By James Shillinglaw, May 22, 2020, How do you launch an entirely new cruise line with a revolutionary concept during the coronavirus crisis. The short answer is you don’t. Virgin Voyages was forced to postpone preview events for the new 2,770-guest Scarlet Lady as well as christening in Miami, in addition to scheduled cruises for more than six months.
Virgin Voyages will now make its debut on Oct. 16, 2020 out of Miami. Guests (which Virgin calls Sailors) on impacted sailings before then can get 200 percent in Future Voyage Credit. Sailings before this date will be canceled, and all impacted guests will be offered a variety of generous and flexible options as a way of saying thank you.
Virgin Voyages says it remains grateful for the support it has been shown, and will continue to be a champion for its customers. The cruise line will start with a “soft opening” period, which will include updates to onboard protocols, such as limiting the number of booked guests to support social spacing.
The official Naming Ceremony and Maiden Voyage will now take place in early 2021. Options for guests for their first cancelled voyages include: 200 percent in Future Voyage Credit, which can be applied to another sailing, rather than a refund. This is double the value of a guest’s existing booking. Guests also can get up to $500 in onboard credit, if re-booked before June 30, 2020. If a guest prefers to get a 100 percent refund on a voyage fare for an impacted sailing, Virgin Voyages will issue one, plus offer a 25 percent Future Voyage Credit on the value paid to use for a future booking.
Virgin Voyages also is making sure travel advisors (which Virgin calls First Mates) are taken care of, and thank them for their partnership and ongoing support of the brand. This includes ensuring that commissions on cancelled bookings and Future Cruise Credits are protected.
Virgin Voyages says it is looking forward to welcoming guests aboard Scarlet Lady to experience sailing the Virgin Way. From innovative design to world-class dining, entertainment and destinations done differently, the cruise line vows to deliver an exceptional sailing experience. The brand will soon share an update on industry innovations focused on protecting the well-being of both guests and crew. For more information on impacted sailings, visit www.virginvoyages.com.