Cruise ship delays continue for Virgin Voyages. The line has delayed the launch of its new ship, Brilliant Lady, which was originally scheduled to debut in December 2023. Though a new date has yet to be announced, the cruise line has already canceled sailings, allowing passengers to book other ships in its fleet.
“Because of some unexpected construction, supply chain, and staffing challenges, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the launch of Brilliant Lady,” began the email sent to passengers.
“We know our first mates and sailors have high expectations for the award-winning service and experience we deliver onboard and until we can meet those standards we won’t deliver Brilliant Lady into service,” it explained.
The vessel is being built near Genoa, Italy, at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard.
Affected Itineraries and Rebooking Incentives
Sailings up to April 2024 are affected. Itineraries onboard Brilliant Lady that leave next year on January 6, March 23, and 30, and voyages departing on April 6, 13, and 20 have been canceled. Guests can replace them with another cruise on Virgin’s other ships.
Passengers with canceled reservations can start rebooking on September 11 and are entitled to $500 of onboard credit. If they rebook by October 11, the cruise line will double that amount and allot $1,000 in onboard credit.
All passengers, whether they rebook or not, are guaranteed a spot on Brilliant Lady’s maiden voyage once the date has been finalized. They also get $300 off the fare and $600 of onboard credit in its upcoming itinerary. Those who opt for a full refund will have their payments processed after December 28, 2023.
Virgin Plagued with Cruise Ship Delays
Founded by Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages has encountered delays before, specifically during the construction of Resilient Lady (May 2023 debut) and Valiant Lady (March 2022 debut).
They both faced similar challenges like construction and staffing issues. Scarlet Lady, launched in October 2021, also experienced a longer-than-anticipated delivery time due to the global health crisis.
Once completed, Brilliant Lady will be Virgin’s fourth cruise ship. It successfully floated out at a Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, on November 25, 2022.
Like her sister’s ships before her, she will weigh 110,000 gross tons and will accommodate 2,700 passengers and 1,160 crew members.