Virgin Voyages’ Second Ship Sets Sail on Inaugural Cruise
Eight months after her delivery, Virgin Voyages’ second ship has finally welcomed her first guests. Valiant Lady departed Portsmouth on Friday, operating a three-night roundtrip maiden voyage to Belgium.
Following a few more Portsmouth sailings, the ship will reposition to Barcelona to kick off a spring and summer season of seven-night Mediterranean cruises. In October, Valiant Lady will reposition to Miami for six and eight-night Caribbean cruises.
Virgin Voyages’ third ship, Resilient Lady, is scheduled to debut this August.
Construction Begins on Carnival Jubilee
Construction has officially begun on Carnival’s third Excel-class ship, Carnival Jubilee. The first piece of steel was cut during a ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard on Friday.
A silhouette of the ship was cut and signed by everyone who attended, and a special plaque was also cut from the same piece of metal to commemorate the line’s 50th birthday.
Carnival Jubilee is set to debut in Galveston in November 2023. The line’s second Excel ship, Carnival Celebration, is scheduled to begin sailing from Miami this coming November.
Holland America Launches New Programs to Speed Up Embarkation
Holland America has launched use of a mobile check-in system for its U.S., Canada, and Europe-based cruises called mBark.
With mBark’s facial recognition, guests who load their pre-travel information to Holland America’s website prior to embarkation will be able to use the touchless system. Following a face scan, passengers will be able to move through the check-in process in about 10 seconds, according to the cruise line.
Holland America will also be implementing the VeriFLY app, which allows guests to upload their proof of vaccination and test results ahead of embarkation. Carnival Cruise Line and Viking have already been using the VeriFLY app for their ships.