purchase of carbon offsets.

Virgin's Scarlet Lady was delivered by the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The first of four 2,770-passenger ships on order, it will launch in 46 days on its maiden voyage from Miami.

"It's wonderful to welcome Scarlet Lady today," said Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in a statement. "I'm so proud that as we start this exciting journey, we also bring to life Virgin Voyages' commitment to preserving the ocean and the first of many steps towards a net zero carbon future."

Virgin said its plans to be carbon neutral will be supported by high-quality, internationally-recognized verification standards, including the Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.  The initiative, it said, will require significant advancements in technology and infrastructure and access to solutions that remain in development.

Among the technology Virgin is using already is Climeon, which utilizes heat generated from the ship's engines to generate electricity, decreasing the demand for fuel.

Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, added, "We are committed to pioneering new technologies onboard and working with our industry peers to advance research and development for zero-carbon fuels."

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