After a hugely successful pre-inaugural season in the United Kingdom, Scarlet Lady has said goodbye to her homeport of Portsmouth. The ship spent over a month in the UK as she welcomed thousands of sailors on board for cruises around the British Isles.
Scarlet Lady experienced a long delay for her first sailing. The vessel had been scheduled to start operations early last year, but the plans fell through as the pandemic meant a pause in operations for the entire cruise industry.
The ship is now underway, sailing outside the Bay of Biscay, on her way to New York City, from where she will be launching her career as the next industry standard in luxury cruising.
When Scarlet Lady docked in Portsmouth in June of this year, she was the biggest cruise liner ever to call Portsmouth its homeport. Virgin Voyages used the port as the base of operations for the UK-based Summer Soiree season in the past two months.
The cruises proved to be a massive success for the thousands of guests that sailed on her, with thousands of guests writing rave reviews about the new take the company has taken on cruising. It prompted the company to send a letter of thanks to the port of Portsmouth:
“‘You have an incredible history. Thousands of sailors have seen the world after sailing from this port and come back with tall tales to tell. We’ve added thousands more to those that had epic experiences and journeys of a lifetime that all started right here from your home. While the Scarlet Lady is saying Bon Voyage after a brilliant Summer Soiree season, we can’t wait to see you next year when our second ship, the Valiant Lady, makes her debut, right here. She’s quite the head-turner too, and there’s nowhere else we’d rather start her off.”
The sister ship to Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady, is scheduled for launch later this year and operates as an ‘adults-only ship as well. She will be offering cruises to the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal from March 2022.
Portsmouth Port Director Mike Sellers said to Portsmouth News: “Seeing Scarlet Lady in the port has been the result of years of hard work, from securing investment to extend our cruise berth to accommodate larger ships, to building confidence with the Virgin Voyages’ team that we could look after their worldfirst sailing. Everyone at the port stepped up, during the most challenging time, to make sure this was a success and I’m so proud of their hard work and professionalism.”
Scarlet Lady is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to her next destination, where she will be performing in a special event for Thrillist and Virgin Voyages called Revel. The event will be held between September 16 and September 18.
Those who want to see the vessel will be able to experience everything the vessel has to offer without ever setting sail, as the ship will remain docked at Pier 88 in NYC. Events onboard include curated dining experiences, a pool party, and special performances.
The 110,000 gross tons Scarlet Lady, which has a capacity for 2770 guests, will set sail with paying guests from her homeport of Miami, Florida, on October 6. The ship had been scheduled to launch in Miami in June of this year. This was postponed over uncertainty over CDC guidelines and to make space for UK sailings, and the transatlantic crossing the vessel is undertaking now.