Mar 12, 2020

Important Message from Richard Branson and Tom McAlpin on Postponing our Inaugural Sailing Season

When we dreamed up Virgin Voyages, we did so with an ambition to create an entirely new way to sail the seven seas. Over the past seven years, our wonderful crew have worked passionately to create a ship and sailor experience for you that is truly spectacular. We know many of you are very excited to sail on Scarlet Lady, and we can tell you after spending time on board, she has captured all of our hearts.

But at this time, much of our attention is focused, rightly, on the current global health crisis. We understand that this is affecting us all in different ways and making many people rethink upcoming cruise plans. We have spent time talking to our team, future Sailors and travel partners as we navigate this challenging moment.

As a brand, Virgin has always championed our customers and, most importantly, listened to them. With those principles in mind and based on your feedback, our team has made the very difficult decision to postpone the Showcase Tour launch and inaugural sailing season for Scarlet Lady until July 15, 2020, with our Maiden Voyage taking place August 7, 2020. The business is well supported and our partnership between the Virgin Group and Bain Capital means that Virgin Voyages can remain focused on the health and safety of our Sailors and Crew.

We want to make this change to your plans as convenient and fair as possible. So we are offering a range of options from a full refund and a voyage credit to extra special bonuses if you book a future sailing. The choice is entirely up to our Sailors, as it should be. Take a look at our offerings here.

For those who would have sailed regardless of the global headlines, we appreciate this will be disappointing news. We are so grateful for your belief in us, and we hope you will join us when the time is right.

We are so excited for the future of Virgin Voyages as an experience for our Sailors and as a business. Scarlet Lady has three sister ships coming and our fleet will be bold and bright with a focused approach to addressing climate change through our commitment to a net zero carbon future.

We want to assure you that we have absolutely no health issues aboard our ship and have elevated protocols in place as we continue to put your well-being first. This is a once in a lifetime launch and a once in a lifetime customer experience, and we will do it together when we can all feel free to enjoy ourselves. To expand on our commitment to fostering the best environment for our Sailors, Virgin Voyages is working with relevant parties to research new technologies that will help to expedite health screenings and make people feel safe. Developments are ongoing and the hope is to identify this opportunity over the course of the next month.

Finally, despite what we are facing, travel will always be a way for us to connect with one another and open ourselves up to new ideas and ways of thinking. So while this isn’t the time for us to meet on the spectacular Scarlet Lady, it will be soon. We can’t wait to see you on board.


Richard and Tom

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