Virgin Voyages to Return to Popular UK Port

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Virgin Voyages will be bringing the lady ships back to Portsmouth International Port in 2024 with a variety of unique itineraries and quick getaways sure to entice passengers interested in the cruise line’s unique adults-only vibe.

The port is eager to welcome back the upscale cruise line, as it brilliantly matches Portsmouth International Port’s goal to be a premier choice for unique sailings that entice discerning passengers.

Virgin Voyages Sailing From Portsmouth in 2024

After first debuting Scarlet Lady from Portsmouth in 2021, followed by Valiant Lady in 2022, Virgin Voyages is now ready to make a return to the southern UK port, just 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of London.

Both Virgin Voyages and Portsmouth International Port have confirmed the sailings:

“The rumours are true, we’re returning to our British roots, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Shane Riley, Virgin Voyages vice president of UK/international sales. “Portsmouth was where we set sail on our maiden voyage and introduced what it means to set sail the Virgin way, so it has a very special place in our hearts.”

Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship in Portsmouth
Photo Credit: Jwlowen /

“The arrival of Scarlet Lady in Portsmouth back in 2021 heralded not only a new era for cruise at the port, but also for the cruise industry as a whole as Virgin Voyages made their mer-maiden sailing from our historic city,” added Andrew Williamson, head of cruise and ferry at Portsmouth International Port.

“We’re absolutely delighted to reveal the epic news that we will be welcoming them back to the city for a hotly anticipated return.”

Exact details of the new sailings – set to open for bookings on Thursday, September 7, 2023 – are not yet available, but will include brand new ports of call in Bilbao, Spain and Bordeaux, France, as well as stops in Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Lisbon, Casablanca, Malaga, Ibiza, and more.

Various itinerary lengths are planned, including special “short breaks” for quick getaways as well as longer sailings visiting more destinations.

Which Ship?

Neither the cruise line nor the port have confirmed which of Virgin Voyages’ three ships – to be four with the introduction of Brilliant Lady in December 2023 – may be based from Portsmouth in 2024.

The line’s first vessel, Scarlet Lady, already has itineraries planned from Barcelona through October 2024, while Valiant Lady is scheduled to homeport from Miami. The third ship, Resilient Lady, is planned to be deployed to Australia and New Zealand through March 2024, and then repositioning to Piraeus (Athens) for summer sailings.

No calendars for any of the three currently active ships are available past October 2024, and it is possible any one of them might be redeployed to Portsmouth later in the year.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

The upcoming Brilliant Lady, scheduled to debut from Miami on December 24, 2023, will first be homeported from San Juan, Puerto Rico for varying Caribbean itineraries through April 2024. It is possible the new ship could then move to Portsmouth to make her European debut.

In addition to announcing the itineraries, the cruise line has hinted at more news to come in the next week. “The best part is these series of ‘Portsmouth Shorts’ itineraries are just a fraction of the news we have to share,” said Riley. “All I can say is stay tuned for epic news – we’ve got more sailing your way next week!”

The Virgin Voyages Experience

Virgin Voyages is a relatively young cruise line, just having debuted with Scarlet Lady in mid-2021 (initially postponed from early 2020 due to the pandemic industry shutdown).

The luxury line has set itself apart not only as an adults-only experience, but with amazingly curated onboard features, including gourmet menus, wellness opportunities, outstanding entertainment, and more. This blends well with the cruise partners Portsmouth International Port hopes to attract.

Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

“They fit perfectly with our ambition to be the first choice port for luxury, boutique and expedition cruise lines in the UK, and we are looking forward to showing their sailors our brand new carbon-neutral terminal extension,” said Williamson. “I cannot wait to see the full itineraries when they are released later this month.”

Each of Virgin Voyage’s ships measures 110,000 gross tons and can welcome 2,700 guests aboard for each sailing. The ships offer a mix of itineraries in different regions, giving travelers plentiful opportunities to explore popular and unique ports of call while enjoying all the distinctive luxury the line has to offer.

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