Virgin Voyages Begins Cruises in the UK With Scarlet Lady

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After multiple delays due to COVID-19 and more than 16 months after the original sale date of March 2020, Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady has set sail on her first-ever cruise. The new cruise line, owned by Richard Branson and his Virgin group of companies, will sail six different cruises from Portsmouth in the UK.

The vessel set sail at 7 PM, August 6, from her homeport in the South of England, on the first of her Summer Soiree Series. The series will include two different itineraries.

Virgin Voyages will be “A fantastic Experience.”

Sir Richard Branson believes the cruise line will not only be utterly different from what other cruise lines do onboard their ships; he believes the entire onboard experience will be a fantastic experience for the ‘Sailors’ onboard.

Sir Richard Branson:

“Virgin Voyages has been looking forward to sailing, and we’re so excited to announce our plans to sail from the UK. Our team has curated such a fantastic experience for our Sailors and know this is a holiday they will love.”

The UK voyages onboard Scarlet Lady will include two different itineraries. The first is the Long Weekender, a 3-Night voyage sailing from Friday – Monday on August 6, 13, and 20. The second voyage the cruise line has devised for its UK guests is the Summer WeekDaze, a 4-Night voyage sailing Monday – Friday on August 9, 16, and 23.

Tom McAlpin, CEO, and President of Virgin Voyages:

“After more than a year of waiting and a major emphasis on a safe return, we’re ecstatic to announce these new sailings and bring Sailors onboard to experience what it’s like to set sail the Virgin Way,”

The Summer Soiree Series of voyages will give UK guests the chase to experience a taste of what it will be like to sail onboard Scarlet Lady. The ship features Michelin-inspired dining experiences, luxurious spa treatments, unlimited fitness classes, entertainment featuring local British talent, and an adult-only sailing experience.

Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship in UK
Photo Credit: Paul Hanley /

An Unusual Design

Scarlet Lady was delivered to Virgin Voyages on February 14, 2020. The 110,000 gross ton vessel has a capacity of 2770 guests and was scheduled to sail on her maiden voyage in late March 2020. However, Virgin Voyages was forced to cancel this sailing due to the COVID-19 outbreak on March 12, 2020.

During the construction of Scarlet Lady, the cruise line took on designers that had never worked on cruise ships before. Ensuring the vessel has a look and feel that is entirely different from similar-sized vessels. Beds inside the cabins can be converted into couches for daytime relaxing, and each cabin is fitted with mood lighting, which can be changed through the onboard app. Other unusual onboard experiences are a tattoo studio, a vegetarian restaurant included in the 20+ different restaurants, and some fabulous themed bars and lounges.

Scarlet Lady is scheduled to sail around the UK until the end of August. Guests must all be fully vaccinated, while guests will be tested additionally on the pier side before boarding. Similarly, all crew on board have also been fully vaccinated. The vessel is adults-only. From the end of September, Scarlet Lady will be sailing from PortMiami. The new Virgin Voyages Terminal that has been built specifically for the cruise line, will be her home terminal from November onwards.

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