Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 19 of The Bachelorette.
Though The Bachelorette has been on the air for nearly two full decades, Season 19 is filled with many firsts for the hit ABC series. For the first time in the show's history, two leads, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, are in control for the entire season, and they'll be able to lean on each other as they search for love.
In addition to the added element of two leads, there's another twist for Season 19 — not all of the episodes were filmed on dry land. After several back-to-back Bachelorette seasons filmed entirely in resorts due to the ongoing pandemic, the show is officially back on the road for Season 19.
In addition to hitting several spots in Europe, the ladies and their groups of men will spend part of the season on a luxury cruise ship.
The cruise ship portion of the season promises to be like The Bachelorette meets Below Deck, but will the ladies be able to find love on the high seas, or will this ship hit a (hypothetical) iceberg?
Why is part of 'The Bachelorette' season taking place on a cruise ship?
Since Season 19 is all about firsts, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise to fans that the cast is utilizing a new mode of transportation on Gabby and Rachel's season. Like past, pre-COVID seasons of The Bachelorette, after a few weeks, the leads and the remaining suitors on Season 19 will leave the Bachelor Mansion to find love while traveling.
Instead of flying to all of the new destinations, for part of the season, the stars will be living and dating on a luxury cruise liner.
In addition to keeping the format of the long-standing show fresh, the cruise ship portion of the season gives Gabby, Rachel, and the men a different way to travel, to go on dates, and to see different parts of the world from the ocean.
Plus, the cruise ship allows for a contained filming location, and for contact with outsiders to be more limited. This, in turn, lessens the risk of a COVID outbreak among the cast.
The boat featured on 'The Bachelorette' is 'Valiant Lady', a Virgin Voyages cruise ship.
Though various Bachelors and Bachelorettes have gone on boat dates over the years, the vessel featured on Season 19 of The Bachelorette puts even the most luxurious Below Deck yacht to shame.
Beginning on the Aug. 1 episode, Rachel Gabby, and their remaining men will be going on dates on board the appropriately-named Virgin Voyages cruise ship, Valiant Lady.
The ship is the second Virgin Voyages vessel to cruise the ocean, and fans can actually now stay on the boat themselves. Valiant Lady currently leaves from Barcelona, Spain, and it brings passengers to coastline areas in France, Spain, and Italy for a weeklong trip. For the purposes of the show, however, the cruise ship picked up The Bachelorette stars in France.
While the scenery itself will likely be stunning, the interior of the cruise ship is also quite impressive.
According to Cruise Radio, Rachel and Gabby got to stay in the Rockstar suites when they were on the ship, which have their own private decks and hot tubs.
The ship's nightclub, The Manor, will be featured on the show for a group date, and other Valiant Lady spots like the Redemption Spa, the outdoor decks, The Social Club, and the Loose Cannon bar will reportedly be highlighted as well.
Now that viewers know where Rachel and Gabby stayed when they hit the high seas, they'll need to tune in to the show to find out how the experience turned out.
New episodes of The Bachelorette Season 19 air on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. You can also stream the series on Hulu.