Virgin Voyages has unexpectedly decided to cancel four of its Resilient Lady cruises scheduled to sail from Melbourne and Sydney to New Zealand in early 2024.
The move follows feedback from guests and travel industry partners, resulting in a shift towards offering more round-trip sailings within Australia.
Four Cruises Scrapped for Shorter Options
Virgin Voyages has informed local travel partners about the cancellation of four cruises onboard the new Resilient Lady, scheduled between January and March 2024.
The cancelled departures were initially set for January 23, February 2, February 14, and February 24, 2024, all sailing to and from New Zealand.
The decision came after feedback from guests and travel partners, indicating a preference for more round-trip sailings in Australia from Melbourne and Sydney.
A guest booked on one of the cruises posted the following quote in an email from Virgin Voyages:
“We have received significant feedback from Sailors and travel partners about the voyages available, so we’re adjusting our sailing schedule to provide more round-trip sailings in Australia from Melbourne and Sydney.”
The four cruises onboard Resilient Lady would have sailed from Sydney and Melbourne to Auckland, and vice versa. Ports of call on the four voyages included Hobart, Tasmania, and Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, and Tauranga, New Zealand.
Guests booked on the cancelled voyages will have the choice of receiving their cruise fare in the form of Future Voyage Credit and a bonus credit depending on their booked cabin category, or a full refund will also be available.
While the precise motivations behind the cancellations are yet to be officially clarified, several plausible speculations exist. The cancelled cruises were longer, which could have dampened the popularity.
The decision to shift from longer voyages to shorter, round-trip sailings within Australia might also be advantageous for Virgin Voyages in terms of operational costs. Shorter cruises require less fuel than longer ones, considering the shorter distances involved.
Given the considerable expenses associated with fuel consumption in the cruising industry, this could lead to significant savings. According to online reports, the new, shorter cruises sailing around the Australian coastline will be available soon.
Resilient Lady is Newest in Fleet
The Resilient Lady is a 110,000 gross-ton cruise ship with a guest capacity of 2,700. As of June 2023, the Resilient Lady is sailing a series of cruises around the Greek islands from Pireaus. Ports of call include destinations like Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos, Corfu, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Kotor, Montenegro.
In October this year, Resilient Lady will reposition to Australia during three separate voyages from Athens to Dubai, Dubai to Singapore, and Singapore to Sydney.
Virgin Voyages operates three identical ships, Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady, and Resilient Lady. Another, Brilliant Lady, is on order and expected to be delivered later this year.
Known for its unconventional offerings, Virgin Voyages provides a unique cruising experience. The cruise line has broken away from buffet-style dining and instead focuses on diverse culinary experiences. The company has more than 20 distinctive restaurants onboard its ships, all included in the cruise price.
Virgin Voyages also boasts novel features like Squid Ink, the world’s first tattoo studio at sea, and entertainment that includes immersive and interactive theatrical performances, modern dance shows, and live music performances across multiple venues.