Scarlet Lady, the first-ever “Virgin Voyages” cruise ship, is set to have a vegan tattoo studio onboard named “Squid Ink.” The new parlor is a joint venture between Virgin and the globally recognized tattoo ink brand World Famous Tattoo Ink.
Set to launch in 2020, the new cruise liner will have two full-time tattoo artists onboard chosen by Lou Rubino Jr, the owner of World Famous Tattoo Ink and visionary behind the New York tattoo studio Soho Ink, and tattoo-themed magazine Freshly Inked. According to Virgin, Rubino’s vegan products not only exceed safety standards, but they are also non-toxic and cruelty-free.
“As global acceptance of tattoos and body art continues to grow, partnering with Virgin Voyages gives us the unique opportunity to bring color to places people might have never thought possible before. We couldn’t be more excited to leave our mark on the sea travel industry,” Rubino said in a statement.
According to the World Famous Tattoo Ink website, its vegan ink was created after years of research and experimentation. The product is also better for customers; the company notes that vegan-friendly ink is more reliable, better for immunity, safer on the skin, and even more vibrant than non-vegan ink.
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After a long 2 years of planning we are so excited to announce our collaboration with @virginvoyages to bring you Squid Ink. All aboard the Scarlet Lady, the first ever tattoo shop on a Cruise ship. Keeping to tradition of sailors on the sea. • #vvsquidink #worldfamousink #virginvoyages #makeshiphappen #shipshappening #cruise #ship #tattoo #tattoos #ink #inkedup #sailors
According to the president and CEO of Virgin Voyages Tom McAlpin, the new vegan-friendly tattoo parlor continues the legacy of the “time-honored seafaring tradition” of tattooing sailors. “We’re continuing that legacy with rock and roll style by bringing some of the best ink artists to sea. Our sailors 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,” he said.
are tattoos vegan?
Not all tattoo ink is vegan-friendly; some tattoo artists use products that include animal-based ingredients like gelatin, glycerin, or bone char. Shellac is also sometimes found in the ink, which is derived from crushed beetles.
Other aspects of the tattoo process may not be vegan, depending on the studio. Traditionally, transfer paper, the thin paper that artists use to transfer outlines onto skin, is not vegan due lanolin, a wax-like substance derived from the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Tattoo product brand Spirit currently offers a vegan transfer paper. Aftercare products may also contain animal ingredients or rely on animal testing, but some brands, like After Inked, are vegan.
To celebrate their partnership, World Famous Tattoo Ink and Virgin Voyages are inviting customers to enter a competition on the Virgin Voyages website, where they can be in with a chance to win a free voyage, plus a free nautical-inspired micro tattoo.
Image Credit: Virgin Voyages
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