Virgin Voyages has sent an initial update to guests booked on the April 1 cruise for Valiant Lady out of Portsmouth, UK. The voyage has now been delayed until the following day after a guest went overboard on March 31.
Virgin Voyages Delays Cruise
On March 31, in the early morning hours, a passenger from the Valiant Lady cruise ship intentionally went overboard while the vessel was off the coast of Portugal and Spain.
The ship launched a rescue operation in coordination with the authorities, including assets air and sea from the Coast Guard.
Due to the overboard and the ship being involved in the search effort through most of Thursday, it has resulted in a delayed arrival back in Portsmouth in southern England on April 1.
Instead of arriving back in the morning on April 1, the ship is delayed by at least six hours and is now not expected to arrive home until at least 6:00 p.m.
Virgin Voyages sent out an update to guests booked on the April 1 sailing: “Early this morning, our Valiant Lady Crew responded to an emergency situation which resulted in a search and rescue mission, and as part of our extensive efforts, we’re now expecting a delayed arrival no sooner than 18:00 into Portsmouth on the 1st of April – delaying your embarkation to the morning on the 2nd of April. We’re deeply saddened by this news, and above all, our thoughts are with this Sailor’s family and loved ones.”
This does mean the April 1 embarkation from Portsmouth on Valiant Lady will now take place the following day, on the morning of April 2. The ship was originally scheduled to depart on a three-night cruise to Zeebrugge, Belgium, and return to Portsmouth on April 4.
Virgin Voyages will send further details on the altered itinerary to guests shortly. The cruise line said in the update, “We’ll be sending a follow-up email shortly about your new embarkation time for the 2nd of April, your Zeebrugge Shore Things, and any other pertinent detail you may need if you end up joining us. Our Crew is working hard and we’ll be sharing more details soon.”
Even though the voyage is still going ahead, the April 1 sailing will be much shorter. Guests are being offered some options.
There is $200 of onboard credit per person and a £300 UK pounds Future Voyage Credit, which can be used on any future sailing with Virgin.
Some guests may not want to go ahead with their cruise on Valiant Lady, so if guests decide not to turn up at the terminal on April 2, Virgin will automatically refund the price paid for the cruise, along with taxes and fees. The refund will be in the form of a Future Cruise Credit and will be processed within two weeks.
Valiant Lady is the second ship from Virgin Voyages and is 110,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,860 at double occupancy. The new ship will continue to sail from the UK until May 15, when she will then be based out of Barcelona, Spain.