Virgin Voyages has decided to delay the launch of its third cruise ship Resilient Lady amind the challenges facing the cruise and travel industry. The vessel now won’t be debuting until the second quarter of 2023, resulting in cruise cancellations for many guests.
Resilient Lady Debut Delayed
The cruise line wants to make sure it can deliver a great cruise experience by delaying the launch of its third vessel Resilient Lady. The ship was scheduled to debut out of Athens, Greece, on August 14, 2022, with the first sailing being seven nights long.
Virgin Voyages made the decision due to challenges facing the industry, including supply chain obstacles and a level of regional uncertainty for international travelers in countries in East Europe.
Another reason for the delay in the launch is crew shortages, which have already been impacting other cruise lines. When it comes to staffing ships, it’s based on government regulations and restrictive COVID entry requirements back into the US.
Commenting on the update, Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages said, “As a new brand that is just getting started, we’ve accomplished so much this past year, and the future for us is exciting. The momentum that we’re seeing with Scarlet and Valiant Lady is incredible.
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This will also allow Virgin Voyages to remain focused on its two current ships in the fleet, Scarlet Lady in the Caribbean and Valiant Lady in the Mediterranean.
McAlpin continued to say, “The fantastic reviews and awards our ships and crew have won are very heartening, so we thank our guests for sailing with us. That is why we remain focused on delivering brilliant vacations, and this pause will ensure we will be ready to go on Resilient.“
With Resilient Lady now delayed into 2023, it does mean cancellations for guests in 2022 and early 2023. The cruise line is contacting all those impacted about their compensation options.
Virgin Voyages is providing a 200% Future Voyage Credit (FVC) or a full refund of the amount paid, plus 25% FVC. If guests choose the 200% FVC and use it to rebook in 2022, they will get the option of another free voyage.
Virgin is also assisting with travel changes and penalties that do depends on some terms and conditions, which will no doubt be detailed to guests.
The cruises that are impacted are the inaugural sailings out of Athens, Greece, from August 14 and the deployment out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the winter season. The Virgin cruise ship is scheduled to return to Greece in May 2023, which could be when the vessel is aiming to finally begin sailings.
For now, Resilient Lady will remain in Genoa, Italy, at the Fincantieri shipyard, where the final work is being completed. The vessel also recently completed her sea trials in April 2022. The adults-only cruise ship is 110,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,770.