Virgin Voyages has announced that cruises won’t begin until the middle of October due to an extension of its pause on operations.
Virgin Voyages To Begin Cruises in October
Cruisers were looking forward to enjoying Virgin Voyages’ first cruise ship named Scarlet Lady before the pandemic hit but now everyone will have to wait until the middle of October. The cruise line has announced that even further sailings are now cancelled through October 15, 2020.
The first sailing is planned to depart on October 16, 2020, our of Port of Miami in Florida. That date is likely the final one with no more extension to the suspension of cruise operations. Virgin Voyages previously announced sailings were cancelled and set to begin in August.
Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin released the following statement:
We’ve made the difficult decision to cancel our sailings through October 15th, 2020. We’ve been working hard to find a way to set sail by August, but that hasn’t turned out to be possible.
We appreciate how many of you were excited to sail with us, so we understand how disappointing this news is. But we trust you’ll understand our decision given the evolving global health challenge we’re all up against.
As of right now, our first sailing is planned for October 16th, 2020. We’re focused on being ready to get back on the open ocean with some exciting innovations focused on protecting the well-being of both our Sailors and our incredible Crew — which we’ll update you on soon.
For Sailors impacted by this change, we’re offering the most flexible and fair options out there. In the next few weeks, we’ll be auto-crediting double the amount you’ve paid to date toward your voyage fare. And if you book your next sailing before June 30th, we’ll even give you up to $500 to spend on board. But if you’d prefer a refund, you can call or email us anytime between now and December 31st, 2020.
One more piece of news we’d like to share is that we’re launching our new Smooth Sailing program for 2020. We recognize the difficult economic environment that many people are experiencing, so we’re bringing new introductory pricing to Sailors — while offering (even more) flexible booking policies.
For sailings through December 16th, 2020, we’re moving final payment dates to 60 days (from 120 days) before you sail, and you can cancel up to 48 hours before your voyage and receive a 100% voyage credit. We want you to feel confident about making plans, while knowing that if anything changes, we’re always on your side.
We’re excited about getting to sail with you when the time is right. Until then, we wish you and your loved ones health and happiness.
Those guests impacted by the cancelled cruises will be provided compensation. In the next few weeks the cruise line will be automatically providing double the amount paid to date towards the next voyage fare. Guests can also receive up to $500 of onboard credit if the next sailing is booked before June 30, 2020.
Also Read: What’s Going on With My Cruise Refund?
A new “Smooth Sailing” program has also been announced for 2020. This provides further confidence in cruise bookings moving forward. Final payment dates are being moved to 60 days before departure date rather than the previous 120 days. Guests can also cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before their ship sets sail and get a 100% voyage credit.
Cruisers will just have to wait much longer to see the new Scarlet Lady vessel sail the Caribbean. Other cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and NCL are planning a phased-in return from August.
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